- 2 lbs. Chicken Breasts (Boneless & Skinless & Minced)
- ¼ C Old-Fashioned or 5-Minute Oats
- 1 T Parsley (Dried)
- 1 T Garlic Powder
- 1 T Onion Powder
- 1 T Kosher Salt
- 1 C Panko Bread Crumbs
- 1 T Parmesan Cheese (Grated)
- Cooking Spray
- Cutting Board
- Chefs Knife
- Measuring Cup
- Measuring Spoons
- Mixing Bowl
- Sheet Pan
The typical Chicken Nugget that you find frozen or at a fast food place, is not the healthiest or tastiest eating. Try this recipe as it takes on the common favorite and see if you don’t switch to eating in more often. Your taste buds and arteries will thank you.
Preparation is the second of Smart Kitchen’s 4 Levers of Cooking,™ so we devote a separate section to it in our recipe write ups. This preparation should take about 15 minutes.
Assuming that you are making your Chicken Nuggets in one go, Preheat your Oven to 375°F (191˚ C). If you plan to make and freeze the nuggets, this step can obviously be ignored until you plan to Bake them.
Before you begin, make sure all of your ingredients are measured out as part of your Mise en Place. Do you have the right kind of Oats? The oats to use in this Smart Chicken Nuggets recipe are “Old Fashioned” or “5 Minute” oats such as Quaker Oats.
Which sort of Bread Crumbs do you wish to use? You can use any sort of Bread Crumbs you like, including Panko. We like a smaller finer bread crumb because the smaller crumbs tend to absorb less of the Oil while they fry. As part of your preparation, place the Bread Crumbs and Parmesan Cheese in a shallow Mixing Bowl, Baking Dish or on a wider plate. You will be Dredging the rolled and formed nuggets in this mixture so you want the dish to have a combination of easy access and good holding ability. Mix together the bread and cheese to combine them.
Before we cook them, the Chicken Breasts will be Formed into a nugget shape. We are covering “Forming” here in preparation because it can be done 1-2 days in advance, and it must be done before cooking.
To make the mixture for the Chicken Nuggets, put the first 6 ingredients (Chicken, Oats, Parsley, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder and Kosher Salt) in the bowl of a Food Processor. Pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped and incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a Rubber Spatula once or twice if necessary. This mixture will be the basis for forming your “nuggets.” If you don’t have a Food Processor, you can also use a Meat Grinder.
To form the nuggets, moisten your hands to keep the mixture from sticking, pinch off 1 T (1 tablespoon) of the pulsed / minced Chicken mixture and roll it the between your palms into a “nugget” shape. Place the completed nugget on a holding plate or tray and pinch off another tablespoon of the nugget mixture. Repeat the process until you have used up all the chicken mixture. If you are planning to freeze or refrigerate your formed and breaded nuggets, set out a Sheet Pan to hold the finished product before moving on to the next step.
To bread the nuggets, gently press and roll the formed nuggets into the Bread Crumb/Parmesan Cheese mixture to coat them evenly. Place each formed and breaded nugget on a holding plate or Sheet Pan. The formed and breaded nuggets can then be immediately Baked and served, or Held in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
To Hold the prepared nuggets in the refrigerator, place them on a Sheet Pan and cover them with Plastic Wrap or Tin Foil before refrigerating. You can hold the formed Chicken Nuggets in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
To freeze the nuggets place them on a small Sheet Pan and freeze for an hour. When they are slightly frozen, remove them from the Sheet Pan and place them in labeled Freezer Bags. Remember to wash up after touching the frozen but still Raw nuggets.
The Raw frozen nuggets will last up to 3 months frozen. When you want to use them, Thaw the nuggets in the refrigerator a few days in advance and Temper them before cooking as detailed below. Unlike commercial Nuggets, which are usually Par-Cooked, these home-made Chicken Nuggets can’t be taken directly from the freezer to the oven.
Whether fresh or frozen, the nuggets will be Baked, so preheat your oven to 375°F (191˚ C).
Set out a cross-wired Roasting Rack. Place the Roasting Rack over a foil-lined Cookie Sheet, Baking Sheet or Sheet Pan. If you don’t have a cross-wired Roasting Rack, substitute a Greased Sheet Pan so that the Chicken Nuggets don’t stick during Baking. If using the Sheet Pan alone, grease it by lightly spraying it with cooking spray, rubbing it with a stick of Butter or brushing it with Oil, etc.
Place the formed and breaded nuggets on the Roasting Rack or Greased Sheet Pan. Lightly spray the exposed portions of the nuggets with Cooking Spray.
Put the rack of nuggets on the foil-covered tray and put them into the oven. Bake the nuggets for 15 minutes, until they are golden brown. If you don’t get the golden color you want in 15 minutes, raise the heat to 475° F (246˚ C) and give an additional 1-2 minutes at High Heat, until golden brown.
Once the Nuggets are cooked, remove them from the oven with Oven Mitts and serve as desired.