Homemade Chicken NuggetsHomemade Chicken Nuggets
september 25, 2014

Just like most other kids out there, mine love chicken nuggets. Tenders, dinosaurs, strips, whatever you want to call them. But I don't like feeding my family processed food that is full of unnatural ingredients, excess salt and added sugar. So I don't. I make them myself instead.

I've worked this recipe out with my kids as testers, and it is the most bare-bones, easy-peasy way I can come up with to get tasty chicken nuggets from quality ingredients.

Tonight we ate this as part of a three-course finger-food dinner, which included two recipes from Erin Gleeson's The Forest Feast: Honey Pepper Figs, on  p. 32 and here on her website, and Caper Burrata Crostini on p. 30 and also on her website here.

I am fastidious about cleanliness when cooking with raw meat, especially chicken. We have specific plastic cutting boards for raw meat which are washed and then sterilized in the dishwasher after each use. I wash my hands after touching raw meat before I touch anything else (and so do my kids) and wash the counters and sink with a clean soapy cloth after we are done, then rinse and dry them. That cloth goes directly into the laundry afterwards and the sponge gets sterilized in the microwave for two minutes on high.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets: 

This recipe usually makes a generous amount for 6 people, or one dinner for 4 and 2 kids' lunches.

1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6), cut into 1" pieces
2 cups bread crumbs (I like to use panko but anything will work)
2 large eggs 
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
olive oil

You can cut the chicken and sprinkle it with 1/4- 1/2 teaspoon salt a day ahead, this gives the nuggets better flavor. You'll want them to come to room temperature before baking. Otherwise, follow the instructions below.

Steps 3 & 4

1) Preheat the oven to 350°f.

2) Rinse the chicken pieces with water and pat them dry with paper towels.

3) Cut the chicken into 1" pieces (as close to 1"x 1"x 1" as you can get), then salt them generously, using about 1/4- 1/2 teaspoon of salt. You'll want them to come up to room temperature before baking, so you can let them rest for a few minutes now.

4) Break the 2 eggs into a bowl and mix them with a fork.

5) Mix the garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and bread crumbs into another bowl.

6) Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a cooling rack on top. Brush the rack with olive oil.

7) One by one, dip each piece of chicken into the egg, shake the excess off, roll it in the breadcrumbs and then set it gently on the rack over the tinfoil lined baking sheet. When all the chicken pieces are done, put the baking sheet into the oven and set a timer for 10 minutes.

8) After 10 minutes, or when the nuggets begin to brown a bit on top, pull the baking sheet out and flip each nugget over. Put it back into the oven for 5-10 more minutes. When they are starting to brown just a little bit on top, cut into 1 nugget to make sure it is done, the meat should be opaque and not translucent. Remove the baking sheet from the oven.

9) Serve them however you like or cool and put them in the fridge for tomorrow. One of my kids likes to eat these with BBQ sauce, the other with ketchup. I like mine plain.

Steps 6 & 7


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Heather Knape
February 24, 2015

Made these again this morning. When using thigh meat and a mini-oven, it's best to cook them at 375° for 15 on each side.

I also realized a new stream-lining technique for breading the nuggets: use one hand to dip chicken pieces in the egg bowl, and the other hand to dip the egged pieces in the breadcrumb bowl. It cuts down on the mess and goes much faster. An in-home chicken nugget assembly line!


The comments to this entry are closed.


--> Alice Waters
Amanda Cohen
Andrea Reusing
Andy Ricker
Beata Zatorska
Bruce Aidells
Camilla Panjabi
canal house
Caroline Grant
Charlotte Druckman
Christopher Hirsheimer
Cindy Mushet
Clotilde Dusoulier
Cuisine at Home
Dan Jurafsky
deborah madison
Diane Morgan
eatwell farm
Eddie Huang
Erin Gleeson
Evan Kleiman
Food 52
Fore Adventure
Frog Hollow Farm
Gourmet Magazine
Grace Young
Grace Young
Heidi Swanson
Hollis Wilder
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Irma Rombauer
Isabella Gerasole
Jay Harlow
Joyce Goldstein
Lisa Catherine Harper
Lisa Fain
Lisa Leake
Louella Hill
Lucinda Scala Quinn
Lynne Alley
Madhur Jaffrey
Malvi Doshi
Marcus Samuelsson
Marion Nestle
mark bittman
Mary Roach
Melissa Hamilton
Michael Pollan
Molly Watson
Naomi Duguid
nigel slater
Nigella Lawson
Pollan Family
Roy Choi
Ryan Dunlavey
Salma Abdelnour
Sam Mogannam
San Francisco Chronicle
Saveur Magazine
SF Marin Food Bank
Shelley Lindgren
Slivena Rowe
Stephanie Alexander
Steve Sando
Sunset Magazine
tamar adler
The Chew
The Kitchn
Toby Sonneman
Tom Hudgens
vegetarian times
Victor Antoine d'Avila Latourrette
waitrose kitchen
Yotam Ottolenghi
Zoe Nathan