Do you get tired of serving your children grisly, greasy chicken nuggets from the freezer or a fast food restaurant? Cook’s Country Magazine has the solution. A recipe that results in tender, juicy, well-flavored chunks of chicken breast with a crispy coating.
I don’t fry foods often, even though I’m from the South, aka the Land of Fried Foods. Frying makes such a mess, and I hate kitchen clean-up!
But these Crispy Chicken Nuggets, let me tell you. They are well worth the trouble AND the clean-up.
To keep the chicken nuggets moist, they are first brined in a solution of water, salt, and Worcestershire Sauce. I’m a huge fan of Worcestershire sauce and am always amazed by how many things it can make taste better. If in doubt, use Worcestershire sauce is a perfectly good kitchen rule. Brining helps keep the meat juicy while frying and it also gives a wonderful seasoning to the meat.
To create an extra-crispy coating, the chicken nuggets are coated in a flour/panko crumb mixture, left to rest for 10 minutes, and then recoated. A touch of baking soda in the mixture helps the nuggets brown quickly in the oil.
The recipe calls for crushed Panko crumbs and after a few minutes of rather unsuccessfully trying to crush them with the bottom of a measuring cup, I put them through a quick whirl in my food processor.
I like to fry in peanut oil, but Yikes! that stuff seems to be getting more and more expensive. You could always use Vegetable oil as a lower cost alternative.
I’m a big fan of chicken nuggets and honey mustard so I made a homemade honey mustard dipping sauce. Whether you cook these crispy chicken nuggets up for a weeknight meal or serve them on a platter for a football game, there are sure to be plenty of smiling faces.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1½ pounds)
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup panko crumbs, crushed
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 large egg whites
- 4 cups peanut oil
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch chunks.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together water, 1 tablespoon of salt, and Worcestershire sauce until salt dissolves.
- Add chicken, stir to coat chicken well, and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- While chicken is brining, combine flour, panko bread crumbs, onion powder, remaining salt, pepper, garlic powder, and baking soda in a pie plate or shallow dish. In a second shallow dish, whisk the egg whites until foamy.
- Remove chicken from brine and discard the brine. Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
- Coat chicken in egg white and then dredge in flour mixture. Place on a plate and let sit 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat to a temperature of 350 degrees.
- Recoat chicken in flour mixture, pressing mixture on with your fingers.
- Working in 2 batches, fry chicken until golden brown, flipping once. This will take approximately 3 minutes total. Place chicken on top of a wire rack set in a large, rimmed baking sheet. Chicken can be kept warm in a 200 degree oven.
- To make dipping sauce, combine mayonnaise, both mustards, honey, and cayenne pepper in a bowl.
Recipe adapted from Cook’s Country
Disclosure: Spicy Southern Kitchen is an amazon.com affiliate.