Sunday, December 8, 2013

Baked Chicken Nuggets

Even as a grown adult, sometimes I have cravings for foods usually relegated to the kid's menu. This certainly doesn't mean I'll be ordering a PB&J or buttered noodles at a restaurant, but I have been known to whip up a batch of chicken nuggets or chicken strips at home. It's true that I could pop over to McDonalds to try and satisfy this craving, but deep-fried meat sponges aren't exactly what I'm looking for.

These chicken nuggets just take minutes to prepare, and achieve a crunchy, delicious coating even without the more cumbersome traditional flour-egg wash-bread crumbs coating procedure. Parmesan and whole wheat bread crumbs would provide enough flavor on their own, but a favorite seasoning blend is a great way to set a flavor theme and pair the nuggets with side dishes if you're feeling suitably sophisticated. Whether feeding actual children or just filling up on nostalgia, these healthified nuggets are a great way to get dinner on the table in a hurry without the ramifications of the drive-through version.

Baked Chicken Nuggets
adapted from SkinnyTaste
serves 4

1pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into even bite-sized pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive or canola oil
1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs, preferably panko
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon favorite purchased or homemade seasoning blend (seasoning salt, garlic salt, barbecue seasoning blend, etc.)
Olive or canola oil cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.

2. Put the olive oil in one bowl and the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and seasoning in another.

3. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then put in the bowl with the olive oil and mix well so the olive oil evenly coats all of the chicken.

4. Put a few chunks of chicken at a time into the breadcrumb mixture to coat, then on the baking sheet. Lightly spray the top with olive oil spray then bake 8 - 10 minutes. Turn over then cook another 4 - 5 minutes or until cooked though.

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