Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Baked Chicken Nuggets

Chicken fingers. Chicken rings. Chicken nuggets. Wait. What? "Chicken rings?" Scott's college dorm cafeteria served chicken rings. Now they're a family joke. He always asks, "What part of the chicken do they come from??" Ever since he posed the question, that sticks in my head and I cringe a little (I mean, chicken rings??? Seriously?! So not natural).

I work a schedule where I am not home at dinner time, but I still like to have home-cooked dinners. I do my prep for dinner in the morning and make sure there is minimal kitchen work needed when Scott gets home with the kids. This recipe was so simple to throw together, I worried it wouldn't be any good. But, this one turned out to be a family favorite. If I get unsolicited compliments on a dinner, you better believe it's going in the regular rotation!!!

I've found I like a moist bread crumb (rather than a dried one). Since no one eats the heels of the bread, we save them in the freezer for just such an occasion that demands bread crumbs. If you're prepping them in the morning, just be sure you spray the wire rack with cooking spray. Believe me: I speak from experience!

Baked Chicken Nuggets

2 Chicken breasts
1/4 cup flour
1 egg (for egg wash)
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Bread Crumb Recipe
2 slices of bread
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, cubed
1 T chili powder
1 t garlic powder
**Process in a food processor until the parmesan and bread are completely broken up, and spices are incorporated.**

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Cube chicken into 1" x 2" pieces
3. Set up standard 3-bowl breading station: 
        - Flour with a healthy pinch of pepper
        - Egg, beaten
        - Bread crumbs mixture
4. Dip chicken pieces in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.
5. Place chicken on wire rack that fits in a half sheet pan.
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
7. Serve with sauce of your choice.
        We prefer: honey, mustard, chili mayo (2:1 ratio of mayo to hot sauce), Ranch

Note: If you prep the chicken nuggets in the morning, spray the wire rack with cooking spray, lay the chicken nuggets out, place plastic wrap over the top, and refrigerate until they're needed.

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