I can’t lie, I love chicken nuggets. I’m one of those people who will order the 20 piece share box and not share them. Yup, that’s me – don’t judge, I know some of you do the same. But, in the current climate I’m staying home and not getting my chicken nugget fix. Well…my nugget cravings finally became too much so I decided to make my own.
Now, I would’ve loved to have gone wild with the spices but it seems the world has gone crazy on the spice aisle so I decided to keep it simple using spices that I feel most people would have in their cupboard or at least find it easier to get hold of. That said, I have used semola alongside my breadcrumbs – this was just to help with a bit of extra crunch and colouring but you can definitely replace this with additional breadcrumbs!
I found that coating the chicken nugget pieces in the seasoning before going ahead with the rest of the coating worked best in terms of ensuring they were full of flavour rather than putting it into the flour or just sprinkling over the pieces. I also preferred to used chicken thigh as they don’t dry out like chicken breast does. This means you end up with some random shaped nuggets with some pieces being extra crispy where the meat is thinner – but I LOVE this!
I’ve put down in the recipe the best way to coat the nuggets without getting into a frenzy. I always use one hand for the wet ingredients and the other hand for the dry ingredients. If you can get used to doing this it really does avoid messy and sticky hands! Don’t fret if you forget (I’m guilty of doing so), you can do it with both hands touching everything, I just find it’s super annoying and end up washing my hands and starting again…until I forget again… we’ve all been there…
In any case, these baked chicken nuggets are a healthy alternative to the deep fried version from our beloved golden arch fast-food chain, but they really do hit the spot when that need for junk food hits us!
Baked Chicken Nuggets
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 20-25 minutes Total time: 40-45 minutes Ingredients 4 Chicken thighs, skinless/boneless 85g Plain flour 2 Large Eggs, whisked 90g Breadcrumbs 40g Semola 3 Tbsp Vegetable oil
Seasoning 3/4 Tsp Garlic powder 1 Tbsp Paprika 3/4 Tsp Smoked paprika 1 Tsp Salt 1/4 Tsp Ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 220℃ / 200℃ and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Cut the chicken thighs into 1-2inch chunks (you should get about 5-6 nuggets per thigh depending on the size).
Combine the ingredients for the seasoning in a bowl, set aside. Prepare 3 bowls, one for the flour, one for the whisked eggs and one for the breadcrumbs and semola – if you don’t have semola you can replace it with more breadcrumbs.
Using one hand for the wet ingredients and the other for the dry, prepare the nuggets. Use your wet hand to place the chicken pieces into the seasoning and coat, add to the flour and use the dry hand to completely coat the pieces. Carefully place into the whisked egg bowl, use the wet hand to coat the chicken, allow any excess egg to drip off before placing into the breadcrumb bowl. Use your dry hand to coat both sides before placing onto the baking tray. Repeat with all the pieces. If you find that you run out of seasoning, top up the bowl accordingly – be careful not to add too much salt!
Drizzle vegetable oil over all the nuggets – this will ensure they go golden and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, no need to turn them. After 20 minutes, remove any pieces that are perfectly golden (some pieces may be smaller than others), if you find that some parts of the nuggets aren’t golden, simply drizzle a little extra oil and place back in the oven for a further 5 minutes.
Serve with oven fries, ketchup, mayo or any other dips you fancy!