Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Today was My Tiny Sous Chef’s fifth birthday! I was prepared to make her whatever she wanted – when your tiny kid loves trying grown-up food and knows unusual ingredients, you may think they sky’s the limit, right? But when I asked what she wanted for her birthday dinner, her response was perfectly 5 years old: chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. I was, admittedly, a little disappointed. But then I decided to *make* her requested meal from scratch to help “special” it up. I made a version of this mac (the basic recipe with spinach), and then I made homemade chicken nuggets. You can bake or fry these up, but we decided to fry them tonight because, BIRTHDAY. Here you go.

* 1lb boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins, cut into chunks
* 1C flour
* 2t paprika
* 2t salt
* 1/2t black pepper
* 2 large eggs
* 3/4C Panko breadcrumbs + 1/4C Italian seasoned regular breadcrumbs, plus extra just in case
* oil for frying or nonstick spray for baking (we like to use vegetable oil, sunflower oil, or grapeseed oil)

If baking, preheat the oven to 400F and spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside.

Prepare three bowls or shallow dishes. Mix together flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in one; beat the eggs in a second; combine the breadcrumbs in the third.

Coat your chicken chunks first in the flour mixture, then the eggs, then the breadcrumbs.

If baking, place the coated chicken pieces onto your prepared baking sheet, spray the tops with the nonstick spray, and bake 20 minutes, flipping them over after 10 minutes.

If frying, heat about an inch-and-a-half to two inches depth of oil in a deep pot until glistening. Carefully place your coated breaded chicken pieces into the hot oil in batches, and fry 3-4 minutes per batch.

Serve with ketchup, barbecue sauce, honey, or honey mustard for dipping. Bon apetit!


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