Ultimate Baked Chicken Nuggets

Posted by    |  January 27, 2010  |  Filed under: Recipes


After about 18 months of experimenting, I finally got the baked chicken nuggets of my dreams.  They’re crunchy  and just fantastic.  I integrated the technique I use for Parmesan Grouper with what I had already been doing for these nuggets (which were good but still not perfect).  I now think they’re perfect, and that’s something I’d only say about, maybe 1 in 100 recipes.

When prepping the chicken, you’re looking for decent sized chunks.  You can go as big as “chicken-finger sized.  Oh heck, you could even use this same technique to bread a whole breast (just pound the thicker part down a little so that the thinner end doesn’t dry out while the thicker end cooks).  You end up with a problem when the chunks are too small- the meat will cook before the breading has a chance to brown.  If the breading is browning too much but the meat isn’t done, just turn the heat down by 25-degrees..

Approximately four boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into uniform two-bite chunks.

For breading
1 cup grated Parmagiano Reggiano
1 cup panko bread crumbs (usually found in Asian aisle of grocery store)
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For coating process
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
2 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin not required)

Preheat oven to 450-degrees

Bread the chicken

  1. With a whisk, emulsify the oil with the egg.
  2. Mix the breading ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Pat chicken chunks dry with a paper towel.
  4. Dredge a chunk of chicken in flour, shake off excess.  Now dip it in the egg, again allowing the excess to drip off.  Roll it in the breading mixture to coat.023
  5. Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.041


  1. Bake in oven until desired doneness, about 12-15 minutes.

Off Script…

Add dried herbs such as oregano, basil, rosemary or tarragon to the breading mixture.  Add porcini or shitake mushroom powder to the breading (combined with the parmesan, it’s almost like a natural form of  MSG.  Add some kick by adding pepper flakes to the breading.

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