Who likes soggy chicken nuggets? Nobody. Greasy chicken nuggets? Nope. How about nuggets with a mysterious chicken like substance? Absolutely no. Our Crispy Baked Chicken Nuggets are made with simple ingredients and 100% chicken inside. Crispy baked breading and tender, juicy, flavorful chicken on the inside. Toasted panko bread crumbs give our baked chicken nuggets the perfect coating. Our recipe is also a great way to cook chicken tenders or cutlets. Oh and pickle juice. What?
Crispy Baked Chicken Nuggets
Ok, so panko bread crumbs not really a secret. But we have another trick we used to make these baked chicken nuggets so good.
Yep, dill pickle juice.
Somewhere on the world wide food web, we saw chicken fryer parts brined overnight in a pickle juice based marinade. You had me at pickle juice. We modified it to a much smaller scale for our nuggets.
We mixed the pickle juice with a little oil and seasonings. Covered the chicken nugget pieces well and sealed them up tight for an overnight stay in the fridge. (You don't have to wait overnight, but I would suggest at least 3 hours for the best flavor.)
So what does the pickle juice do? It tenderizes the chicken and makes the baked chicken nuggets extra juicy. You get just a hint of the tangy flavor, but trust me, it isn't overpowering.
Then we set up our little coating station. First dip is into the flour mix. Then a bath in eggs. Finally a toss into the cheese and toasted bread crumb mix.
Bake on a wire cooking racks if possible to ensure maximum crisp on all sides of your baked nuggets. Turn the nuggets half way through the cooking time.
Serve as a kid-friendly lunch. Or, this would be great for appetizers with several different sauces.
Or do what we did, serve it up with some classic sides and turn it into a weeknight meal. So good!
Recipes the Kids will Dig:
Crispy Baked Chicken Nuggets
For the Chicken
- Combine the pickle juice, oil, black pepper, garlic powder, salt and seasoning blend. Pour it over the chicken pieces, seal and refrigerate from 3 hours to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 450. Spray a baking sheet well with cooking spray. Evenly spread the panko bread crumbs onto the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven while the oven is preheating. Watch them carefully and remove when the crumbs are golden, about 5 - 7 minutes. Let the crumbs cool, then pour into a shallow bowl and set aside.
- Spray a large wire rack lightly with cooking spray, set aside.
- In one shallow bowl, combine flour with ½ teaspoon salt, the paprika and onion powder. Stir to combine well. In another shallow bowl, beat two eggs until well beaten.
- In the bread crumb bowl, stir together the crumbs with the parmesan cheese.
- Dip each piece of chicken first into the flour mixture. Shake to remove excess coating. Then dip into the eggs, shaking to remove the extra egg. Then coat in the panko mixture.
- Place the coated chicken onto the wire rack. Bake for 8 minutes, then flip the nuggets and bake for an additional 8 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside.