I don’t know why but most kids adore chicken nuggets. Is it the crunch, the taste, the shape or the dipping? I have no clue, but fact is I knew I could do better than the commercial and over-processed nuggets from the supermarkets, restaurant and fast foods (I even doubt those are actually made with chicken…).
I wanted to have them soft and juicy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, gluten-free, and mess-free to make and eat.
And bingo! This recipe has it all. And they taste so much better than the commercial ersatz.
Simple to make
These chicken nuggets don’t require special cooking skills. In fact, I usually delegate the coating to one of my kids. It keeps them busy, and involving kids in the cooking process is always a good idea.
You just need three plates:
1 plate with flour. I use whole rice flour, but wheat, spelt, buckwheat, chickpea, oat flour… they all work. Prefer the whole variety over white and refined.
1 plate with a beaten egg.
1 plate with crushed plain corn flakes previously mixed with olive oil, salt, and garlic powder.
Are plain corn flakes healthy?
Corn flakes have an unhealthy connotation due to the boxed Kellogg’s corn flakes which also contain tons of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and flavorings. In addition, corn is often associated with GMO, especially in the US.
But plain organic corn flakes are rich in fiber and provide vitamins and minerals. Although corn flakes are primarily composed of carbs and contain some natural sugars, they don’t have a high glycemic index, meaning they won’t spike your blood sugar.
Full meal or lunchbox
For dinner I like to serve these with baked veggies (whatever I have in the fridge or garden) or baked potatoes and a fresh salad, and a yoghurt-mayonnaise sauce (recipe below). For dipping they also pair well with my homemade ketchup, peanut tahini sauce, or cucumber-yogurt sauce.
Stored in the fridge, these nuggets will keep relatively crispy and can make a great lunchbox item.
These healthy chicken nuggets are:
For the nuggets:
500g/18 oz. chicken breasts, cut in nuggets
4 tbsp. flour (I use whole rice, but whole wheat, whole spelt, buckwheat, chickpea, or oat work well too)
1 large egg
3 cups* (100g) plain organic corn flakes
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. quality salt
¼ tsp. garlic powder
Optional: add spices or dried herbs of your choice like cumin, curry, mild paprika, thyme, …
For the yoghurt mayonnaise sauce**:
½ cup full-fat yoghurt
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
Salt & pepper to taste
* Unless stated differently, my recipes are measured with US measuring cups like these ones.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (356° F).
Cut the chicken in nuggets and add some salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside.
In your food processor, briefly mix 3 cups of corn flakes with 2 tbsp. olive oil, ½ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. garlic powder, and more spices if using. I blend for about 8-10 seconds, until the corn flakes are roughly crushed (see picture above).
Lay out three plates on the counter top, one filled with 4 tbsp. flour, one with a beaten egg, and one with the crushed corn flakes mix.
Now is the time to delegate to one of your kids! Roll the nuggets successively in the flour, the beaten egg, and the corn crunch. Personally I like to roll a large batch first in the flour, then I roll the same batch in the egg, and then I finish them off in the crunch. Otherwise I find myself washing off the sticky crunch after each nugget, which is a waste of time (and crunch). After the third plate, lay them out on an oven tray lined with baking paper.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the thickness of your nuggets).
Turn on the grill and broil the nuggets for a few more minutes until they start to brown on the edges (watch this step carefully!).
Serve with veggies, baked potatoes or a fresh salad.