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Kid-friendly healthy recipe: ultra-crispy baked chicken nuggets

Sarah Mahoney | April 21, 2020

Ultra-crispy baked chicken nuggets

With so many families staying home right now, prioritizing healthy eating can seem more challenging than ever. Fast and easy doesn’t always translate to healthy. Added with the extra challenge of pleasing young palates, the urge to give in to pizza or takeout is hard to resist.

When I came across a recipe that promised healthier chicken nuggets with just three ingredients, I thought it was too good to be true. In one way, it was. Potato chips ended up being one of the ingredients, but let’s face it—anything without extra oil, salt or the golden arches is a win. If you don’t have chips on hand, you can substitute corn flakes instead.

To get my daughter’s buy-in to try something new, I had her help prepare the meal. While I cut I up the chicken, she crushed the chips for the coating. Not surprisingly, she completed her task with zeal (and with more than a few chips on the floor!). I set up two shallow bowls, one with the whisked eggs and one with the crushed chips. I prepped a baking sheet with parchment paper and showed her how to dip with one hand and coat with the other. Before long, we had a full sheet of nuggets and popped them in the oven to bake. Note: it took us three sheets to use up all of our chicken.

After about 12 minutes, I flipped the nuggets and let them cook for eight more minutes. I served them with steamed broccoli and fresh strawberries to round out the meal. Finally, it was time to taste.

Verbatim feedback: “Mmmmmm, Mommy, these are so good! They are so ‘chickeny.’” My husband chimed in with his approval and I was pleasantly surprised with how crispy they turned out. I used plain chips to appeal to the little one, but I imagine using a bolder flavor would make these nuggets even more delicious—plus adding flavor eliminates the need for extra dipping sauces.

Overall, these nuggets were a winner and a fun activity to do together while we practice social distancing.

TIMESAVER TIP: prep your chicken and chips in advance and store in air-tight containers or bags. When it’s time for dinner, you’ll just need to assemble and bake!

Ultra-crispy baked chicken nuggets

Ultra-crispy baked chicken nuggets (serves about 4)

INGREDIENTS

1 (8.5 oz) bag of kettle-style potato chips or corn flakes

1.5 lbs. of skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins cut into bite-size pieces

2 eggs

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. Add chips to a food processor and pulse until they are finely crumbled. You can also use a rolling pin or your hands to smash up the chips while they are still in the bag. Transfer your chips to a small bowl.
  3. Whisk the eggs in separate small bowl.
  4. Assemble your nuggets by dipping them first in the egg mixture and then coating them with the chips. Use your right hand to dip in the egg and your left hand to coat and transfer to the baking sheet. This helps keep the chips from sticking to your hands. Repeat until your tray is full.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes or until the nuggets are golden. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip the nuggets. Cook the nuggets for 8 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Internal temperature should be at least 165°F and the chicken should no longer be pink. If you use a wire rack instead of parchment paper, you will not need to flip your nuggets.
  6. Remove from the oven and serve warm!

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven.

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