Chicken nuggets are one of those easy meals that are so nice to have in the freezer, ready for a simple fries night or a quick lunch. Life with kids makes simple easy meals a necessity. For those with little ones with allergies you know how difficult it is to find safe meals like this.
I was desperate for easy finger food to add to fries night which we often have twice a month, and everything I made V didn’t like. Breaded chicken tenders were a huge no from her. I tried several chicken nugget styles and recipes. Baked just wasn’t working either, no one liked them. And then I found this recipe. I have made it from straight ground chicken, but you can start with the chicken breasts as well.
An easy alternative to the chicken nuggets you find in the store, but you actually know exactly what is in them.
18 oz boneless skinless chicken breast/ground chicken (1)
1 1/2 tsp salt (2)
3/4 tsp parsley flakes (3)
3/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp onion powder, heaping
1/4 tsp pepper, heaping
3 large eggs, beaten/flax eggs (allow to set for 5 min) (4)
1 1/2 C flour/gluten free flour (I use white rice flour)
1 1/2 tsp salt (2)
2 C deep frying oil (canola oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil etc.) (5)
- Whisk eggs together in a small bowl. Make flax eggs, if using. Allow to set for 5 min. I found the flax egg mixture was slightly too thick, add more water if needed.
- Combine flour and salt and put in a shallow bowl.
- Heat oil in a heavy-duty skillet or saucepan on medium-high heat. Set a candy thermometer in place. Keep an eye on the temperature to avoid burning your oil.
- While oil is heating, cut chicken breast into cubes and whir in a food processor until a fine paste, or use ground chicken. Combine chicken with salt, parsley, oregano, onion powder and pepper in a medium size bowl.
- Make 42 balls with the chicken mixture, about 1 Tbsp per.
- Roll ball in flour, then coat in egg, then recoat in flour. Use your fingers to press ball down to flatten into a nugget.
- Once oil is 350-365 degrees place as many nuggets into the oil as possible, frying until golden brown. Depending on depth of oil, you may need to turn halfway through. Takes approximately 7 min to fry. Use a digital meat thermometer if desired to confirm chicken is cooked fully (165 degrees).
- Remove and place on a towel lined plate or pan. Enjoy!
- Keeps in sealed container in the fridge for several days. Freezes well for easy leftovers. Reheat in the oven or microwave.
(1) Chicken: Corn Allergy – The carcass may be sprayed with citric acid or some other anti-bacterial. The poultry may be packaged on a Styrofoam tray containing a citric acid-saturated soaker pad underneath the poultry, and then wrapped with shrinkwrap or plastic wrap. A whole chicken or turkey is usually wrapped in plastic. The inside of the packaging may contain cornstarch, to keep the poultry from sticking to the packaging. More on corn free meat processing. In addition they are typically fed corn as part of their diet.
(2) Salt: Corn Allergy – Many that are allergic to corn are sensitive to iodized salt as corn is used in the processing. Sea salt is better, but some are still quite sensitive and require brand specific salt.
(3) Spices: Corn Allergy – Dried spices can be treated with a corny preservative. Penzey’s and Frontier single ingredient spices are well tolerated.
(4) Egg/Egg replacer: Corn allergy – Eggs are washed with a commercial cleaner that is full of corn products. The egg shells are porous and absorb the cleaner, so many with corn allergies have issues with eggs. Less common is to have issues with eggs due to what the chickens are eating. I have found that many of the egg replacers out there use corn starch, so beware which one you buy. Bob’s Red Mill works as a great replacer, however it has a lot of cross contamination and isn’t recommended at all with corn allergies. You could also use a flax egg as an alternative.
(5) Vegetable oil: Corn Allergy – Don’t use “vegetable oil” as it can be corn or soy oil. Canola oil is one of the worst oils for cross contamination with corn. Olive oil isn’t always 100% olive oil either, so if you are sensitive, be careful. If bottled in plastic, the bottles can be corn-derived. The oils can be rendered corny during refining. Need to determine what is used during the extraction process (alcohol or other medium?), and if any defoaming agents are used. Citric acid can be used as a degummer as well in safflower, sunflower, canola (rapeseed), soy, and flax oil.