We used to buy frozen chicken nuggets. The last time was over a decade ago. Then, we learned how to make them with real chicken meat. We make them plain or dressed up like these herbed chicken nuggets.
What’s the objection against commercial chicken nuggets? If you cut one and look closely at the interior, you will discover that there are no visible meat fibers in them. That’s because they aren’t chicken fillet cubes coated in crumbs and pre-fried for your convenience.
We’ve often heard it said that commercial chicken nuggets are among the most disgusting things we can ever put in our body. There are documentaries and Youtube videos about how they are made. “Obscenely gross and borderline alien” says the caption on one of them. Another claims there is less than 50% chicken in them.
But you don’t have to quit eating chicken nuggets just because the commercial stuff is, at best, shady. It is easy to make your own chicken nuggets with 100% chicken meat.
My younger daughter, Alex, made these herbed chicken nuggets which she served over a simple bacon-and-herb pasta. She used oregano and basil for the nuggets. Feel free to experiment with other herb combinations. I especially like tarragon with chicken.
We use panko (Japanese bread crumbs) at home; we love the texture and extra crispiness. You can, of course, use regular bread crumbs. Make sure though that they weren’t processed from sweet bread as that will ruin the flavor of your herbed chicken nuggets.
Pat the chicken fillets dry with paper towels. Cut into one-and-a-half-inch cubes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Place the chicken in resealable bag. Add the flour. Seal and shake to coat each piece. Discard any excess flour.
Dip each chicken cube in beaten egg then roll in the panko-herb mixture.
Heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of two inches. Over medium heat, fry the breaded chicken in batches until golden brown.
Serve the herbed chicken nuggets by themselves, with rice, bread or pasta.