There is something about chicken nuggets that make my children’s mouth water, whether the frozen variety cooked in the toaster oven or the kind fresh out of the deep-fat fryer at our favorite fast food restaurant.
Are they on the list of healthy-meals at the Kocsis household though? Not so much.
However, earlier this week I made a delicious breaded and baked chicken nugget that knocked my boys’ socks right off! I know it is a good meal when there are no leftovers, when they ask for more and I have to say “Sorry, they are all gone.”, when I think ‘We are definitely doing these again’!
Healthy & Yummy Chicken Nuggets
3-4 thick slices bread
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (you can use other varieties too, Parmesan, pepper jack, asiago, whatever suits your fancy)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon water
4 large (about 2 pounds) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into roughly 1-inch pieces
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place an oven proof cooling rack on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. The cooling rack concept will allow the chicken to cook all around without sticking to the pan and not requiring a chicken-flip mid bake.
In a food processor or blender, place the slices of bread and pulse until crumbs form. (We used wheat bread to be healthy plus one stale hot dog bun that had sadly not been eaten before it’s Freshness date. This is perfect for the heals of the loaf as well.) Add the basil, oregano and cheese and pulse until combined. Side note, fresh spices are best but basil and oregano from your spice rack will work as well! Pour the bread crumbs into a ziplock back or shallow bowl, whichever you prefer.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, egg whites and water until well combined. Pat the chicken cubes dry with a paper towel. Toss the chicken cubes in the egg white/olive oil mixture before taking a few of them at a time and placing them in the bread crumb mixture to coat evenly. If using a ziplock bag give it a good shake. If you are using a dish roll bread in crumbs until they are evenly coated.
Place the coated chicken nuggets on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 13 minutes or until cooked through (the exact time will depend on the size of the chicken pieces). Serve immediately.
Serve with your favorite dip, BBQ sauce, ketchup or ranch dressing. Get ready to hear, “Mmmmmmm, this is good. Can I have some more?”