A real chicken nugget, at least in the fast food context, is not just a small solid piece of chicken. It's more of a deep-fried, mostly-chicken sausage patty, fabricated from various parts of the bird, such as every legal part. But I like to use chicken thighs.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
5 mins
additional:
1 hr 15 mins
total:
1 hr 50 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
24 nuggets
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
Starch Coating:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place chicken thighs in bowl of a food processor. Add breadcrumbs, kosher salt, paprika, pepper, seafood seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Drizzle in hot sauce and melted butter. Pulse on and off until mixture becomes a coarse paste with very few big chunks, about 18 pulses.

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  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicon mat. Scoop out 24 portions of the chicken mixture with a small ice-cream scoop and place on mat. Cover sheet with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. (Or place pan in freezer for 15 minutes.)

  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Place cornstarch, self-rising flour, and salt into a quart-size zip-top plastic bag. Shake bag to mix thoroughly. Place 3 or 4 scoops of chilled chicken mixture into the bag; shake gently to coat and place on parchment-lined pan. Repeat with the rest of the nuggets. Shape them into flattened ovals, about 5/8-inch thick. Refrigerate pan overnight or until starch on surface is absorbed, flipping over once while they're in the fridge.

  • Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

  • Fry nuggets in batches for 1 minute. Drain on a rack over a baking sheet; chill about 1 hour or until you're ready to serve them.

  • Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Fry the nuggets a second time in batches for 2 minutes. Drain on rack.

Tips

Chef's Notes:

The exact cook time of the nuggets depends on the size and shape.

I like to serve these with celery sticks and a bowl of blue cheese dressing mixed with Frank's hot sauce.

Nutrition Facts

228 calories; protein 13.2g 26% DV; carbohydrates 17.9g 6% DV; fat 11.1g 17% DV; cholesterol 56.8mg 19% DV; sodium 766.5mg 31% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (8)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/11/2017
These were awesome. I had to make some slight adjustments (my kids can't tolerate anything too salty or spicy, but they love chicken nuggets). I cut the salt back a little, and didn't put the spices or hot sauce directly in the nugget. Instead I used Chef Johns buffalo wing sauce (which is amazing) as a dipping sauce for the adults. Also, I didn't read the recipe ahead of time all the way through so I didn't realize how long they need to refrigerate, I used the suggestion of cutting down the time by putting them in the freezer and it worked perfectly. I will be making these again, but this time will plan ahead! Read More
(7)
10 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 8
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
02/10/2017
These were awesome. I had to make some slight adjustments (my kids can't tolerate anything too salty or spicy, but they love chicken nuggets). I cut the salt back a little, and didn't put the spices or hot sauce directly in the nugget. Instead I used Chef Johns buffalo wing sauce (which is amazing) as a dipping sauce for the adults. Also, I didn't read the recipe ahead of time all the way through so I didn't realize how long they need to refrigerate, I used the suggestion of cutting down the time by putting them in the freezer and it worked perfectly. I will be making these again, but this time will plan ahead! Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
02/03/2017
Please try. Loved it. Used breast. Redoing tomorrow kids want them Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
02/07/2017
Very good! I will make again I made the recipe as written. We used BBQ sauce for dipping. I have some duck in the freezer to use. I'm wondering if I can make duck nuggets....hmmmm... Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/19/2017
This was so easy and my guests loved them. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
04/12/2020
These are wonderfu, made them few times already, the whole family love them! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
10/13/2020
My entire family agreed that the Old Bay seasoning kind of took over the goodness of these nuggets. I'll make them again but without the Old Bay. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
10/07/2020
These were delicious, and relatively simple to make, but there's a hidden caveat in that "relative." The amount of time involved is in my opinion prohibitive in contrast to vastly more simple batter and fry recipes with spiced tampuras, beer batters, crumb coating of some kind etc. While the taste is great, it's not so much better then the much faster alternatives. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
09/05/2020
I did not fry these. I just scooped the mix with a 2-tb measure, cooled 20 minutes, and rolled half in corn flake crumbs, and left the other plain. Baked 15 minutes on a greased pan and we loved them! Read More
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