Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Homemade Chicken Nuggets are crispy, crunchy, and kid approved! They are easy to make and so much better than any restaurant or fast food joint (except Chick-fil-A)!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

We love chicken nuggets at our house and my boys love Homemade Chicken Nuggets more than most things I make! If I ask them what they want for dinner you can bet the boys will request homemade nuggets. They are easy to do but a little bit of work- but the end result is delicious!

This recipe makes a lot of nuggets! I haven’t really taken the time to count each nugget every time I make these but I think its safe to say that you will get close to 60, maybe more, maybe less depending on the size that you cut your chicken pieces. I cut mine into bite sized pieces, about 1 inch at the largest- you can see in the pic below. You can freeze any leftovers so it is nice to make a bunch then have them on hand for busy nights!

The great thing about these Homemade Chicken Nuggets is that you can bake them or fry them and they are delicious both ways. The only real difference is the crunchiness and crispness of the breading on the nugget. They are both crispy and crunchy, the baked nuggets just have a bit of a softer crunch! My boys had no clue when I baked them, so if you prefer them baked go for it!

The Secret to Homemade Chicken Nuggets

The secret to getting your nuggets with a thick delicious crispy, crunchy breading is that you have to double bread them! Remember when I said these are a little bit of work? They are, but the double breading is worth it. I make these so much that I have them down and it takes me no time at all now!

Chicken pieces

You will need 3 larger bowls, for the breading process. One bowl will have some beaten eggs. Then the other 2 bowls will hold the flour and breading mixture.

I beat my eggs in one bowl with a little season salt. Then I mix up my flour breading mixture in one bowl, and then split it in half so it is in 2 bowls. This helps the breading the process go a bit quicker!

This can get a little messy and I have tried putting the chicken in zip top bags and shaking the chicken to avoid touching the eggs and making a mess, but it just doesn’t work as good. The breading doesn’t get as evenly coated and so the only real way to get the breading perfectly on the chicken is to get in there with your hands, and yes they will get messy!

Making the Homemade Chicken Nuggets

First, you will put the chicken in the beaten eggs, then mix them around to make sure they are evenly coated. Then taking handfuls at a time, take the egg coated chicken and put it into the flour mixture in one of your bowls. Toss them around in the flour making sure they are evenly coated.

Then you will repeat the process. Taking the just breaded pieces, dipping them back in the eggs, then into the flour breading mixture. Make sure they are all coated pretty well. I try and do the second breading in smaller batches, working with handfuls at a time so I can make sure they get coated well. Then just place them on a plate when they have all been breaded twice.

Cooking Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Now time for baking or frying. They are both delicious- you can even try half fried and half baked your first time to see which you prefer or if you can even tell a difference.

BAKING: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the nuggets on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn over each chicken nugget and bake for an additional 5-8 minutes, until they are done to your liking or until they reach 165 degree internal temperature. Lightly salt them if desired after baking.

Homemade (Baked) Chicken Nuggets
Baked chicken nuggets- crispy and delicious!

FRYING: In a medium sized skillet, pour canola oil (about 2 inches deep) and heat over medium heat. Wait for the oil to get hot enough before frying. You will know it is hot enough when you sprinkle a few drops of water in the oil and it sizzles. Place some nuggets in the hot oil, and watch them closely, turning each nugget so all sides get cooked evenly.

You will have to turn them pretty fast the first time, then keep turning them until golden brown and are done to your liking or until they reach 165 degree internal temperature.

My nuggets usually cook in a few minutes so watch them closely. You will get into rhythm of turning them when frying- don’t panic if it seems stressful the first few batches.

Don’t overcrowd the pan or the nuggets will not cook evenly or get crispy enough. If the nuggets cook too fast where the breading is done before the inside, remove your skillet from the heat, turn your heat down and wait a few minutes then put the skillet back on the heat and try it again.

Once the nuggets are done, pull them out of the hot oil (a slotted spoon works fast and easy for this and drains the oil off them), then place them on some paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Salt them lightly (immediately) after taking them out of the oil.

Homade (Fried) chicken Nuggets
Fried Nuggets!

JUST A NOTE: You may notice as you are frying the nuggets in batches, the nuggets that are breaded and sitting in the bowl waiting to be fried may start to look like the breading is getting soaked through. This is just fine and trust me they fry up delicious. Just toss them in some more of the flour mixture if you feel like the breading is coming off or soaking in to much.

Freezing Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Here are few options for freezing your nuggets:

  1. You can freeze your fully cooked nuggets and reheat them in the oven, frozen, at 400 degrees when you are ready. They do tend to be a little on the dry side if overbaked but are still yummy.
  2. The second option is to do a flash fry on the nuggets. This is where you take the nuggets and quickly fry them so they get crispy but not fully cooked, then let them cool before freezing them. When you are ready to bake them, place them (frozen) in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes (turn them over half way through baking) or until they are done to your liking and reach 165 degree internal temperature.

These nuggets are delicious and you will love them! We make some homemade fry sauce (just some mayo and ketchup mixed together- we like more mayo to ketchup ratio) to dip them in, or ranch dressing. We usually don’t eat them with anything because we love the nuggets just on their own!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets are crispy, crunchy, and kid approved! They are easy to make and so much better than any restaurant or fast food joint (except Chick-fil-A)!

For a delicious twist on these Homemade Chicken Nuggets, you can make them into boneless buffalo wings (really nuggets are boneless wings). Toss the Homemade Chicken Nuggets in your favorite Buffalo sauce or try my Parmesan Garlic Chicken Wing sauce!

These are some of the things I use to make my Homemade Chicken Nuggets!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

These Homemade Chicken Nuggets are crispy and crunchy and a family favorite. You can bake or fry them and even freeze them for later.
Make about 60 nuggets

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast, cut up into bite sized pieces see photo above for the size I cut them into
  • 6 eggs beaten, with 1 tsp season salt added

Flour Mixture for Breading

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups cornstarch
  • 3 1/2 tbsp season salt, more or less to taste see notes before adding this
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder necessary but doesn't add heat
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, or more to taste see notes
  • canola oil for frying

Instructions

  • Beat your eggs in one large bowl and add the season salt.
  • In a large bowl add your breading mixture together. We like our breading a bit on the saltier side, so if you are unsure on how you will like it, start out with half of the season salt (1 1/2 tbsp.) Mix all the ingredients together and taste it (yes taste the flour mixture). Add more season salt as needed. Keep in mind that this will go on chicken that will effect the flavor a bit- the chicken will add more substance so the salty taste you taste in the flour won't be as strong once it's on the chicken- don't over do the salt, just maybe a bit more than you think you need.
  • Divide the flour mixture into 2 large bowls.
  • Take the chicken pieces and put them in the beaten eggs, mixing it around so all the chicken pieces are evenly coated in egg.
  • Working in batches, take handfuls of the egg covered chicken pieces and place them in the flour mixture, tossing them to make sure they are evenly coated. Continue until all chicken pieces are coated in the eggs and then in the breading mixture. If there is any breading flour mixture left in the bowl, add it to the second bowl of unused breading.
  • Repeat the breading a second time. Working in batches, take the just breaded nuggets and dip them back in the egg, making sure they are evenly coated. Work in smaller batches this time and don't let your chicken pieces sit in the egg too long or the first breading will fall off. Then take them and put them in the unused flour bowl, making sure they are evenly coated. Place the double breaded nuggets on a plate.

FRYING THE NUGGETS

  • In a medium sized skillet, pour canola oil (about 2 inches deep) and heat over medium heat. Wait for the oil to get hot enough before frying. You will know it is hot enough when you sprinkle a few drops of water in the oil and it sizzles. Place some nuggets in the hot oil, and watch them closely, turning each nugget so all sides get cooked evenly. You will have to turn them pretty fast the first time, then keep turning them until golden brown and are done to your liking or until they reach 165 degree internal temperature. My nuggets usually cook in a few minutes so watch them closely. You will get into rhythm of turning them when frying- don't panic if it seems stressful the first few batches. Don't overcrowd the pan or the nuggets will not cook evenly or get crispy enough. Once the nuggets are done, pull them out of the hot oil (a slotted spoon works fast and easy for this and drains the oil off them), then place them on some paper towels to soak up the excess oil, and salt them lightly (immediately) after taking them out of the oil.

BAKING THE NUGGETS

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the nuggets on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn over each chicken nuggets and bake for an additional 5-8 minutes, until they are done to your liking or until they reach 165 degree internal temperature.

FREEZING THE NUGGETS

  • You can freeze your fully cooked nuggets and reheat them in the oven, frozen, at 400 degrees when you are ready. They do tend to be a little on the dry side if overbaked but are still yummy.
    The second option is to do a flash fry on the nuggets. This is where you take the nuggets and quickly fry them so they get crispy but not fully cooked, then let them cool before freezing them. When you are ready to bake them, place them (frozen) in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes (turn them over half way through baking) or until they are done to your liking and reach 165 degree internal temperature.

Notes

You may notice as you are frying the nuggets in batches, the nuggets that are breaded and sitting in the bowl waiting to be fried may start to look like the breading is getting soaked through. This is just fine and trust me they fry up delicious. Just toss them in some more of the flour mixture if you feel like the breading is coming off or soaking in.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.