Recipe: Homemade Chicken Nuggets (Dinosaur Shapes)
One of the best friends to have as a mom is a friend who doesn’t yet have kids of their own—they spoil yours rotten. My best friend has never missed an opportunity to spoil my son; from buying him his favorite shark house slippers to a ball pit of which he can’t seem to stay out. Her latest gift was a set of dinosaur cookie cutters with specific instructions: “Make my nephew homemade chicken nuggets!” Well, I guess I had no choice but to get in the kitchen and hope they turned out right.
I’m not going to lie, before now I’d never made chicken nuggets at home. And, yet somehow I was magically supposed to make them look like dinosaurs, too? Something that was even sadder was that I wasn’t even sure what a non-fast-food chicken nugget was supposed to look like on the inside.
I tried out different techniques and failed many times but I finally found a process that rendered dinosaur-ish chicken nuggets. Thankfully, my son loved them. I definitely had a proud mommy moment watching him play with the nuggets before dunking them in sauce and eating.
I hope you and your little ones enjoy this homemade chicken nugget recipe, minus the fails.
|Prep Time||45 min|
|Cook Time||35 min|
nuggets (depending on shape/thickness)
- 1/2 pound ground chicken
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
- 1 egg
- salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder (season to taste)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, egg, parmesan cheese, seasonings, and 1/2 cup of Italian breadcrumbs.
- In a separate bowl, mix remaining breadcrumbs with melted butter, coating breadcrumbs evenly with butter.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Take small portions of ground chicken mixture and flatten to approximately 1/4-inch thickness (if using cookie cutters for shapes).
- Place flattened ground chicken on parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Use cookie cutter on mixture but do not remove. Repeat steps 4-6 until all mixture/cookie cutters have been used.
- Place baking sheet lined with nuggets and cookie cutters in the freezer for 30 minutes or until slightly firm.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Remove excess mixture from around cookie cutters. Save for later or discard.
- Remove cookie cutters from nuggets. They should now be firm enough to handle and hold shape.
- Coat each nugget in buttered breadcrumbs and place on a nonstick, oven-safe wire rack and rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake nuggets for 30-35 minutes or—depending on thickness—until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
- Let cool and serve with dipping sauce.
Note: I’m a germaphobe when it comes to the handling of raw meat. Please be sure to take the necessary steps to sanitize all utensils, containers, countertops, and hands. I have even designated this set of dinosaur cookie cutters for meat only; we have another set for actual cookies.
Also, to save time in the future, try prepping ground chicken mixture beforehand and cutting into shapes and freezing. Let thaw slightly in the refrigerator for approximately two hours before coating in breadcrumbs and baking.