I have been making these chicken nuggets for one of my clients for quite some time now, and have never posted a picture of them, because, quite frankly, I thought they were boring and would not look good on my Instagram feed. Much to my surprise, these little guys got quite a reaction when I posted the pic yesterday and garnered several requests for the recipe.
This is a quick and simple recipe to prepare, but there are some key ingredients that make these nuggets special.
1) Use organic, air-chilled, boneless-skinless chicken breasts. I love the ones sold at Whole Foods.
2) I use Gillians Allergen Free Breadcrumbs. These used to be an easy find at Publix and Whole Foods, but the stores I frequent have stopped selling them. My client orders them by the case off of Amazon, but if you don't need a case, just ask your supermarket manager if they can stock them. The texture on these is very fine and they adhere well to the chicken. They also have a slightly sweet taste, which is why I think the kiddos love them so much.
3) If you do not own an EVO sprayer, you are missing out on one of my favorite kitchen tools. It is perfect for spritzing on an even coat of your favorite oil on to the surface of the chicken. This allows for an evenly crisp texture when baked. This 8 oz. set of two sprayers is available at Wall-Mart, Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond.
Gluten-Free, Baked Chicken Nuggets:
Preheat oven to 350 convention or 400 deg F for non-convection
Line a sheet pan with non-stick foil
2 whole organic, air-chilled, boneless/skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup Gillians allergen free breadcrumbs
EVO sprayer filled with extra virgin olive oil
1-Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and cut into 1 inch nuggets. Place into a large bowl and sprit with olive oil, stirring to make sure all pieces are hit with a light coating of the oil.
2-Sprinkle salt and paprika over chicken and used clean or gloved hands to massage the salt and paprika into the chicken. Make sure that all pieces are covered with the paprika, adding more as necessary to ensure complete coverage.
3-Add in the breadcrumbs and us hands to evenly coat all pieces of chicken. Make sure that all pieces are evenly coated and sprinkle in more breadcrumbs as necessary.
4-Spray the sheet pan with a coating of oil. Arrange the coated nuggets on the foil-lined sheet pan, making sure that the pieces do not touch. If your pan is too crowded, the nuggets will steam and not get crispy, so get another pan if necessary. Spritz the nuggets with more oil. Do not saturate, just a nice even coating.
5-Bake the nuggets for 12-15 minutes, until browned and crispy. Use an instant read thermometer to make sure the internal temperature has reached 165 deg.
These are best when served immediately, but can be re-heated in a toaster oven or conventional oven. Reheating in the microwave is not recommended.