Baked chicken nuggets are quick and easy to make, so they're perfect for dinner when you have "no time for dinner".
You know what I don't get? Not having time for dinner. What has changed so much that people now don't have the time for dinner? Make time. My family always had dinner together, it may have been Shake-n-bake with frozen Green Giant veggies, but it was time spent as a family at the supper table. I may not be at home with my father making me eat what's put in front of me, but I still serve dinner at the dinner table almost every night. No TV, no phones, no games. Dinner. Like baked chicken nuggets.
And what's with this not having the time for it? Doesn't it take time to call your order in and then wait for it to be delivered or go pick it up? (Unless they have invented those Jetson's instant dinner transporters and I don't know it yet...) I understand that every now and then it is late, and grabbing something quick on the way home is a solution, but I really believe in the quality time spent in the kitchen and around the dinner table.
Sure, Handsome may sigh every time I ask him to help in the kitchen, but its time we get to spend together. We're not staring at the boob tube, not communicating or interacting. It's time together in our tiny little cramped kitchen, and it's time that I love.
Baked Chicken Nuggets
Discovered on Tracy's Culinary Adventures, from America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 ½ lb chicken tenderloins (or boneless, skinless breasts cut into ¾-inch strips - or into small 1 to 2 inch nuggets)
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and spray the rack with cooking spray.
Combine the breadcrumbs and canola oil in a 12-inch skillet, and cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring almost constantly, until golden brown.
Transfer the breadcrumbs to a wide, shallow dish and set aside to cool. Mix the flour, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper together in a second wide and shallow dish. Add the egg whites, water, Dijon mustard and thyme to a third dish and whisk vigorously until the egg whites are broken up and the mixture is foamy.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture (shaking to remove excess) then dip in the egg whites coating both sides completely. Finally, place in the toasted breadcrumbs, turning to coat both sides. Transfer to the wire rack and repeat with all chicken.
Spray the chicken lightly with cooking spray then bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
These baked chicken nuggets were surprisingly delicious!
I was impatient while toasting the panko, wondering if it would really make a difference or if it was just a waste of a step, but every step is worth it. These are crunchy, moist, baked deliciousness. (Let me just say these were so tasty I don't even remember what - if anything - I served as the side dish).
I still don't understand it. I didn't have a job, I ran a full time business with no domestic help, children involved in after-school activities, sang in the church choir, gave weekend 2-day seminars to junior highs and their parents seven times a year, and still had a sit-down dinner almost every night. We didn't always get to dawdle but we connected, AND, we saved a bundle of money by not buying prepared meals (which is why, I think, people today are having so much trouble paying their regular bills. "Stop eating out," is the first thing a bank will tell you when you're in financial trouble. Not preparing your own meals sucks the life out of a budget.) I would double the portions and create our own TV dinners for weekend potlucks when I couldn't be home. When my husband died, my children were in their early teens so I know all about single parenting, and we still had our nightly meal at the table to keep in touch with each other, until college. I'll never understand it. You can save so much money and it just doesn't take that much longer to fix a meal. [Sorry. Getting off soapbox.]
This is a wonderful recipe -- and, definitely kid friendly. Do you absolutely have to have the temp at 475F? Just curious. Come visit when you can and enter the give-away!
Tanya C. says
I feel the same way about dinner! Even if I am exhausted I can always find something to whip up. On those days, we eat breakfast for dinner, or something else easy. We still do eat out occasionally. Usually pizza, because for some strange reason my boys do not like homemade pizza. That's okay it means more for DH & I! I use panko to make nuggets all the time, but have never toasted the panko. I am excited to try this next time!
Blog is the New Black says
Funny you should say that, as I skipped dinner last night! Only because I snacked too much and then fell asleep on the couch prematurely... but normally all I can do is think about dinner! Starting as soon as my day wakes up? What do you mean no time?! Ha!
I couldn't agree with you more. In my house, you sit down and you eat dinner as a family. no tv, no cell phones, no phone calls...just you and the people you love sharing a meal and stories about your day. I don't get the whole "I don't have time for dinner" thing either, Kita. I really don't. I agree that you should MAKE time.
Anyways, your nuggets look like a great meal. I have always been a fan of foods you can eat with your fingers. It is the child in me, hehe 😉
Here, Here! It amazes me how many people don't have time. Really?! Don't buy it! We have dinner almost every night around the table. And if someone has to leave early for something, or gets home later - we try to sit around the table with them while they eat - even if we can't always eat together. Great post. And the chicken is awesome too!
I love family dinners. We still stick to the ritual and my oldest child is 20. It is some of the best time spent together. Not always easy, but so worth it. My family would love these chicken nuggets. Great post.
Wow your nuggets looks so crispy and perfect! I also love that these were baked 🙂 I need to try this recipe 🙂
Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen says
Uh oh, am I in trouble? I usually get home from work around 8, hit the gym and then have toast for dinner. At least I eat the toast at the table, while I check my e-mail... Last night I had gelato for dinner 🙂 Maybe it's okay because I'm just feeding me?
Great looking nuggets, I love nuggets and even have panko!
Chicken nuggets are on my my favorite childhood meals! I think it's time for me to drum up some old memories and make some of these yummy nuggets!
Dinner is High Priority in our house. It's the time of day everyone looks forward to.
The Harried Cook says
I totally agree! I try my best to have a sit down dinner every night with my family. It takes some hard selling sometimes, but it's so totally worth it! These nuggets look so good. I am guilty of sometimes buying the frozen nuggets, but I make nuggets at home whenever I can. They're SO many times tastier and healthier! I've never tried baking them though, and that makes it sound even better! Thank you for sharing this 🙂
I hear you. I guess how you spend time for dinner is the real debate. Is it having time to make dinner? Is it having time to sit down and share dinner? If you make dinner but you eat it together in front of the tv does it count? We make dinner regularly, but we don't sit down and converse while we eat it. We converse while we make it. Either way - I think you are right. I, for one, want to spend less time in front of the tv in general.
Back when I lived at home, my parents would always force us to sit down together and eat at the dinner table every night. Since having moved out, I'm usually lazy now and just eat on my bed while surfing the web/watching TV, but I do try to eat with either a roommate or the bf. Great job on the chicken nuggets! I will have to try this recipe.
Hello! Do I have to use the Dijon mustard? We don't like it, even if it's just a little bit. Can I just leave it out? Or what could I use instead? Thanks for any suggestions! I am a newbie to cooking! 😉
No you don't have to use the Dijon. You could use ranch dressing or plain mustard if you like that instead. It won't make too much of a difference to the over all flavor. I was just thinking about these baked little guys the other day. They really are yummy. Don't skimp on the toasting of the panko - it makes a huge difference. Hope these turn out for you! 🙂
Reply to Kita- thanks for your answer and sorry I forgot to reply sooner. I saved this page so I could reply. They did turn out and they were good! I did get the crumbs a little too dark, but we still liked them. I will do them again. Thanks again, Cari