World’s Best Chicken Bites (Nuggets)
Everyone seems to love chicken bites, nuggets, pieces, fingers, or whatever else you want to call those pieces of chicken. Sometimes they are tender and juicy, other times, dry and tasteless without their “special sauce”. Most people claim they are nothing more than delicious morsels of deep-fried chicken. My daughter is a self-proclaimed connoisseur of those delicious, over-priced, little artery-clogging morsels. Though she doesn’t eat most fast-food chicken pieces, she will order chicken fingers in Mom and Pop restaurants. Taking this as a culinary challenge, I tweaked this recipe over and over. Sometimes it was too spicy, other times too salty… sometimes the breading was too thick or it soaked up too much oil.
This final version has proven itself to be very successful and has granted me a double thumbs-up from my daughter and my wife. This is a big deal in our family. Two thumbs up is like 5 Crowns in Cooking with the Count sharing America, it’s right up there with the Holy Grail. I heard the Angels Sing! I hope you and your family enjoy them as much as my family and friends do! Bon Appétit.
- 3-4 lbs chicken breast, cut into 1 1/2″ chunks.
- 3 large organic eggs.
- 2 cups whole milk (organic is always better).
- 1 1/2 cups flour.
- 1 1/2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs.
- 4 Tablespoons powdered sugar.
- 4 teaspoons Kosher salt.
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
- 2/3 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon Montreal Chicken Seasoning.
- Your favorite cooking oil. I use peanut oil.
- Add breadcrumbs to a blender or food processor and process until very fine.
- In a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs, flour, powdered sugar, salt, pepper, chili powder, and chicken seasoning. Set aside.
- In a large ziplock bag or large bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs.
- Add chicken to the milk and egg mixture and refrigerate about one hour.
- In a large Lodge® Dutch Oven, add about 3″ of your favorite cooking oil.
- Using a cooking thermometer, heat the oil to 375 degrees over medium-high heat.
- Dredge the chicken pieces into the breadcrumb mixture and shake them off.
- Place each piece of chicken on a dry cookie sheet to absorb the mixture for about 10 minutes.
- Redeposit the chicken pieces into the breadcrumb mixture and shake off the excess.
- Depending upon the size of your Dutch Oven, place 6-12 pieces of chicken at a time. (Avoid depositing too many and lowering your cooking temperature too much.)
- Cook chicken until golden brown and remove to a cooling rack. Avoid depositing the chicken to a paper towel-lined rack. That method creates steam and softens the chicken crust.
Optional Dipping Sauces:
- Garlic Butter
- Sweet Chili Sauce
- Ranch Dressing
- Yum Yum Sauce®
- Thousand Island Dressing
- Wasabee and Soy Sauce
- Sour Cream and Dill
- Blue Cheese Dressing