July 1, 2012

Crunchy Chicken Nuggets (or Tenders)

I am a sucker for anything crunchy, salty, and FRIED. I will eat fried chicken in all its wonderful fattening forms, but the chicken tender is my favorite. I love classic fried chicken, don't get me wrong, but its nice sometimes not to deal with the bones, tendons, and as I like to call them, "funky bits". Besides, these are easier, faster, and more kid-friendly. This is one of our family's favorite things, and we eat them a few times a month, I must admit. Stephen gets credit for the actual work this time, as I am still stuck in here eating ice chips. Sigh.

Crunchy Chicken Nuggets
Printable Recipe

1 package boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders, cut into large chunks (or tenders!)
1-2 cups buttermilk
seasoned salt
1 cup cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tb seasoned salt
slightly heaped 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 egg WHITES, whipped with fork a bit till they're a little frothy
peanut oil for frying (you can use veggie or other oil, but this is our favorite)

Place chicken in a tupperware, bowl, or large plastic bag. Almost cover with buttermilk. Shake seasoned salt over top.
(This part really isn't that specific, I've never oversalted it and undersalting doesn't matter.) Stir chicken, salt, and buttermilk a few times till salt is mixed in and all chicken is coated. Let marinate 15-45 minutes. Rinse off excess buttermilk mixture and pat chicken pieces dry with paper towels.
Mix cornstarch, 1 Tb seasoned salt, baking soda and cayenne in medium bowl with fork. (Will not be spicy, I promise, but if you're worried, skip the cayenne!)

Heat oil (about an inch deep) in large pot or higher-sided pan to medium-high. I don't have a temp but I have a pretty good description :) Dip each piece of chicken in lightly beaten egg whites, then in cornstarch mixture till well coated. Test heated oil with one piece of chicken: if it sizzles and bubbles but stays white, you're good to go. If it quickly starts turning gold, it is too hot, if it barely bubbles and sizzles, it is not hot enough. Fry about half of the chicken at a time, in two batches, turning when underside is golden brown. When 2nd side is golden brown, remove and place on paper-towel lined plate to cool a bit.
Cornstarch sounds odd, right? We thought so too. But somehow it fries up crispy-crunchy but light, and the coating sticks perfectly to the chicken! So crunchy you can actually HEAR the crunch. My mouth is watering...
The buttermilk brines the chicken, making it juicy as all get out and lightly seasoned. This is a true guilty pleasure for us, so we try to eat it with fruit and Oven-Roasted Garlic Potatoes.
We hope you enjoy. I claim leftovers :)


  1. Lovely chicken nugget recipe - you would be a popular lady in my house! Happy to follow you
    Mary x

  2. I'd like to request your buffalo wings recipe! Is that what you called them? With your delicious spicy sauce? You know what I'm talking about, right??

  3. Yum, my boys would love this!! :) Bookmarking this for later.


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