“Grownup” Crunchy Parmesan Chicken Nuggets

Okay, so you use the Internet to find recipes – I just did a Google search for ‘chicken recipe’ and it came up with a total 6,260,000. Whooakay. I actually laughed out loud when I saw that number come up.

So, what I’m saying is this: There are lots of recipes for chicken. And the same recipe /name/ might be a totally different recipe, depending on where in the world you come from. Recipes, with totally different names, might be exactly the same recipe. Great Grandma Who’s so-secret recipe for sweet rolls, might be Aunt Mini’s sister’s aunt’s 3rd cousins recipe for cinnamon rolls, that she found in a 1974 Church of the Divine recipe book.

Recipes get changed, they live a life of their own, are handed down to family and friends – some die a quick death, never to be repeated (may I say that my Dad’s ‘Hamburger Surprise’ outwitted death by quite a few years, but has since been buried, as it should have been in 198-freaking-2), and some recipes, like the classic recipe for chicken nuggets gets changed around, as it has here.

This is one of my favorite chicken recipes to make – simple, quick and tasty. I called this “Grownup” because the first time I made it, my son was about 6, and he was very impressed that chicken nuggets could taste so good….they were, to him, very grownup. (Until he smothered them with ketchup, of course).

“Grownup” Crunchy Parmesan Chicken Nuggets

Olive Oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts (boneless)

For bread crumbs:

1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.

Oil a large baking sheet well. And I do mean well. Unless you want the chicken to stick, of course ;)

Clean the chicken breasts of fat, if any. Slice into ‘nugget’ sized pieces, about 1 1/2 inch-2 inches or so. Put buttermilk into a fairly large bowl, and add the chicken pieces to it, and stir. Let it stand for about 20-30 minutes.

While the chicken is having a buttermilk soak, put together your bread crumb mixture. Add the parmesan and mix well.

Wait 18 more minutes. Wait however you like. Just don’t touch the soaking chicken.

Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and dredge in the bread crumbs, coating completely. You might need to press the crumbs onto the chicken. Place on the well oiled baking sheets, leaving a bit of space between.

Drizzle 2 tablespoons or so of oil over the chicken nuggets and bake until they are cooked through and golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.

Garlic-Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, mash the garlic well. Add salt and continue to mash it together. Whisk in the balsamic vinegar, and 1/2 cup of oil. Add pepper to taste, again whisking well. I keep this in the mixing bowl, until just ready to serve, when I whisk it well again, and then pour into a serving bowl.

Use the vinaigrette as a dipping sauce for the nuggets.

Notes:

Now, the first time I made this, I followed the recipe exactly — 500F for 8 minutes. Loved the taste..AFTER I pried it off the baking sheet, and left 1/2 stuck to it. I reduced the heat, and upped the time, and it comes out perfectly.

I included a recipe for bread crumbs, because, well, I’m a snob. :P Although I don’t mind store-bought seasoned bread crumbs, I find it simple to make my own, and have flavor by doing so. Store bought tend to be stale.. old herbs, long past their prime, in a tasteless mix overwhelmingly smelling of old garlic. 1 minute flat, and you can mix your own. Even if you buy the store-bought plain bread crumbs. The whole recipe is here, for those interested.

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2 Responses

  1. I can’t believe I’m friends with a total crumbsnob….

  2. Hello, my name is Lawdy, and I’m a crumb snob……….

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