Low carb homemade chicken nuggets. Not simply chunks of chicken but the soft, tender mouthfeel of poultry that’s just been absolutely mechanically obliterated. The texture difference using ground chicken creates a nugget much closer to the cheap freezer section nuggets that at least my own children value above all else. These utilize chicken thighs which have a higher fat content than breasts. Fat coats the pallet and lets the seasoning in the chicken peek through and keep your nuggets moist. No one wants a mouthful of dry, chewy nuggets.
Low Carb Homemade Chicken Nuggets
This dish is an option for making chicken nuggets at home. The base is ground chicken. You could substitute any other ground poultry or even make your own. Chicken strips are great, tenders are fantastic, and sometimes even breaded chunks hit the spot. However, there are times in life when nugs themselves are life. These nuggets are low carb and gluten free. The eggwash utilizes heavy cream, and the breading is a pork panko breadcrumb.
Description- Low Carb Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Nutritional Information and Ingredients
Nutritional Information taken from a combination of the ingredient packaging using MyFitnessPal. Makes four servings.
- 4: Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 3: Eggs
- 2 Tbl: Heavy cream
- 1 Cup: Pork panko bread crumbs
- Onion Salt
- Black Pepper
- Dijon Mustard Powder
- Sweet Basil Seasoning
- 3 Onion Seasoning
Instructions- Low Carb Homemade Chicken Nuggets
This recipe begins with making our own ground chicken thighs. You can do this with a food processor or an actual meat grinder. Another alternative is to buy a ground poultry package from the grocery store. I used four roughly four-ounce chicken thighs, so any way you can get about a pound of ground chicken will suffice. It will make approximately four six-piece nugget servings. I used a slightly overfilled one tablespoon baking scoop to portion the nuggets.
With the ground chicken taken care of, we begin seasoning our meat before we prep our dredging station and shape our nuggies. I season the meat itself and not the breading or the wash with salt (onion salt is fantastic!), pepper, paprika, mustard onion flakes, and basil. The picture below will show my specific spices, but this should be adjusted to your tastebuds. Season with what, and as heavily, as you want. Just watch the salt content because some brands of pork breadcrumbs have a high salt content, and you can oversalt your dish. Then, add your seasonings and fold the ground chicken until all of the spices are fully incorporated.
I usually am not a mise en place kind of cook but setting up a dredging line or station makes the process smooth. I worked from left to right, but travel direction doesn’t matter. You want to go from meat, egg wash, breading, and baking sheet. Using chicken thighs means the nuggets will have higher fat content, and that fat will render while cooking. To help keep down the grease, I used a wire-racked baking sheet. The rack lets any extra fat and grease drip away from the nuggets. Otherwise, they bake in a pool of their own juices, and the excess moisture makes it difficult to get them crispy.
The eggwash consists of two eggs thinned with heavy cream. The cream does not contain the lactose of regular milk and cuts some of the sneakier carbs out of the recipe. Whip the mixture with a fork or whisk until it reaches a uniform pale yellow color. The breading is just a pork bread crumb straight out of the container.
To start your chicken nugget conveyor belt, take just over a tablespoon-sized amount of ground chicken and shape it into that classic sort of round nugget shape. Next, place the raw, naked nugget into the eggwash. Repeat this step until your eggwash container is full of raw meat nugs. Then take the nuggets one at a time, flip them over so that all sides get washed, and place them into the container of pork crumbs. Next, toss and roll the wet nuggets until they are covered entirely in pork crumbs, and put them on the wire racked baking sheet. Repeat this process until you have used up all of your ground chicken.
The nuggets will then go onto the top rack of a preheated 400-degree oven. Cooking time should be approximately 20-25 minutes. The nuggets cook until the outside browns and crisps, and the center temperature measures at least 165F. To cook evenly, you may turn them halfway through cooking. Ovens don’t often have even heat distribution, leading to some of your nuggets being over or undercooked.
Because these nuggets are thin and don’t take long to cook, it isn’t necessary to flip them. The only downside to this is that the wire rack can leave an impression on the bottom. Personally, I don’t care and pretend these rack marks are just ribbed for my pleasure to hold more sauce per nugget. I am a fan of honey mustard or ranch. Not flipping also means that the fat will all render down, and the bottom of the nuggets can be greasier. Solve this problem by letting them cool and rest on a paper towel.