Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

My 2nd daughter was going to have a bithday party and she asked for a Mermaid themed party.

As I planned out the menu, I thought of making a finger food menu, food that can be eaten without cutlery. And I will try to incorporate as many homemade food as possible. And most importantly, food that can be prepared in advance and reheated on that day.

One of which I planned was chicken nuggets as dear daughter doesn't eat Chicken, as in chicken, but she eats chicken nuggets. Cooking for her is always a headache as she can happily say no to everything and eat plain rice happily. So, to make things better, I decided to make them myself, in the shape of fish to suit her theme.

I have never made nuggets before and I asked a few of my facebook friends, asking them for their recipe, hoping I could find some tips to solve the question in my mind. In the end, I guess the only way, will be to experiment, as the recipe that  I have in mind is more complicated than most recipes I saw online.

My questions..............
Filler in mind: Potato flakes, or oatmeal or bread crumbs?
Spice: Garlic and shallot... chopped or juiced?
Coating: Cornflakes or breadcrumbs?
Egg or no egg in the chicken?
Egg or no egg in the coating?

half cooked and going to be kept frozen

The rest I have made up my mind to use. Trying to imagine the taste I get from commercial nuggets.
I did 4 experimental batches, yes just 4!! And the outcome??
I prefer potato flakes to fill (better texture), juiced garlic and shallot to season(more pronounced flavour), no egg in chicken (makes the outcome smell better) and cornflakes to coat (nicer colour).
And whether to egg or not to egg the coating..... both ways are ok. But if they are not egged, the crumbs don't attach that much. But egging it might make shaped nuggets out of shape.

You can use dark meat for better texture, breast for leaner option or the fillets for a more tender outcome. I just mixed dark meat with breast. I didn't mince them with a knife but I used the food processor as I made double portion of this.

Mr R shaping the nuggets :)

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

by WendyinKK 

230gm skinless chicken, minced

1/3 tsp salt
1 Tbsp powdered Parmesan
Some black pepper
A dash of ground oregano
2 Tbsp potato flakes*
1 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp baking soda

1 small clove garlic
1/2 shallot
40ml water

1 cup Cornflakes crumbs
Beaten egg, optional

1. Grate shallot and garlic into a cup. Mix with water. Stir it. Let it sit for around 5 minutes.
2. Place minced chicken intoa big bowl/basin. Strain the shallot garlic infusion and pour onto the chicken. Press out the remaining juices from the shallot garlic and discard the pulp. Mix the chicken well,
3. Mix all the other dry ingredients together in a bowl. Pour this dry mixture into the chicken and mix.
4. Take a small portion of chicken and roll it, slightly press it to form a patty. Take a quick dip into the egg and coat it with cornflake crumbs. (If you're making fancy shaped nuggets, it's hard to maintain the shape if you dip into the egg, so just coat with the crumbs)
5. Fry the nuggets until they float. If you are going to freeze it, you can stop the frying now. If you're going to serve it, continue to fry it for a while until you get the colour you prefer.
6. Drain on paper towels and serve.

* Potato flakes looks dry and flaky, and is easily available at baking ingredient shops. It can substituted with oatmeal that is ground until fine.

For Freezing, you can try out these steps. I've tried both and they both work well.
a. Raw : freeze after Step 4. Keep the formed nuggets layered, separated with baking paper or plastic. Keep frozen until needed and just fry. No need to thaw.
b. Cooked: freeze after  Step 5, but only fry until they float. Drain and cool. Lay them out on trays and freeze them for 5 minutes. Then, put them into a ziplock bag or a container (no need to arrange) and freeze until needed. These can be baked (arranged neatly ina single layer) at 180C for 5-7 minutes, no need to thaw.

The outcome? My kids said they tasted similar to McD's. Well.... it's a little bit like it. But of course, McD's are batter coated. These are crumb coated.

I'm not blowing my own trumpet...but a few days after I made my experimental batch, I saw this website stating the 40 ingredients used to make McDonald's chicken nuggets. And I think I snagged quite a few of the ingredients not usually stated in other internet recipes, like baking soda! LOL.
Yellow corn flour is in the cornflakes :)

But I guess the defining taste factor is the spices..... and that's the secret that I'm not sure whether I hit the jackpot or not.

Here's how I made them shaped for the party.
Other days I don't think I will bother with all these work.

Place crumb coated chicken into mould,
Cover and press it to form. (method depends on the mould you use).
Remove from mould and dust with more crumbs.

they will float when cooked through
Fish and bear shaped.
Got these moulds from Mr DIY


  1. can open your own brand of nuggets liow :) thanks for shaping, I shall try this one day !

  2. Thank you for sharing....will definitely try it out!

  3. Thanks for your nuggets recipe. My kids love nuggets too. Going to make some for them.

  4. nice shape and i never try make homemade nuggets... thank for sharing the recipe n the steps...

  5. didi face look super serious....

  6. Hi Wendy,

    I'm just wondering if it will be okay if we just use the shallot garlic as is, instead of using the infusion? And will it work without baking soda?

    I have never deep fried anything before (just not keen to use so much oil and discard after each use). Can I resort to just pan frying? Will it make a difference somehow?


  7. Wendy... on my.. you boy so big already.. how old is he now..
    time flies..


  8. Cheryl,
    Yes you can. It's just that I find the flavour less pronounced compared to using the infusion.
    But still, don't leave out the water.

  9. Cheryl,
    Yes you can. It's just that I find the flavour less pronounced compared to using the infusion. But still, don't leave out the water.
    You can pan fry if you like, or spray some oil over it and air fry.

  10. Hi Wendy, just to share with you, I am food tech from nugget manufacturing plant. You can freeze/semi freeze the shaped patty before you do the coating, to maintain the shape.
    Another option for keeping the coated nugget, you can par-fry it. Normally we par-fry it at 175°C for 30sec then you can freeze it. (But you need to arrange it on the tray) If your nugget size is similar to those nugget in the market, I think deep fry for 3:30 - 4:00min at 175°C is ok. No thawing required. All nuggets in market are par-fried, except 1st pride are fully cooked :)


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