• 32°

Homemade nuggets: Once you start, you just can’t stop

Baked Nuggets

— 1/4 cup flour

— 1 teaspoon onion powder

— 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

— 1/4 teaspoon salt

— 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

— 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 ½ to 2 inch pieces

— 1/4 cup fat-free milk

— 1/3 cup plain dried bread crumbs (preferably whole wheat)

— Olive oil cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, onion and garlic powders, salt, and pepper. 

Toss chicken with flour mixture.

Pour milk into a shallow bowl. 

Dip chicken pieces in milk.

Pour bread crumbs onto a large plate. 

Roll chicken in crumbs.

Arrange chicken on baking sheet; spritz with cooking spray. 

Bake for 20 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Serve nuggets with ketchup or with your favorite dip.

Honey-Mustard Dip

In a small bowl combine 3 tablespoons honey, 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, and 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise. Whisk well.

On one recent night, I knew we were having chicken for supper, I just hadn’t decided how I was going to fix it.

When I got home from work, I took the chicken from the refrigerator and I wasn’t surprised it had not thawed. I placed it in cool water and started looking through my chicken recipe folder for something new and different.

Almost every recipe I looked at called for some kind of ingredient I didn’t have. After looking at every recipe in the folder, I found one I could prepare for supper. By the size and type of paper it was on, I suspect I found it in a Sunday newspaper insert dated March 10, 2013.

The chicken was thawed by the time I settled on this recipe. After cleaning the chicken and cutting each boneless breast (there were three in my package) into chunks, I set about getting the other ingredients ready.

Because I had a little more than a pound of chicken, I doubled all of the other ingredients.

For easy clean-up I put the flour and seasonings in a zipper-sealed bag instead of a bowl.

My husband, Brad, is lactose intolerant, so I decided to use his lactose-free, fat-free milk to see how it worked while cooking.

I soon realized the whole wheat bread crumbs I had were seasoned, not plain. So I decided to just use plain old bread crumbs.

After lining a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper, I got to work dipping each little piece of chicken first in the flour mixture, then in the milk and last in the bread crumbs.

By the time I had all of the chicken pieces coated, the pan was completely full of little nuggets. I didn’t have olive oil cooking spray, so I used vegetable oil spray lightly on each piece.

About the time I finished spraying the nuggets, I remembered I have a spritzer with olive oil in it and could have spritzed the chicken with that —  “Oh, well,” I thought.

As I was putting the chicken in the oven, Brad walked in the door.

He looked at the cookie sheet and asked, “What’s for supper?”

This recipe included three dipping sauces you could make: honey mustard, BBQ and ranch.

Since Brad likes honey mustard, I decided to make that one and see how it compared to those little packets you get at fast food restaurants.

While the chicken baked, I prepared the dip. It was simple to whisk together.

After 20 minutes of baking the nuggets, I peeked into the oven and of course they didn’t appear brown enough for me. After cooking five more minutes, I cut one of the larger chunks in half to make sure it was done, and it was.

I got everything on the table and we were ready to eat. Brad blessed the food and thanked God for our warm house during this cold, cold weather. We sat down, filled our plates and dug in (I was hungry).

Brad was the first to try the nuggets and the dipping sauce. He said the sauce was spicy, but he liked it. He thought the nuggets were, “OK.”

I popped a nugget into my mouth and thought they were good. I didn’t try the dipping sauce since I don’t like mustard or mayonnaise. In fact, I thought they were so good I had a hard time not eating the entire pan of them, even after I was full.

I did think the breading was a little on the bland side and could have used more of each spice.

I definitely nailed this recipe and it is headed to my self-made cookbook.

I’m looking forward to making these nuggets again and again. The only thing I will do different is double up on all of the spices.

In the end, Brad agreed the nuggets were good — with the honey mustard. They will be perfect when our grandkids come for a visit, and they would be a great appetizer for THE football game that’s coming up.

Sarah Condley is an amateur baker and chef who is compiling a cookbook of her favorite recipes.