Chicken Nuggets: Contain Chicken?

by Trish Weese

So, what kid doesn’t love chicken nuggets and chicken fingers? And for that matter, what grown up doesn’t like them as well? Let’s have a show of hands—who secretly hopes their little ones choose chicken fingers from the kids menu so she can have what her child doesn’t finish? Why am I the only one raising my hand? It’s the internet folks, no one is looking. And it’s okay. Deep fried chicken ROCKS.

Now for the scary part. It only takes a quick search on Google to find out there is very little real chicken in fast food “chicken” nuggets. But, I do need food that is fast, right? So I check out the nuggets in the freezer section—the ones that scream from the packaging “all natural!! no artificial ingredients!!” And I think, great! Until I look at the nutritional info. One serving contains 220 calories—110 of which are from fat. That’s FIFTY PERCENT of the meal’s calories from fat! So back in the freezer the box went, and to the internet I went. Below is what I came up with—this recipe is my own creation, drummed up after experimenting with different recipes I found. Most recipes call for eggs and flour when breading your chicken, which does make for a really good end result. It also makes for lots of mess, dirty dishes, and extra time, all of which are no bueno in my house. This mama likes her meals quick with minimal clean up! I usually make two varieties—one for me (because I like them a little spicy) and one for my daughter Allison. How do I bake them together and not mix them up?  Easy—I make strips for me, and nuggets for Allison.

Trish’s Homemade Chicken Nuggets


boneless chicken breasts (I prefer the thinly sliced breasts)
cups cornflakes
A big dollop of mayonnaise (I despise mayo, but you don’t even taste it and the amount you actually use is minimal. Just trust me and go with it)
Spices to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put cornflakes in a Ziploc bag and crush them until finely crushed (use a rolling pin, and let your kid help!  Allison LOVES to do this). When done, put the crushed flakes into a bowl. Lightly spray cookie sheet with cooking oil. Cut chicken into strips and/or nuggets. Put just a dab of mayo on each side of the chicken and rub until covered. Here is where I add spices to my grown up strips. I like to add a little red pepper and garlic salt. I sprinkle just a bit on one side of the strip. Italian seasoning is also yummy. Experiment with what you like! Roll the chicken in the crushed cornflakes until coated and place on the cookie sheet. When all pieces are coated, spray tops lightly with cooking spray (if desired) and put in the oven for 10—15 minutes, depending n how thick your chicken is. Test for doneness by cutting into a thicker piece and making sure it’s not pink). You may want to turn once during cooking, but it’s not necessary.

Now all that’s left to do is enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce!

P.S. Thank you so much for the tremendous response to the homemade mac-n-cheese article! This thrills me for two reasons: 1) I am so happy to know that parents are searching for ways to feed healthy food to their children and 2) it means someone besides my mom and dad actually found and read my article!  Yay for the internet!

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