We love these little un-breaded nuggets around here. They are tasty and dip-able, they freeze well and they warm up great in the toaster oven. They are also really tasty cold, straight out of the fridge or lunch box.
You can also make them into larger patties and enjoy them as a burger!
Feel free to half the recipe below - it makes a LOT of nuggets. I tend to cook for several meals at once and freeze, so I don’t have to make the effort as often!
They are easy to make and you don’t have to deal with breading them. You could also just bake these in the oven, but we love them pan fried with a little ghee around here, as they get a nice little crust around them, which just adds to the deliciousness!
Unfortunately my digital camera card is currently inaccessible, so this post is without food photos today, but I will either take new ones the next time I make these, or get them off the card one way or another!
Easy Chicken Nuggets
Makes about 55-60 chicken nuggets
3 large eggs, preferably pastured
3 tbsp. coconut flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic coconut flour)
3 tbsp. almond flour (I use Honeyville almond flour)
4 lbs. of ground chicken (or ground turkey) - they also work with pork or a mix of the three
2 tbsp. ghee - mayonnaise or coconut oil work too!
- Seasonings of choice. I usually use the following:
1 tbsp. Herbamare or sea salt
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg or mace
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
Ghee or oil/fat of choice for cooking the nuggets.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, coconut flour, almond flour and seasonings (salt, herbs, onion powder, paprika, cumin, etc.) The resulting paste should be about the consistency of soaked bread crumbs. If it's too dry, add a little water. Then mix in the ghee (you can also use left-over mayo.)
Add the ground meat and with your hands, combine everything well.
Take about 1 tbsp. sized balls of the meat mix, flatten them a little to make a nugget shape and fry them in batches in a frying pan with 1 tbsp. of ghee or oil of choice until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Fry them up in batches and don’t crowd the pan!
Serve with gaps friendly ketchup ;)
Notes and Variations:
- You can omit the coconut flour, even thought that will change the texture a little.
- You can also omit the almond flour and use either all coconut flour or another nut or seeds flour - again the texture will be slightly different though.
- They can be baked or even deep fried in some healthy oil! Bake in a pre-heated 375 F oven for 20 minutes, or until done.
- For buffalo chicken nuggets, add 1 tbsp. of Frank’s Original Hot Sauce to the meat mix. Bake or fry the nuggets. Mix 1/3 cup of Frank’s Original Hot Sauce and 1/4 cup of melted butter or ghee and heat until just warm and combined.
After you baked your chicken nuggets for 15 minutes (or fried them in a pan to almost done), dip the nuggets into the butter/hot sauce mix and either place back on your baking sheet or back in the pan. Bake for another 5 minutes, or if frying in a pan, give them another minute or so on each side.
- If you are really looking for a breaded chicken nugget, prepare the meat mix as above, then mix the following in a bowl for your nugget coating:
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup ground white chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp Herbamare or sea salt
- 1/2 tsp onion or garlic powder
Once you shaped your nuggets, gently roll them in the breading mix and ensure they are evenly coated. Place them on a silpad or parchment paper and bake as instructed above. The “breaded” variety is better baked than pan fried.
You can use the buffalo sauce instructions on the breaded nuggets too.
Can’t find ground chicken or can’t find the kind of chicken you would like to use, ground?
Grind your own!
I grind mine with the meat grinder attachment of my kitchen aid. I use this one.
However, you can also grind chicken in your food processor.
Here is how!
- If you are starting with fresh chicken, cut it into one inch cubes and place them on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper. Make sure the meat is not touching each other. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- If you are starting with frozen chicken, let it thaw just a little bit, then slice into one inch cubes with a large knife. I find that chicken is often sliced much easier while still somewhat frozen!
- We need the meat to be semi-frozen, as it will enable the food processor to chop more evenly, otherwise you end up with chicken mush.
- Now fill the food processor about half full and PULSE the meat cubes until you have about the consistency of ground meat.
Really, PULSE, don’t let it run! And make sure you work in small batches.
- Pick out any larger remaining pieces and pulse those again.
- Either use straight away or, if you started with fresh chicken, freeze for future use.