Are you one of those people who immediately think of those fast food staples upon hearing the words “chicken nuggets?” When I was younger, I used to love chicken nuggets until I realized I should not be eating a lot of them for health reasons.
But let’s face it—there are times when the craving for chicken nuggets is so hard to resist. What would you then if you just can’t resist the temptation?
Why not try this baked parmesan and panko-coated chicken nuggets recipe? It’s a healthier alternative to those sold in fast food restaurants. Plus, they’re bite-sized and thus ideal for popping.
What I love about this chicken nugget recipe is that the nuggets are crispy outside but tender inside. And they’re coated with Parmesan and panko. This one is a sure hit even for the little ones.
Why is this healthier than fried chicken nuggets?
Now you may wonder– how in the world are these chicken nuggets healthier from those you can buy from a fast food joint?
Well, this recipe calls for baking the chicken instead of frying. If you didn’t know, deep frying is considered one of the unhealthiest ways of cooking chicken. Sure, it yields delicious dishes, but it can haunt you health-wise later on.
Fried foods like the ones you eat in fast food restaurants are usually cooked in hydrogenated oils notorious for being high in trans fats. Why do restaurants like to use the said oil type anyway? It’s because doing so gives the food a very delicious taste and satisfying crunch.
However, the trans fats found in these oils can raise bad cholesterol levels in your body. They can also reduce HDL cholesterol (or the good cholesterol) while increasing your risks of heart disease.
What’s worse is when restaurants reuse hydrogenated oils. The oil breaks down with each frying which can affect their composition. In turn, more oil is absorbed into the food. This change can all the more increase your chances of having high blood pressure.
Why baking chicken is a healthy alternative
On the other hand, baking chicken is far healthier because there’s little or no oil involved. In some cases when oil is used, the breading or coating normally absorbs the oil.
The use of panko breadcrumbs
also makes the baked chicken nuggets healthier. It has a low level of sodium compared to the plain traditional breadcrumbs and Italian-style bread crumbs. A quarter cup of panko breadcrumbs contains 50 mg of sodium. Traditional breadcrumbs have 220 mg, and Italian-style breadcrumbs have 470 mg.
Baked Parmesan Panko-Coated Chicken Nugget
Now that you’re convinced that homemade chicken nugget is healthier than the fast food type, let’s proceed to the recipe that I was telling you.
This recipe can make two dozen of chicken nuggets. You will need about 15 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook. You’ll be surprised at how delicious and crunchy these nuggets would turn out.
- Two boneless and skinless chicken breasts, sliced into bite-sized pieces (about a pound in total)
- A cup of panko breadcrumbs
- Half cup of Parmesan cheese, finely grated or powdered
- Half teaspoon of dried thyme (No thyme in your cupboard? Try these thyme alternatives instead)
- Half cup of all-purpose flour
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Cooking spray
Step by step guide:
- Preheat the oven first to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spread out the panko breadcrumbs on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake them for about 3 to 5 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
- Transfer the breadcrumbs to a small bowl. Add the thyme and Parmesan. Toss until well combined.
- Rinse the baking sheet before covering it with parchment paper. Place the eggs and flour in different shallow dishes then increase the oven’s temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Contributor Post from Susan Conley, “Hello! I’m Susan and I write Cook The Stone. My blog is focused on foods that are good for both body and mind. Because one of my friends used to say, ‘Cooking is a good way to make a house a home and make people come closer.’ So, glad you’re here to share with me all the good things.”