Monday, January 6, 2014

Crispy Parmesan Chicken Nuggets

2 large or 3 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  (cut into nuggets)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  (divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 cup Panko
1/4 Tbsp. canola oil
(3 shallow bowls)

Line a baking sheet with foil and fit a cooling rack on top.  Set aside.  In 1st bowl combine 1/2 cup Parmesan, flour, salt and pepper.  In 2nd bowl beat eggs and water with a fork.  In 3rd bowl combine remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan and Panko.  Coat chicken, one piece at a time, in 1st bowl, quickly dip into 2nd bowl and then into 3rd bowl placing each piece on rack making sure they aren't touching.  Let stand for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove racks, with foil from the baking dish.  Cover baking sheet with more foil.  On medium high, heat oil in a large frying pan.  Fry chicken in batches browning on all sides.  As each piece browns move it to the baking sheet.  Bake 20-25 minutes.

Martha:  If you like crispy yet juicy nuggets you'll love this one.  The Panko gives it the crunch and by frying it first the meat stays moist and tender.  I had one problem with this dish.  I didn't seem to know when to stop eating!  I ate them plain, some with honey mustard but my favorite was dipped in Sweet Chili Sauce.  A little sweetness with a touch of heat.

Lillian: I like to dip the chicken into flour first, then the egg wash and then the Planko. I have always found the coating stays on much longer and you have no chunks of coating floating around in the hot oil, or on the baking sheet if you bake instead of frying first. I also like Parmesan cheese in coating. I use it that way, too, in Chicken Picata.

Tips:  Since Sis and I cook so much chicken I decided it was time to research the safest ways to handle chicken.  Here is what I found.  Rinse chicken with cold water, inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels before preparing. To prevent cross-contamination, thoroughly clean all surfaces, utensils, cutting boards, knives, and hands with hot soapy water after handling raw poultry. Keep a separate cutting board specifically for working with chicken.