Let's just get this out of the way. These are not your mama's chicken nuggets.
These are a different version that, while still amazing, are completely unusual. They are marinated in pickle juice, then covered in spices - including tumeric, and then served with a spicy yet subtle wasabi sauce.
You will want to try them as soon as possible.
The tumeric and paprika in the coating helps with the beautiful golden color. I made them gluten free by using gluten free crumbs for the coating but you could easily just use something like Panko.
Baked Chicken Nuggets
1 to 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup pickle juice (liquid from jar of pickles)
1 cup gluten free crumbs
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp tumeric
2 eggs, beaten
Prepare chicken - Cut each chicken thigh into about 5 or 6 bite sized pieces.
Place all the pieces into the 1 cup of pickle juice. Chill until ready to use - at least one hour.
When ready to cook - drain off the marinade. Spray 2 large frying pans with cooking spray, set aside.
Stir together the coating ingredients (crumbs and spices).
Place half of the crumbs in a shallow dish.
Take each piece of chicken, dip it in the beaten egg - shaking off excess, then dredge in crumbs until well covered. Place each piece of chicken in a single layer in the prepared frying pans. Continue until all pieces are covered. Use the reserved coating crumbs to refill your dish as needed.
Place over medium high heat and cook chicken until bottoms are well browned, flip and continue to cook until chicken is cooked through (about 10 - 15 minutes). Keep an eye on it!!
FYI - you can also bake these. Preheat the oven to 450. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, place coated chicken pieces on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake at 450 for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway or until chicken is completely cooked through!)
Serve hot! You can serve with ketchup or BBQ sauce or even honey-mustard BUT they go perfect with the wasabi - pea dip we discovered over at The Foodolic!. (Click HERE to see her recipe and pics!)
Wasabi Pea Dip
(Slightly adapted from The Foodolic)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain (I used 0 fat)
1/4 cup frozen green peas, thawed
2 tsp lime juice
1 to 2 tsp wasabi paste
salt & pepper
Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor.
Blend until smooth. Chill until ready to use. Store any leftovers in the fridge, covered.
So tangy! You can put in more or less of the wasabi paste to suite your personal preference, of course. The yogurt really calms the heat down quite a bit.
Serve with some french fries and salad and you have dinner perfection.
Baking the chicken (or frying without any oil) makes these a healthified version of an old favorite. There is some crazy combos of flavor happening in this dish that work very well together.
FYI - If you are not a fan of pickles then you can skip the marinating step. You definitely get a hint of it in the nuggets.
Also - I am in love with chicken thighs right now but you could easily cut up chicken breast meat to use if you prefer the breast.