Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spicy Thai Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets to American children is like peanut butter to jelly. Or chocolate. Even if the parents are completely pro non-hormone, non-fried, do-not-dare-feed-that-McDonald's-to-my-child, I'm sure the child has had, in some form or fashion, a chicken nugget. And

Admission: I still get chicken nuggets whenever we go to Chick-Fil-A. I pink puffy heart them.

There's a reason children people love them so much -- they're portable, easy to eat, and the good ones are seasoned well, juicy, and flavorful. But the buck doesn't have to stop there when it come to chicken nuggets. Clearly people have figured this out when it comes to chicken wings, and let's face it, boneless chicken wings is just a grown-up name for large chicken nuggets.

So there's absolutely no reason we can't bring home a little bit of that flavor to a healthier, non-fried version. Chicken nuggets for adults don't have to be plain Jane breadcrumb-crusted pieces of chicken any more.

Spicy Thai Chicken Nuggets
Inspired by: The Realistic Nutritionist

3 (4 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
2/3 cup mild sweet Asian chili sauce (such as Maggi)
1 tablespoon garlic chili paste (sambal oelek)
1/2 cup panko
1/4 cup lightly salted peanuts
1/2 teaspoon dried basil

Slice chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. (I was able to get 7 pieces from a 4 ounce breast.) In a small bowl, whisk together the chili sauce and the garlic chili paste. Place the chicken breast pieces in a large ziploc bag. Pour the sauce over the chicken, seal the bag, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray; set aside. Remove chicken from the fridge; set aside.

Place the panko in a wide, shallow bowl or plate. Place the peanuts into the bowl of a food processor, and grind until very fine. Mix ground peanuts and dried basil with the panko, tossing to combine. Roll each piece of chicken in the breadcrumb mixture, completely coating, then place in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining chicken, making sure the pieces do not touch in the baking dish. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until chicken is done.

Serves: 3 (7 nuggets per serving)

Originally I added 1 teaspoon of basil to the recipe, but I felt it's flavor was a little on the strong side, so I have adjusted the recipe above to reflect a lower amount. But feel free to add more if you love it! I also think next go around I'll add more sambal oelek as the spice didn't come through in quite the way I was hoping. Or maybe I'll toss some red pepper flakes in the panko.

And trust me that they'll be a next go around. Adam wasn't even completely done going through 14 nuggets before telling me I HAD to make these again. Soon. Sounds good to me, especially since they take all of 10 minutes total of prep time.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 191g
Amount per serving
Calories 467Calories from fat 126
% Daily Value
Total Fat 14.0g22%
Saturated Fat 3.2g16%
Cholesterol 101mg34%
Sodium 1019mg42%
Total Carbs 46.3g15%
Fiber 1.5g6%
Sugars 17.3g
Protein 37.6g
Vitamin A 2%Vitamin C 3%
Calcium 6%Iron 15%


  1. I am ready to have a chicken nugget attack!! These just look so tasty! I've always had a weakness for chicken nuggets.

  2. Yeah, I am pretty sure this would get an A in my household too. Wow, what a great combo of flavors...and more for hubs and me because the toddler wouldn't dig these. Yum!!

  3. I've made chicken nuggets at home once before but these have so much more flavor going on! I depending on the dipping sauce more for that aspect in the past. Shame on me.

  4. My boys are crazy for homemade chicken nuggets. Love your choice of ingredients. Thanks for sharing.

  5. These sound delicious. I do love chicken nuggets. I don't think they ever get old, no matter what age you are.

  6. you're never too old for chicken nuggets! And these sound all grown up, delicious recipe! I couldn't tell you how long its been since I've had a chicken nugget, this post's making me crave them all over again!

  7. What a great idea! Love Thai flavors, why not put them with chicken nuggets!

  8. I can't wait to try this. I always need new and exciting ways to dress up chicken in any form!

  9. Have you seen the latest from Maggi?

  10. These look frickin delicious. Def gonna make these next week!

  11. I love chicken nuggets! But not those yucky prepackage ones. Yours have such great spices and flavors. Thanks for sharing the recipe find. Congrats on the Foodbuzz top 9!

  12. Mmm, I love how you can tell just from the breading that these will be spicy! Sounds like a delicious snack :)

  13. these really look like a wonderful adaptation. I may have to try these one day (when my son isn't around as he is allergic to nuts). I am going to make these!



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