Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Buffalo Chicken Nuggets - Made from Parts, Not Pieces

I’ve always wanted to show my method for making chicken nuggets. Not because I’m proud of how well they came out, which I am, but more so to plead my case for what I think qualifies as an actual chicken “nugget.”

Somehow people got the idea that a chicken nugget was supposed to be a solid piece of chicken. That’s not a nugget. That’s just a too small piece of fried chicken. A real nugget, at least in the fast food context, is more of a deep-fried, mostly-chicken sausage patty, fabricated from various parts of the bird, such as, every legal part.

I love any and all types of fried chicken, but the typical nugget, when made from a piece of breast, just makes me want to get a bucket of the full-sized stuff. No, as far as party food goes, I’ll take the classic, seems-bad-for-you version every time. Plus, since we’re making a paste out of the meat, we get to flavor it any way we want.

I loved the Buffalo approach, and it allowed me to dip something in blue cheese dressing, which is always nice, but there are lots of directions you can go with this. So, whether you make these as directed, or come up with your own game plan, I really hope you give these delicious chicken nuggets a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 24 Buffalo Chicken Nuggets:
1 1/2 pound chicken thigh
2 tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (here is a link to a copy cat recipe)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon Franks hot sauce
1 tablespoon melted butter

For the starch coating:
1/2 cup corn starch
1/3 cup self-rising flour (or mix 1/3 cup all-purpose flour with 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/8 tsp salt)
1/4 teaspoon salt

- After coating, let sit in fridge until starch on surface is absorbed. For best results, flip over once while in fridge.
- Fry for 1 minute at 300 F., then chill, and finish when ready to serve by frying for 2 minutes at 375 F., or until cooked through. Exact time depends on size and shape of your nugget.

48 comments:

Jay Money said...

Was wondering the size, how many tablespoons is your sorbet scoop?

Jason Smith said...

CJ! Thank you dearly for the copycat recipe of Old Bay! Loved it!

fluffy said...

a "deez nuts" joke? really?

Jon MacLellan said...

Hi Chef,

Would something else be needed to help bind the ingredients, as I presume the Frank's is doing to some degree, if a version of this recipe would exclude Frank's? This looks great for the kiddos - except mine are still acquiring a taste for hot sauce.

Chef John said...

I was referring to the young politician!

Chef John said...

I think it's 1 oz

Pezza Fetora said...

can i use panko or batter to increase the external layer?

Pezza Fetora said...

Can i use panko or batter to cover the nuggets?

Michelle Wang said...

Hi Chef John, can i do oven baked like what you did for crispy honey sriracha wings here http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2015/01/crispy-honey-sriracha-chicken-wings.html instead of deep fried?

If so, how should i adjust the coating?

CeCe said...

What cup size food processor did you use? I saw your video and have decided to finally buy myself a food processor.

ICDC4DC said...

After the first fry and once they are cool then frozen do you just add the frozen nuggets to the 375 oil or do you let them defrost a bit ?

Johannes Baborsky said...

Could you probably tell me which food processor you are using?

Food Junkie said...

A great little recipe Chef. I especially like the frying tips as this is one technique I have not done well many times. And as always thanks for the great videos.

rrudy37 said...

Chef John,First off would like to say I very much love your blog,I love to cook so this is excellent.I would just like to run an idea buy you on this recipe. how do you think high temp. cheese would be in this,swiss,chedder,ect.?

CU Tiger said...

What type of oil do you fry in? Peanut, vegetable, etc?

Novonia said...

I'm a bit leery about deep frying things, will this recipe work with pan frying or baking?

scannerd said...

You are the Gary Puckett of the chicken nugget

Steve Kennedy said...

I hope this doesn't mean your skipping throwing the bones this year.

Aristocob said...

I'm just here to help you double dip. Seriously, my grandkids will love these and me when I make this. Thanks for sharing.

food_fan said...

If we want ta make regular nuggets and not buffalo what seasoning should we use and how much?

wheeler said...

Thank you for writing down the steps

William Garrard said...

I'd like to know if you have a from-scratch recipe for that bleu cheese dressing.

Phil Lusardi said...

Ok so the thighs are boneless... I assume you reserved the bones and will be tossing them soon. C'mon man, I gotta make my "big game bet!" How can I make an educated decision with out the chicken bone toss?!!

Marty C said...

These look DELICIOUS!
I love your videos - you always make me laugh. I have a request: Sometimes I cook for people with food issues, for instance, no salt (kidney stones), no dairy (lactose intolerant), no hot spices (ulcer). All in the same person. I like salt, cream and butter and spicy food, but when I get to cook for others, those things need to be added at the table. Would you, once in a while, please make a dish that takes the issues into consideration? Thanks! I'll be watching!

arwiv said...

"deez nuts" never gets old. I picked that up in my early 30's and now at 47 still whack somebody with it every once in a while.

Mollie_Monkey said...

Chef, the deez nuts pun made my week!!!!

Walt Smith said...

Making these tomorrow night with your Nashville Hot Chicken Sauce.
Lard rules!

paulcantcook said...

Hey Chef John, right before I saw this I saw maangchi make Kkanpunggi. She used egg and potato starch with the twice fry method. You use no egg, flower, baking powder, corn starch. What are the differences between the results? I would love to use potato starch with no egg, would it work if I used flower and baking soda? Suggestions?

paul

Alicia said...

Wow! Never ever did I realize that nugget is made that way. Definitely something to try for the big game!

Jerome said...

Thanks for the Old Bay spice mix recipe !

Cliverton said...

Pick yourself up and dust yourself off...where dem bones?

beemo said...

Another excellent recipe.

Tip for those unwilling to buy a deep fryer: A hand-held infrared thermometer is the answer. You heat your oil on the stove in a suitable pot or pan, monitor the temperature with the gadget, and it all works perfectly.

I was never able to successfully deep-fry anything until these things came along; the temperature of the oil MUST be correct, and without a good deal of deep-frying experience, it is impossible to get it right without some kind of thermometer.

So get one if you're not very confident in the kitchen but keen to enter the sublime world of deep-frying!!

AkaHandy said...

My friends think I am a culinary genius in spite of the fact I always tell them about Foodwishes and Chef John.... Thank you for all the inspiration and flavor you bring to my table!!

Eric said...

But if you don't have the wings,how will you predict "the big game" winner?

Kai Demler said...

What type of oil should I use for frying?

Michael Vescio said...

Could I do these in the oven and achieve crispiness?

Michael Rice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Rice said...

Hello Chef John, are you using this: http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2013/03/creamy-blue-cheese-dressing-chicken.html or something thicker for the blue cheese dip?

Heather Snyder said...

Is there a different method for baking instead of frying? Our kitchen isn't ventilated and fdrying is torture for days.😁

R.M.S. said...

Can you cook them in the oven?

Shanda said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe. I didn't realize I had been making chicken nuggets the wrong way all these years. The chicken thigh was moist, delicious and hard to overcook- not saying I have an issue with overcooking, which I totally do, but I'm not saying it.

BJ Andrews said...

These nuggets look great, but come on, Chef John, who's gonna win the Super Bowl?

R.M.S. said...

Can you cook them in the oven?

Mark Obert said...

I am moving soon.. This is one of the recipes I want to try when I get to the nw location. Everything looks so good!

A said...

Such a good recipe. The chicken nuggets were amazing. I made mine without the franks sauce and opted to make my own honey mustard dip. So good.

Nate Reid said...

Made these today for the big game, and they turned out great. The onion rings (to the left) were tasty, but didn't come out as well as their accompanying video unfortunately.

https://m.imgur.com/DOP4Y6E

Schuyler Shane said...

Your oven fried wings are excellent. How would you oven fry these nuggets?

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