Baked Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard and Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauces
My son is a huge fan of chicken nuggets and would eat at McDonald's every day if we allowed him to, but for the obvious health reasons, we try to limit his fast food intake. That child can easily put away ten chicken nuggets in one sitting...did I mention he's only 3 1/2?!? I decided to try and come up with a healthier alternative, because trust me when I tell you, he will not stop asking for his much loved chicken nuggets, until they are served to him and I refuse to cave and continuously give him fried, greasy chicken nuggets! This recipe is incredibly simple and something that I think most kids would really enjoy! As an alternative to dipping in butter (before coating), you could certainly use an egg or milk and I would even consider omitting the teaspoon of salt--the Italian breadcrumbs were seasoned heavily enough that additional seasoning seemed unnecessary. These chicken nuggets would even be a wonderful appetizer idea, that could be served with your favorite dipping sauce! I chose to make homemade honey mustard and sweet and sour dipping sauces, as those tend to be the ones that my family gravitates toward. (I cut the sweet and sour dipping sauce recipe in half since I was only using the three chicken breasts and added 1/2 a teaspoon of honey).
Baked Chicken Nuggets
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 tablespoon dried basil 1/2 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Cut chicken breasts into 1 1/2 inch size pieces. In a medium bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, cheese, salt, thyme and basil. Mix well. Put melted butter/margarine in a bowl or dish for dipping. Dip chicken pieces into the melted butter/margarine first, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Place well coated chicken pieces on a lightly greased cookie sheet in a single layer, and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Honey Mustard Dressing/Sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon prepared mustard 1 tablespoon honey 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, honey, and lemon juice. Store covered in the refrigerator.
Sweet and Sour Sauce
3/4 cup white sugar 1/3 cup white vinegar 2/3 cup water 1/4 cup soy sauce 1 tablespoon ketchup 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Place the sugar, vinegar, water, soy sauce, ketchup and cornstarch in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Stir continuously until the mixture has thickened.
If you were to look up the word "picky" in the dictionary, you would see a picture of my husband off to the left. Growing up, I was exposed to all sorts of different foods and encouraged to experiment with different flavors, but after meeting my husband, I somewhat locked myself into an eight to ten meal rotation and was reluctant to deviate. I have since given birth to two of the least picky eaters on the face of the Earth, thus inspiring me to transform my cooking style. I know many people, like myself, lead such hectic lives, so I strive to find recipes that are quick and easy--especially those that you can whip up with ingredients that you ordinarily have on hand!
A bit about me...I married my husband, Marcus, on June 1, 2003 and we welcomed our son Jacob on March 22, 2005. Our daughter, Madeline, was born on March 1, 2008. I stay home with the kids for the most part, but also work occasional shifts as a registered nurse at a local hospital. I truly hope you enjoy my blog. A special "thank you" to my sister, Sarah, for giving me the idea! Her creativity is hard to live up to, but I'm a very determined person and hope to make her proud :)