Pretzel Chicken Nuggets

February 25th, 2011
Mark Bittman’s new column in the New York Times was interesting this week.  He is taking on McDonald’s new breakfast option, oatmeal.  You can read his Opinionater column here.  It seems that McDonald’s has taken a healthy food like oatmeal and turned it into a nutritional nightmare.  Real oatmeal does not have any ingredients.  It is the ingredient, as Bittman says.  McDonald’s oatmeal has 7 ingredients, one of which is “natural flavor”.  You have to wonder why it is necessary to make everything so complicated.  AND BAD FOR US.
The same is true of Chicken McNuggets.  It seems it would be just as easy to cut up pieces of chicken breast, roll them in a coating and fry them.  But no, .  .  .   chicken is mechanically separated, turned into a pink goo, washed in ammonia, redyed and reflavored.  I think I will just make my chicken nuggets at home.
Here is a recipe that I adapted from myrecipes that has a twist on the usual coating for chicken pieces.  It was very tasty and the pretzels gave it added crunch.
2 cups small pretzel twists
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 large eggs
1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Coat a large baking sheet with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Place pretzels and Parmesan in a food processor and process until coarsely ground and well mixed.  Transfer to a bowl.
Combine flour and pepper in a separate bowl.  Beat eggs with 1 tsp. water in a third bowl.
Roll chicken pieces in flour mixture until thoroughly coated.  Dip in eggs, allowing excess to drip off.  Transfer to pretzel mixture and turn until thoroughly coated.  Place chicken on baking sheet; turn to coat with oil.  Bake, turning once until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
To make it even better for you, serve the chicken nuggets on a bed of fresh salad greens.

11 responses to “Pretzel Chicken Nuggets”

  1. Penny, these look like a lot of fun to make. I swore off of chicken McNuggets a long time ago when I found out what was in them. Yuck. I can’t believe Micky D has now messed with oatmeal of all things. What are they thinking……or maybe they think we don’t know how to think for ourselves.

    I’m off to read Bittman’s column.

  2. Donnie says:

    I make corn flake chicken all the time with crushed corn flakes. One of Don’s favorite ways to eat chicken. I know I’ll try the pretzel coating because we always have pretzels on hand.

  3. Big Dude says:

    They sound good Penny and I don’t know if I’ve eaten a chicken McNugget, but I sure won’t now.

  4. Kate says:

    Mmmm…this is a great salad!

  5. Lyla says:

    Penny, looks wonderful. Because Bill and I will be on a road trip, I was excited about getting oatmeal at McDonalds. Then I tried it—absolutely inedible. Too sweet–too soupy–and too little like anything even remotely close to oatmeal We’ll stick to our own oatmeal with wheat germ, flax, and dried cherries sprinkled on top. Thanks for the nuggets. We’ll give them a try once we arrive in AZ.

  6. Pondside says:

    That sounds yummy!

  7. Rita says:

    What an original recipe; they really look healthy good.

  8. One of the reasons I don’t like chains and that I enjoy cooking at home! I can’t believe they’ve messed with oatmeal! Someone should tell Micky D to “step away from the oatmeal!” I only go there for the coffee! Thanks for the information and the delicious recipe! Have a wonderful day!


  9. Hey, Penny. Have I told you lately that you’re awesome! These look delicious and I never would have thought of such a thing. Easy, delicious and inventive!

  10. Kayla says:

    I just recently had my son experience Anaphylactic shock due to unknown nut allergy. I am new and overwhelmed but trying to find a healthy recipe for his favorite chicken nuggets. Can you help me understand if your recipe is infact nut free?

    • Penny Klett says:

      Kayla, I would check on the pretzel package to see if there are any nut products in the ingredients. All of the other ingredients in this recipe are nut free. So sorry for your scare.

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