From Jenika: I was wondering if you have ever made homemade chicken nuggets, and how did you do it??
Here is my “method” for making homemade baked chicken nuggets/tenders. They are super easy and my family loves them! We’ve found the homemade variety to be less expensive, more healthy, and better tasting than store-bought ones.
To make ours as frugally as possible, I very rarely buy actual chicken “tenders”. I mostly stick with chicken breasts or thighs because they are so much cheaper (I stock up when they’re on sale). Just cut your choice of chicken meat into nugget or tender sized pieces and you’re ready to go!
Here’s the break-down of how much you can save by making your own chicken tenders:
I’ve found that 1 package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts will usually feed our family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) for two meals. I just prepare half the chicken breasts and save the remaining for later in the week.
I made these chicken tenders for supper this evening and used two of the four chicken breasts in the package. Since we spent around $3.50 for the package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (on sale), I figured that these chicken tenders roughly cost me around $2.50 to make, including the meat, spices, etc– and that was a plateful of chicken tenders!
Our eggs and milk are free (thanks to laying hens and a milk goat and milk cow), so our tenders were really on the cheap. Even if you use store-bought eggs and milk, you’re looking and spending at least half the amount you would if you purchased a box or bag of pre made chicken nuggets from the grocery store (or a fast food joint).
To make your own baked chicken tenders, you will need:
chicken meat cut into tenders or nuggets
1 C milk
1 sleeve saltine crackers
1/4 C Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
dash of black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1 C flour
In a medium glass bowl, whisk milk and eggs until well blended. Add chicken pieces to milk and egg mixture and allow to soak for a few minutes.
Place saltine crackers in a food processor and process until fine. Add Parmesan cheese and spices and process again until well mixed. Place your cracker mixture into a dish and add flour. Stir to mix well. This is your homemade “shake and bake” coating! You can vary the spices and amounts according to your family’s preferences.
Place about 1 cup of your homemade “shake and bake” into a shallow dish. Coat chicken pieces in mixture on both sides and line them on a cookie sheet. (I store left-over “shake and bake” in a zip lock baggie and use it later in the week.)
Bake chicken tenders in a preheated 400-degree oven for 8 minutes. Turn once, then bake an additional 8-10 minutes, or until chicken begins to turn lightly golden. Baking time may be slightly less if you are baking smaller cuts of chicken (for nuggets).
My kids enjoy dipping their baked chicken in homemade Ranch dressing or Sweet and Tangy Honey Mustard Sauce.
We make these tenders a meal with mashed potatoes and a steamed veggie- yum! Or, on busier days, I just add a plate of chopped vegetables to the table and my kids eat them (and dip them!) right along with the tenders.
This post is linked at Works for Me Wednesday