A homemade version from Kathleen Flinn's The Kitchen Counter Cooking School. "My sister and I started making this alternative to the ubiquitous ultraprocessed fried chicken nuggets for my niece Sarah almost two decades ago. Store-bought breadcrumbs can be stale and loaded with sodium, so try making your own. Toast two slices of bread, let them cool, and process them into crumbs in a small food processor. You can also use panko, Japanese breadcrumbs, or toss in ground cornflakes for extra crunch. Cooking the chicken on a cooling rack allows the dry heat to crisp both sides, but if you don't have one, simply coat a parchment or foil-lined cookie sheet with cooking spray, and turn the chicken pieces over after ten minutes. Try to use real cheese rather than a canned variety; it will make a big difference in flavour."
1-1/2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dried thyme or mixed herbs
Pinch of cayenne (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup skim milk, yogurt or buttermilk
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Step 2: Place a cooling rack in the centre of a cookie sheet. Set aside.
Step 3: Cut the chicken breasts into 1-1/2" pieces.
Step 4: In a shallow bowl or a large plastic bag, mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, dried herbs, cayenne (if using) and a few grinds of black pepper.
Step 5: Combine the egg and milk in a small bowl. Dip the chicken into the milk mixture and then coat it well with the breadcrumb mixture, either in a bowl or by tossing it inside the bag. Place the coated chicken pieces on the cooling rack and put the cookie sheet into the oven. Depending on your oven and the size and thickness of the chicken, the pieces will take 15-20 minutes until firm and cooked through.
Step 6: Spritz the chicken lightly with cooking spray and then place the cookie sheet under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, until a bit browned, if desired, but keep a vigilant gaze on them lest they burn.
See more recipes from Kathleen Flinn.
Reprinted with permission from Kathleen Flinn's The Kitchen Counter Cooking School (2011 Viking).