This recipe comes from Food Network, courtesy of Brian Boitano. The first time we made these nuggets we followed the original recipe exactly and fried the chicken bites in 2 cups of oil. Of course, it was delicious! But we knew that there had to be a way to make a healthier version.
The third time was the charm. After a trial of pan-frying the chicken nuggets, we baked them, coating the baking sheet with a thin layer of oil (which ultimately yielded a similar result as the pan-frying method). The nuggets still have the crunch of fried chicken and all of the flavors are there, but the chicken tastes lighter.
We found a great hot sauce from Louisiana but you can use the hot sauce of your choice. We used it in the buttermilk marinade and drizzled it over the cooked nuggets and veggie sticks.
We omitted the mayonnaise from the creamy bacon dip but you could always add 1 Tbsp mayonnaise or cream cheese to make the dip thicker. And if you don’t like blue cheese, stir some bacon crumbles into your favorite ranch dressing to replicate the creamy bacon dip.
- 1½ pounds chicken breast
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 Tbsp hot sauce (we like Trappey's Louisiana Hot Sauce: Original Recipe)
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Canola oil
- ¾ cup light sour cream
- ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
- 4 bacon strips, cooked and chopped
- Cut the raw chicken into bite-size pieces.
- Combine the chicken with the buttermilk and the hot sauce in a large bowl.
- Cover and let it marinate in the refrigerator for several hours.
- Place the bacon on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees until crisp, about 12 minutes.
- Transfer the bacon onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess grease.
- Or you can cook the bacon in the microwave, on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Once the bacon is cool, chop it into small pieces.
- Whisk the flour and seasonings in a bowl.
- Dredge the buttermilk-soaked chicken pieces in the flour mixture.
- Make sure the chicken is thoroughly coated.
- Then, put the flour-coated chicken back into the buttermilk marinade. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture again to give them a second coating.
- Place the chicken pieces on a baking sheet coated with a thin layer of canola oil.
- Bake the chicken nuggets at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes on each side.
- Serve the chicken nuggets with celery sticks, carrot sticks and the creamy bacon dip on the side.
- My family likes to drizzle hot sauce over the chicken nuggets and even the veggie sticks prior to dipping in the Creamy Bacon Dip.
- Combine the sour cream, blue cheese crumbles and bacon bits.
- If you want a thicker dip, you can add 1 Tbsp light mayonnaise or 1 Tbsp cream cheese.