Recipe: Gage’s Famous Chicken Nuggets

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And yes, that is how we refer to these nuggets in our house!  A while back, Gage was in from college and he told us he wanted to make us dinner one night.  I was a bit skeptical because I know his favorite dish to make is “stinky feet tacos” (another term we made up because Gage used to make tacos ALL.THE.TIME in high school and although everyone says they taste wonderful, I think they smell like stinky feet…)  But instead he said he’d be making us homemade chicken nuggets that are very similar to chick-fil-a but with a little kick.  I actually have a picture of him the very first time he was making these nuggets for us.

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I even texted him last night to let him know we were having them (we make these nuggets not only because they taste amazing, but also because we miss Gage and they make us smile).

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Without further adieu, I shall impart the famous recipe to YOU.  Make a LOT – they are scrumptious.  Cady actually did most of the work – she’s a great sous chef! Enjoy!

Gather your ingredients:

package of chicken breasts/Italian bread crumbs/minced onion or onion powder/garlic powder/Cajun Seasoning (we generally use Tony Chachere's

package of chicken breasts filets | Italian bread crumbs | minced onion or onion powder | garlic powder | Cajun Seasoning (we generally use Tony Chachere’s | Vegetable Oil

Cut your chicken breasts into uniform pieces.  The closer they are in size, the better they cook:

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Mix your seasonings to make the breading:

Grab a storage container and pour enough bread crumbs in to give you about an inch on the bottom.  None of these measurements are exact - I provided pics so you can get an idea.

Grab a storage container and pour enough bread crumbs in to give you about an inch on the bottom. None of these measurements are exact – I provided pics so you can get an idea.

Add dried minced onion or onion powder.  We only have minced onion here because we use it ALL the time.  For this recipe, we put a bit in a ziploc bag and crunch it up with a kitchen mallet.  You could just sprinkle onion powder if you’d like.  We’ve made it so much that I actually like the minced onion texture in the breading tho.

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Next up.  Give a few liberal shakes of garlic powder and then Cajun Seasonings.

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Here’s what the finished breading should resemble.

So simple and all these ingredients are ones you should have on hand anyway!  They are used in a ton of other easy recipes.

So simple and all these ingredients are ones you should have on hand anyway! They are used in a ton of other easy recipes.

Next up, put about a half inch to an inch of veggie oil in your pan.  I didn’t put an exact measurement because it depends on the size of your pan.  It should be about this much:

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Turn the temp to medium (or slightly above – again depends on how hot your stove gets).  Let the oil fully heat up and prepare your station.

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You’ll need a drain pan with paper towels on top, a heat safe utensil to turn and spoon your nuggets and a screen. The screen is optional but if you have one it does prevent some mess…

Put several nuggets into your breading, add a top and swirl around until they are all evenly covered.

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Add them to your hot oil with a little space between. Don’t crowd them.

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Let them cook for 2 – 3 minutes and then turn them when the bottom starts to brown like this:

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Cook another 2-3 minutes on the other side (until it starts to brown) then remove and put on your paper towels.  (The time also fluctuates because again, it depends on how hot your oil is, how big your nuggets are, etc.  But as you check the bottoms and they start to look like the nuggets on the left above, it’s time to turn them.)

I usually put a big piece of foil on top to help keep the heat in.  You will have to repeat the process several times so you don't want those precious nuggets getting chilly.

I usually put a big piece of foil on top to help keep the heat in. You will have to repeat the process several times so you don’t want those precious nuggets getting chilly.

Repeat until you’ve finished all your nuggets and then serve.  I’m not kidding, we usually make a ton and they always get eaten.  They are so tasty and perfect for anytime of the year and tons of occasions.  Gage also has a special sauce that he makes that we serve along with the nuggets.

Mix equal parts Panda Express Orange sauce with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce (both available at grocery stores).  Splash in some Louisiana Hot sauce.  Done.

Cady always eats the special sauce and I usually have mine with ranch.  You can use whatever sauce is your favorite.  You NEED to try these.  People love them and if my college kid can make them for guests, you can definitely do it too!  PS: our toddler even loves them.  WIN!

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