Aggie's Kitchen

Crispy Chicken Bites and a peek in Aggie’s Garden

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Crispy Chicken Bites

If you are looking for an alternative to those frozen chicken nuggets you buy in the store, this is a great recipe for you to try. It’s easy, full of flavor and ssshhh…pretty healthy.

Crispy Chicken Bites

The method behind cooking these chicken bites is “air baking”. I learned this method from watching cooking shows and was amazed at what a difference it made when baking anything that is breaded. All you need is a large rimmed cookie sheet and a cooling rack and you are on your way to really crispy breaded chicken or fish for dinner.

Crispy Chicken Bites

I like to use Panko breadcrumbs for that extra crunch, but you can definitely use regular fine breadcrumbs and get the same result. I always buy plain breadcrumbs and season them up on my own with salt, pepper, garlic and sometimes Italian seasoning. I gave these chicken bites a little extra something sweet by dredging them in homemade honey mustard sauce before breading them. You could surely get creative and dredge them in buttermilk ranch or even teriyaki sauce to change them up a bit.

Crispy Chicken Bites

Print Recipe

Crispy Chicken Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken, cut into large nuggets
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 - 3 heaping TB honey
  • 2 - 3 heaping TB yellow mustard
  • 1 cup (ish) Panko or regular plain bread crumbs, seasoned to your liking with salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • nonstick spray or olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, mix together honey and yellow mustard until completely combined. Place seasononed breadcrumbs in a large rimmed dish or bowl. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper and gently dredge chicken in sauce. After dredging, place chicken into breadcrumbs and gently press to coat. Place breaded chicken onto cooling rack that is placed in a rimmed cookie sheet. Coat each chicken piece with nonstick spray or spritz with olive oil.
  3. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Crispy Chicken Bites

Now onto the garden…

Ok, I know I’ve mentioned my grandfather a lot on this blog. He’s so cute and if you meet him you just love him. He grew up in Sicily and came to America when my mom was 11 years old. He lives incredibly simple and I learn new things from him each time I’m with him. He loves his wine and he loves his food. He’s a very busy “retired” man…always cooking, cleaning, taking care of his house and my mom’s house, helping neighbors…and gardening. I think I have heard him say every year that he “isn’t going to have a garden this year” because it’s just too much work…but then next thing you know, it’s late winter and he’s already got rows and rows of peppers, basil, and tomatoes growing from seeds in pots all around his yard. This man’s thumb is greener than anyone’s I know.

He started his tomato plants earlier this year and gave me two pots of them to take home. Last year I started a container garden with some tomatoes and peppers and to be honest, was a little disappointed in the results. So this year, after seeing my grandfather’s multiple “non gardens”, I was inspired to start a real garden of my own in my backyard. And it’s a good thing I did because little did I know that there were over 30 little tomato plants growing in those 2 pots my grandfather sent home with me! I ended up planting 20 and gave the rest away to aspiring gardening friends.

(a variety of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, cucumbers and tucked in there too is a fig tree and watermelon!)

(my herbs along with cherry tomatoes, arugula, zucchini, squash and variety of peppers)

I’m very excited to see what grows in this little plot of earth in my backyard…I can see why my grandfather continues to garden, it’s in his blood and apparently in mine too. I can see more and more of my grandfather in me every day and I just love it.

I am hoping to share many meals with you with my garden veggies and herbs
…I’ll keep you posted!

And as always, thank you for reading!

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34 Responses to “Crispy Chicken Bites and a peek in Aggie’s Garden”

  1. Mary posted May 15, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    I love your garden. You’re going to have so much fun when harvest time comes.

  2. Megan posted May 15, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Looks delicious!

    I don’t really use nonstick spray – do you think these would work if I used olive oil? (It would give me an excuse to get one of those fancy oil spritzers!)

  3. Colleen posted May 15, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    I love the dredging in honey mustard!

  4. Aggie posted May 15, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Megan – yes definitely! I would actually prefer spraying with olive oil…just don’t have a spritzer, I need to get one myself! 🙂

  5. Barbara Bakes posted May 15, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Good luck with the garden! The chicken sounds easy and delicious!

  6. Patsyk posted May 15, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    I love the idea of dredging in different liquids.. honey mustard is a favorite, but I may also have to try teriyaki soon!

  7. Mary Ann posted May 15, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    I love your garden! I am sure you will love whatever you are able to harvest. It tastes so much better.
    The chicken bites look absolutely wonderful. My kids will love me forever when I make them.

  8. Bob posted May 15, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    I’m wicked jealous of your garden. I wish I had a yard so bad. Heh.

    Those chicken chunks look awesome, I’ve been wanting to try that cooking method since I saw it in a Cooks Illustrated a couple months ago. I’ve been having a hard time finding an oven safe rack in a size I can use though, since my oven is tiny.

    I’ll just have to live vicariously through you! 🙂

  9. Carrian posted May 15, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Loving your garden! I also love to air bake, in fact that’s usually how I cook the chicken dinos, but i decided for pey’s bday to just go for the oil!!

  10. A Feast for the Eyes posted May 15, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    I love the air baking! I never thought to do this, and I always have panko on hand. As for your container garden… lovely! We have 20 container tomatoes and tons of herbs that are thriving, too. I’m planning on posting pix on my blog this weekend. There is nothing like fresh herbs and homegrown tomatoes. Yum!

  11. Helene posted May 15, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    I love your garden. Those chicken bites looks much better than any storebought.

  12. Sara posted May 16, 2009 at 12:20 am

    These look yummy! My hubby is a fan of the frozen chicken nuggets, so I know he’ll love these.

  13. danazia posted May 16, 2009 at 5:01 am

    Popped over to see what Aggie’s kitchen was up to. Nice container garden! Looking froward to seeing how that does you. We just planted ours too. Lots of basil this year…can’t wait.

  14. Cucinista posted May 16, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Panko breadcrumbs are definitely my weapon of choice. They make everything better! Great recipe.

  15. Jamie posted May 16, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Aggie,
    Your garden looks great! Now, get up here and get mine started! Can’t wait to see how your garden grows!

  16. Penny posted May 16, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Love your garden. I planted rosemary last year at our Fla. house and it is turning into the most beautiful bush. The thyme survived too. Do you have citrus? The chicken looks great. Will give it a try.

  17. unconfidential cook posted May 16, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Love panko…and what a good idea to bake, kind of like roasting vegetables.

  18. Tessa posted May 16, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    So jealous of your garden! I wish it wasn’t so scorching hot here in Arizona so I could plant some herbs.

  19. Pamela posted May 17, 2009 at 2:41 am

    My how your garden grows!! Looks lovely. I’ll have to try that chicken soon. I’m always looking for new ways to get the boys to eat, that’s for sure. Looks terrific.

  20. Julie posted May 17, 2009 at 4:31 am

    Those chicken bites look super!

  21. My Taste Heaven posted May 17, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Oh yes, this is new way to cook our chicken nuggets, thanks. How come I never thought about it?! 🙂

  22. Girl Japan posted May 17, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    I think I’ll just have to stop talking to you now, all this green is making me ENVY- the food to boot, you have mad skills = )

  23. Lickedspoon posted May 17, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    These look very tasty indeed and I loved seeing your garden. Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man.

  24. Erica posted May 17, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    mmmm! So yummy. I will def be making this! Saving this recipe 🙂 I love the idea of air baking. Beautiful garden- love the “grow” sign

  25. Lisa posted May 17, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Great garden! I am so behind because we’ve had such bad spring weather so I haven’t planted a thing yet.

  26. Ashley posted May 17, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Aggie – thanks for stopping by my blog the other day! I love the sound of these chicken bites; ive tried something similar ina weight watchers cookbook once and they were delish!

    And I’m so jealous of your garden! I live in an apartment complex and I can’t exactly take over the courtyard… I don’t even a good window with lighting! I wish I could grow basil and arugula in particular…

  27. Maria posted May 18, 2009 at 2:13 am

    I am SO jealous of your garden! Lucky you!

  28. joe@italyville posted May 18, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    The “Grow” sign is great! gives the plants a little added motivation!

  29. Mrs Ergül posted May 19, 2009 at 3:31 am

    We stay in an apartment and I dont have a backyard. I can only dream of having one! Yours is gorgeous!!

    I love those chicken bites!

  30. Sophie posted May 19, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    These look so so good — I think I’d get so caught up in eating ’em I’d probably forget to not double dip :).

  31. The Duo Dishes posted May 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    We gotta get panko…we just gotta. And then make this.

  32. Chung-Ah @ Damn Delicious posted June 4, 2011 at 2:30 am

    I used the air baking method with baked zucchini fries and it turned out amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing this method!!

  33. JenObie posted December 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing a new technique for better crisping when turning to baked over fried. I dream of real, garden fresh flavorful tomatoes like the ones my Gram and my-little-girl self would pick from her plants and eat right there in the field on warm summer days. So I won’t go into the garden envy you’ve roused, but doggone it, you have me tearing up over your grandfather comments. Loving someone is well deserving of expression … and it turns up the sunshine for everyone!

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