This easy chicken recipe is a big hit for play dates, picnics, and parties. Leftovers can be re-heated in a toaster oven or a quick broil to get back the crispy coating. They taste great warm or cold and are a complete meal with gohan (rice) and steamed broccoli or spinach. This is my “go to” meal at least once a week and super healthy because it’s baked, not fried. The kids love to help with this one too! Baked Panko Chicken Nuggets
Makes about 6 small servings
1 lb. of chicken breast or tenders cut up into bite-sized pieces (about 1 ½ inch square) - err on the side of bigger/thicker pieces as they will stay moist and not dry out
2 eggs, beaten w/ about 1 tsp of water
1/4 cup flour – white or wheat flour
1/4 cup of cornstarch
1 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs, see below)
salt & pepper
1/4 cup ketchup, preferably low sodium
1 tbsp soy sauce, preferably low sodium
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Set oven to broil. Lightly season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Use a plastic ziplock bag and add the flour/cornstarch and the cut up chicken to it. Shake to dredge the chicken pieces with the flour/cornstarch misture. Make a dipping station using a shallow bowl for the eggs and a separate shallow bowl for the Panko. Take the floured chicken pieces, one at a time, and dip then into the egg. Then dip and cover them with the Panko. Put the breaded pieces on the cookie sheet, without any touching. TIP: For a crispier texture, spray the tops of the chicken pieces with cooking spray. Cook on the bottom rack for 10 minutes and flip after 5 minutes or when golden brown. Spray the other side and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Serve with the Tonkatsu Sauce or any other dipping sauce your kids enjoy!
For Tonkatsu Sauce, whisk Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and ketchup together until combined. Alternatively, you can purchase ready made tonkatsu sauce at most grocers in the international section or at an Asian grocery store.
A yummy variation is to dip each nugget into a simmering pot of teriyaki sauce (http://wp.me/p1L4Tl-N) right after they are baked and let them dry on a raised rack. Make sure they do not touch each other as this will keep them extra crispy! These don't need any Tonkatsu Sauce, you can just gobble them right up.
Panko (パン粉) – Preferred Brand Shirakiku - Prepared Bread Crumbs. Most often used for pork. Called "tonkatsu" in Japanese (とんかつ) which translates to "ton" meaning pork and "katsu" referring to the bread coating that is traditionally deep fried. It doesn’t have to be deep fried - you can broil it and it comes out just as crispy without the oil! Panko is available at most grocers in the international section.