I call these "grown-up chicken nuggets" not because my kids don't like them (they love them), but because Mark and I do too. Usually people talk about foods they can get their kids to eat, but when it comes to certain foods, like chicken nuggets, it's hard to find ones that I like. I only like chicken nuggets that taste like real chicken.
In addition to being real chicken, these nuggets are not covered in a heavy batter or deep fried, so not only do they taste like real chicken, they are much healthier. My guys all like to dip chicken nuggets in ranch dressing, but I like them just as they are. The spices are just the right blend of mild heat for me and the crispy outside is a nice treat.
"Grown-up chicken nuggets" have become a family favorite (BTW, we just call them "chicken nuggets.") Everyone shows great excitement when they learn chicken nuggets are on the menu. Please don't inform my guys that these are healthy, or how very easy they are to make. Yes, I am enjoying the pleasure they are taking in this meal and I don't want to squash it with the facts. I have learned that boys aren't all that impressed with nutrition, only taste.
Recipe adapted from this recipe on Whole New Mom
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast*
1/3 c white whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp paprika
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or 1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)
Lightly coat the bottom of a rimmed baking sheets with canola oil. Preheat oil in pan in a 450 degree oven while you prepare the chicken. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Mix flour and spices together and sprinkle over chicken. Stir together chicken and spices to ensure the chicken is coated with spices. Spread chicken on the preheated pan making sure pieces are not touching so chicken can get crispy. Bake at 450 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, or until bottom is crispy. Turn and cook an additional 5-10 minutes or until your have reached the desired crispiness. Serve with ranch dressing or honey mustard sauce if desired.
*Make sure your chicken is completely thawed and any liquid from thawing is drained before mixing the chicken with the spices. The chicken doesn't need to be dry, but make sure it is not too wet.