jalapeno cheddar chicken nugs
So this was inspired by a Tastemade video. They made homemade chicken nuggets and they looked so goood. That is one of the guilty pleasures that I get cravings for from McDonald's every now and again. They look so tempting until you eat a few and then you realize that they don't actually taste like much except as a vehicle to dip in all sorts of sauces! So the idea of making your own at home was tempting. I was sort of craving jalapeño poppers so that's when I decided to combine the two and create a flavored chicken nugget. I will say that this was pretty easy to do and the food processor does most of the work. If you don't shape them and lightly bread them, this would definitely work for chicken meatballs or even some chicken kabobs or sausages. I love multi useful recipes don't you??
You know where this is going right? Of course I wanted to try to air fry them! I mean...if you are going to go through the trouble of making your own chicken nuggets, why oh why wouldn't you not deep fry them?? Also, if it was a fail, you would never know because I simply would not even mention the air fryer in this post! Here is a quick video to show how fast all of this actually comes together!
Like I had any doubts in my new favorite toy! Of course they turned out delicious and juicy. Just keep an eye on them -- everyone's air fryer's are different with different wattages so cooking times can certainly differ. Also depends on how big or small, thick or thin you end up making your nuggets. For a kid friendly version of this, you could certainly omit the jalapeños and add in any favorite veggie...you could even form the patties into fun shapes! I think these would be fun to make together and kids could actually see what whole foods go into making their favorite treat!
Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Nugs
1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts or thighs (I used a combo of the two), cut into small pieces
2 large jalapeños, remove seeds and membranes, diced
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 pieces of bread (I used leftover wheat hamburger buns), cut into pieces
1 tsp of salt
freshly ground pepper
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs for breading
Avocado spray, as needed
In a large food processor, add in chicken, cheddar and jalapeños and pulse a few times.
Add in your bread pieces and pulse until everything comes together.
Transfer mixture into a medium mixing bowl.
Add in spices, parsley and egg and mix together completely.
Form into small nuggets (or fun shapes using cookie cutters).
Preheat the air fryer at 400F for 5 minute.
Meanwhile, dip the nuggets into a bowl of the breadcrumbs so that all sides are coated thoroughly.
Once preheated, spray the basket of the air fryer with avocado spray. Carefully place the coated chicken nugs into the basket in a single layer so that they are not touching. Spray the tops with the avocado oil and cook at 400F for 12 minutes. Flip the nuggets at the halfway mark. Check on them as cooking times will vary depending on your air fryer and the thickness of your nuggets. They should be brown and crispy when they are done! Eat them hot!
Choose or make your favorite dip or dips to eat them with (I simply put some whole grain mustard and some honey to make some honey mustard...so good!)
I will say that I couldn't really make out the taste of the cheddar in here so I think that I will try some other flavor components next time. The jalapeño definitely came through and I liked the subtle heat and flavor that it added. I think if I want more of the jalapeño popper feel, next time I will dice the cheddar in small cubes and wrap the chicken nugget mixture around it so it melts and oozes out with every bite!! YUM.
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