Prep2 hrs 30 mins
My homestyle copycat recipe for McDonald's Chicken McNuggets. PLEASE NOTE: The Nutritional Information listing here is inaccurate -- since only a fraction of flour and salt actually end up in the finished product. So be aware -- the suggested sodium, sugar, carbohydrate and calorie levels are ridiculously exaggerated!
- 1 lb frozen boneless chicken tenderloins, thawed
- 4 cups cold water
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1⁄2 cup pre-sifted all-purpose flour, plus
- 1⁄3 cup pre-sifted all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup cornstarch
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons Lawry's Seasoned Salt (use Lawry's only)
- 1 tablespoon fine cornflour (or fine masa harina flour)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons nonfat dry milk powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fine black pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fine white pepper
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1⁄2 cup cold water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1⁄4 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1⁄4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- vegetable oil (3 parts)
- vegetable shortening (1 part )
- THAW chicken breast tenderloins; POUND tenderloins if necessary to 1/3-inch thickness, between sheets of plastic wrap using a flat mallet; CUT chicken into 2-inch x 1 1/4-inch wide various shapes, using kitchen shears; PLACE chicken into prepared BRINE (4 cups cold water, 2 teaspoons fine sea salt); SOAK chicken pieces in brine for 2 hours; BLOT dry.
- MEASURE the BREADING ingredients into another medium bowl; PLACE breading bowl into working area.
- WHISK the BATTER ingredients together until smooth; PLACE batter bowl into working area (whisk batter often while using to refresh consistency).
- COAT a few chicken pieces at a time in the BATTER mixture until evenly battered.
- DROP a few pieces of chicken at a time into the BREADING mixture using tongs; TURN chicken gently using tongs in the breading until evenly coated; REMOVE breaded chicken with tongs individually and place onto a breading rack (I use a food-industry grade breading rack). NOTE: YOU MAY DOUBLE-BREAD THESE IF YOU PREFER; SIMPLY REPEAT THE BATTERING AND BREADING STEPS (MAKE SURE YOU'VE ADDED ONE EXTRA TEASPOON POWDERED SUGAR FIRST).
- IF FREEZING MCNUGGETS FOR FUTURE FRYING: PLACE rack of breaded chicken loosely wrapped into freezer until frozen; TRANSFER frozen McNuggets to Ziploc bag(s) until needed.
- PREHEAT the DEEP-FRYING fat to immerse chicken completely in a deep heavy pot, or manufacturer's recommended amount of fat in deep-fryer; SLOWLY heat oil in gradual increments oil to 350°F until preheated; ADD chicken carefully using tongs, to elevated frying basket (outside of frying oil) without overcrowding.
- FRY chicken nuggets until golden-crisp and fully cooked (longer for frozen McNuggets, naturally), depending on chicken portion/size until chicken is no longer pink in the center, and juices run clear (DO NOT OVERCOOK!).
- RAISE frying basket when chicken is cooked and allow to drain; PLACE chicken nuggets on absorbent paper NOTE: To keep chicken warm before serving, place chicken on a rack-fitted baking sheet covered with a sheet of foil in preheated 175°F oven.
- SERVE with your favorite dipping sauces and/or other condiments and enjoy!