Our freezer food line-up so far consists of Corn Dogs, French Toast Sticks, Breakfast Burritos, and Pizza Bagels. Now I’ll show you a way to make oven-ready chicken nuggets for the freezer, so you can serve fresh baked chicken nuggets any time the need strikes. I admit, I often buy pre-made frozen chicken nuggets at the grocery store. They are a great dinner or lunch for the kids when I am working and mrChaos doesn’t feel like cooking. This recipe, however, is so easy and cheap to put together and the nuggets take just as long in the oven as typical processed chicken nuggets. I don’t know that I’ll be spending my money on the pre-made ones any more!
Oven-Fried Chicken Fingers for the Freezermakes 3 lbs, prep 20 min, cook time 20 min, adapted from Gourmet, January 2004
- 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders, trimmed of fat
- 1 cup flour
- seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic, as desired)
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, melted
- 8 cups cornflakes, crushed finely
- Trim chicken and cut into desired shapes.
- Add flour and any desired seasonings to a large bowl or bag. Add chicken pieces and toss to coat with flour.
- Take one chicken piece and dip it in melted butter, allow excess to drip off.
- Then roll chicken in cornflake crumbs, patting crumbs all over to have them stick.
- Place chicken on a baking sheet, continue until all chicken is breaded.
- Either bake chicken strips at 400°F for 15-20 minutes or place chicken strips into the freezer.
- After several hours, once chicken strips are frozen, place them in labeled freezer bags.
- Instructions to cook from frozen: place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 425°F for 20 minutes or until juices are clear.
These are a great, quick meal or snack. The ones above are full sized chicken tenders, next time I will cut breasts into smaller pieces because I like the size and texture better.
I had a little trouble with the cornflakes crumbs: they really need to be finely crushed and even then you have to really pat them on. I was a little skeptical as to how they would bake up, but they were delicious! The cornflakes create a nice, crisp crumb coating. They were actually a lot better coated than I expected them to be (the picture above is my first batch-you can see a few bare spots), the crumbs actually stuck really well. I used chicken tenders to save some time but my kids didn’t care for the large size, so next time I will definitely make smaller breast nuggets. I first saw this recipe here, but there are variations all over the internet. You can also make these with less fat by omitting the butter and flour and dipping the chicken in low-fat buttermilk before coating them in the cornflakes. I have also seen them dipped in ranch dressing first. I haven’t tried any of these variations yet, so if you do, let me know how they turn out!
- 3 lbs all natural chicken breasts: $11.97
- 2 sticks organic butter: $1
- 8 cups cornflakes: $1.40
- Total cost for 3 pounds: $14.37 or $4.79 per pound (29.9¢ per ounce, the frozen chicken tenders at the store are 30¢ per ounce, so ha!)