As the weather gets hotter, so does my appetite for spicy food. The craving for spicy chicken nuggets or any chicken with a spicy ingredient has been tormenting me for weeks until I finally capitualted when I decided that fighting my hankerings is a losing battle. Only this one time have I decided not to cry over this big defeat. Who can resist these bite sized yumminess? The tingling flavors from the hot sauce always have me in a headlock. I grew up on chicken nuggets. They were a favorite as well as one of the most popularly ordered appetizer on the menu. The piquant flavors from the hot sauce and honey is what makes these chicken nuggets popping – that is how they were dubbed chicken fire poppers. Each bite is explosive but not overwhelming. You couldn’t expect a more perfect balance of flavors. I made sure to make and pack extras for our journey through Europe to America.
This chicken nugget recipe is inspired by a similar recipe using chicken wings. Since chicken breasts are a healthier option, I went with them instead. I also oven baked these nuggets rather than deep frying them. You can achieve the crispy exterior without using copious amounts of oil. A greasy mess is the last thing I need. The only danger factor that lies within these chicken fire poppers is that they are extremely addictive – once you start, it’s hard to finish. Delicious doesn’t even begin to describe these chicken fire poppers. Forget the main course. A basketfull of these spicy chicken nuggets is a meal unto itself but not complete without a salad. I normally have my limits but I bear no shame for my addiction to chicken fire poppers. I suppose it’s a good thing that I show enough restraint not to make them very often. These chicken fire poppers are a new favorite appetizer in my household and that is why I save this chicken nugget recipe for special occasions. I nearly forgot to mentionthat these tender chicken nuggets are easy to make.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1 1/2 – 2 lbs of chicken breasts cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup of hot sauce
- 1/4 cup of honey
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour or corn starch
- 1 cup of panko bread crumbs or cornflakes
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1/3 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl, whisk hot sauce, honey, and soy sauce. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs/cornflakes with garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Dredge chicken pieces in cornstarch/flour. Then dunk them in hot sauce mixture. Coat them with breadcrumbs/cornflakes. Line nuggets evenly on a greased baking sheet. To get a crunchy topping, spray nuggets with cooking spray. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Yields 4-6 servings