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5 from 2 votes

Chicken Nuggets

Here's a fun one, and one that's likely to delight the whole family! I had some friends over when I made this and asked them to honestly tell me if they could tell that they've been de-carbed. They all agreed that there was no lack of flavor and that they were as good, if not better than, the real carb-full thing.

These are a bit messy to make, but I agree with my friends. They were outstanding. In fact, I was frankly caught a little off guard by how wonderful these little chicken nibblets turned out to be. They were golden brown, flavorful, had a spectacular texture and were full of moist and juicy goodness.

Normally, the procedure for breading and frying would be dredge in seasoned flour (to help the eggs adhere to the "goodie"). Then, it would go into an egg bath, followed by being dredged in a seasoned bread crumb mixture. From there, it would be fried (usually in some kind of vegetable oil garbage).

We're going to right several of those wrongs, by eliminating wheat, an overwhelming majority of the carbs and then fry them in a healthy, stable, high temperature fat.

Dredge Note: I REALLY thought about dredging these in coconut flour, prior to placing them in the egg bath. It would have made them very very slightly "sweet", but... virtually undetectable in flavor. The idea was to help the eggs and almond meal/parmesan mixture adhere to the "nuggets" with a little more intensity. I opted to go for a more pure Mediterranean flavor and skipped that step. It turns out that it wasn't necessary!

Fat Note: Good "high smoke point" oils for frying are: coconut oil, lard palm oil, and clarified butter (ghee). Avoid hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and manmade trans-fats. Processed oils like canola, corn, vegetable and soybean should be avoided.

Note: Photo is taken with Homemade BBQ Sauce, but these are also EXCELLENT with Marinara made with San Marzano Tomatoes.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 570.2925kcal
Author: DJ Foodie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup high smoke point oil (see recipe notes)
  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese finely grated
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano (thyme rosemary, sage and/or marjoram), rough chop
  • 4 each garlic clove minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken (I used breast but thigh will work, as well - skin is optional), cut into cubes
  • salt fresh cracked black pepper and chile flakes, to taste

Instructions

  • Pre-heat your oil to a temperature between 325 and 350 degrees, in a wide skillet over medium-low heat.
  • While the oil heats, in a large and wide-mouthed bowl mix your almond meal, parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper and optional chile flakes. (I actually used a large wide Tupperware with a lid) Remove half of the mixture and set aside in a small bowl.
  • In third bowl, whisk together your egg with 2 tbsp. cold water. Add a little salt and pepper.
  • Add your cubed chicken to the eggs and mix well.
  • To the best of your ability, spread the almond meal mixture evenly along the bottom of your large bowl or container.
  • Evenly drop the chicken cubes around the almond meal mixture, so that they don't really touch one another.
  • Dust the tops of the cubed chicken with the remaining almond meal mixture.
  • Shake the chicken. If you've got a lid, add the lid and shake shake shake, Senora. Otherwise, just get in there and make sure the nuggets are evenly coated. If all the dredge doesn't fully stick, just let it sit for a few minutes, then give it another mix. Some of the moisture will continue to collect on the surface and little more will stick. Alternately, you can literally just "squeeze" it on, by applying pressure with your palms.
  • Once the nuggets are evenly coated, carefully drop them evenly into their own spots within the heated oil. At this point, you probably want to increase the temperature of the burner, as the chicken will drop the temperature of the oil. (be careful not to let the oil go much higher than 350 F, however).
  • As one side turns golden brown, flip them to the other side. Continue frying and turning until they are cooked through and golden brown.
  • Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a towel to absorb any extra fat.
  • Note: If you chose to do a deep fry, rather than a pan fry, as long as your oil never went above 350 F, you can strain it through a coffee filter and re-use one more time. BE CAREFUL not to burn yourself.
  • Serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 8g | Calories: 570.2925kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.6225g | Protein: 27.95375g | Fat: 49.41625g | Fiber: 2.285g