This is my go-to spicy chicken nugget recipe. I keep a big batch of the seasoning on-hand in the pantry. The chicken comes out slightly crispy, with an out-of-this-world flavor that’s just a tad smoky and spicy. I serve them with whatever dipping sauce I have on hand, which is usually out of a bottle of wing sauce I have in the fridge. Wing sauces were made for nuggets, too.
This approach for making spicy chicken nuggets also makes for absolutely great chicken sandwiches. Just use thin-slices of chicken breast instead of bite-sized cubes. Fry them up (they’ll take a bit longer than the nuggets to cook through), place on hamburger buns with spicy mayonnaise, lettuce, onion and tomato and you’ve got one heck of a sandwich.
Spicy Chicken Nuggets
For the chicken
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- hot sauce optional, but nice
- 2 small chicken breasts boneless, skinless, cut into bite-sized bites
- oil for frying
For the chicken
- Place the chicken breast pieces into a shallow dish. Add the buttermilk and hot sauce, if using. Turn the chicken pieces a few times to coat.
- Let chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Make the seasoning (see below).
- Heat oil to 350 F in a Dutch oven, skillet or deep fryer.
- Working in batches if needed, remove chicken bites from the marinade. Shake off excess and transfer to the seasoning. Coat well on all sides.
- Transfer to the hot oil and fry 5-6 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked thoroughly. Remove to a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauces.
For the seasoning
- In a shallow baking dish or large resealable bag or container, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Whisk together.
- Add in a few tablespoons of the buttermilk from the chicken marinade and mix.
Nutritional values are approximate.