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McDonald’s Style Chicken Nuggets

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  • Author: María
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: about 2 dozen nuggets 1x


I wanted to see if I could make them at home, because Free Palestine.


Units Scale
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 1 C cornstarch
  • 1 C self-rising flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • oil, for frying


  1. To the bowl of your food processor add the cubed chicken, egg, and kosher salt. Pulse in 3 second intervals to combine, then allow to run on high until a thick, uniform paste has formed.
  2. Add your cornstarch to large, shallow bowl. Use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out the chicken mixture, pressing it against the side of the food processor bowl to form and remove excess. Drop the chicken from the scoop directly into the cornstarch. Toss a bit of cornstarch over the entire surface, then pick it up and use your fingers to flatten and shape the mound into a chicken nugget. Shake or tap off the excess cornstarch, and -place the nugget on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat until you’ve used up all the chicken mixture.
  3. Transfer the nuggets to the freezer to set for at least an hour, but overnight is fine, too.
  4. When you’re ready to fry, fill a deep pan halfway up with oil. Cover with a lid and place over medium-high heat. While the oil heats up, remove the nuggets from the freezer and make the batter.
  5. In a medium sized mixing bowl add the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, seasoned salt, and cayenne pepper. Whisk together. Once combined, slowly whisk in the cold water. Whisk vigorously to get rid of as many lumps as possible (a few small ones are OK). The batter should be runny, and coat the back of a spoon but drip off very quickly, similar to a crepe batter.
  6. When the oil has reached around 390°F, dip the nuggets into the batter, let the excess drip off into the bowl. Add just enough nuggets to the oil to where they almost fill the pan, but not quite. We want them to have room to bounce around as they fry without sticking together.
  7. Let the nuggets cook, using a chopstick to keep them separate and turn as needed, until they are floating on top of the oil, golden brown, and barely sizzling. Transfer to a wire rack over a baking sheet to drain and cool. Repeat until all the nuggets are fried. Eat as soon as possible! Dassit.


  • Spicy Version: add 2 tbsp of your favorite hot sauce to the food processor, and an extra teaspoon of cayenne to the batter mixture.
  • Don’t want to make all the nuggets at one time? Keep the cornstarch nuggets in the freezer in a freezer-safe bag, and only cook as many as you want, as many times as you like. You will need to make fresh batter every time you want nuggets – you cannot save and reuse it! If you’d like, you can batter and freeze the nuggets before transferring to the bag. The final texture will be slightly different and not as crisp, but still yummy!
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
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