Sweet n Spicy Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets are a staple food item for the vast majority of toddlers and pre-schoolers, but allergic kids might find them rather hard to come by! I tried the Ian’s allergen-free frozen kind with my Certain Little Someone a few weeks ago… he hated them. I admit I was rather surprised, because generally he likes chicken and I thought chicken nuggets would be a great treat for him.

That experience didn’t stop me from trying again, but this time I made the nuggets at home. After searching online what seemed like hours for a good allergen-free recipe, and coming up empty, I decided to invent my own recipe. It’s surprising there aren’t more recipes available, because it’s actually really quite simple. All you really need is:


some type of wheat-free flour or crumb

a liquid (preferably somewhat thick) to soak the chicken in

and some spices/herbs for flavor.

That’s it! Following is the combination I used. The sweetness comes from the coconut milk, and the spicy from the spices I used. Feel free to add more spice if you and your child like it hot. I wasn’t sure my Certain Little Someone would tolerate too much heat, so I kept it to the bare minimum:

Sweet n Spicy Chicken Nuggets

1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenders

1 cup coconut  milk

1/2 cup rice flour

1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour (also called chickpea flour, or besan)

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cumin

dash salt and pepper

Cut the chicken tenders into 1″ cubes. Place them in a small bowl and pour the coconut milk over them; allow to soak for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a zippered plastic bag, place the dry ingredients, and shake to mix. Drain the chicken pieces and put them into the zippered bag. Once again, shake until all the chicken pieces are thoroughly covered. Place the nuggets on a greased baking sheet and cook at 375F until juices run clear and the nuggets are somewhat crispy. Cool for a few minutes and serve, on their own or with a safe dipping sauce.

Powdered ginger and garlic would also be great spices to add to this recipe. You could even grate some fresh ginger into the raw chicken and coconut milk mix for great flavor.

You could certainly use all rice flour or all chickpea flour, but I like the combination of the two. It’s crispy, but not too much so. There are other options for the breading as well: crushed corn flakes or crisp rice come to mind. And, of course, bread crumbs made from any safe bread.


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