These “fried” chicken bites offer the best of both worlds. They’re actually baked in the oven, but crushed cornflakes give them that satisfying crunch of fried chicken — all while boasting a fraction of the calories, fat and artery-clogging saturated fat of traditional chicken nuggets.
Instead, they provide more muscle-building protein. They’re the perfect crowd-pleasing appetizer on game days, and they’ll surely satisfy hungry kids on a busy weeknight.
A traditional 6-piece chicken nugget meal with ranch dip contains 450 calories with 36 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat and 13 grams of protein. Our recipe, however, provides only 258 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat and 33 grams of protein.
The dip is simple to make and our taste-testers found its subtle tang irresistible. It’s the creamy complement to the crispy chicken — with dill adding freshness and lemon brightening up the flavor. (You can even make the dip without chicken—it’s delicious paired with freshly cut veggies, too!)
This recipe is a fun one for kids to help with. After all, what child could resist smashing the cornflakes? You can also have them help with tasks like measuring, mixing and stirring ingredients. Just make sure to take precautions with the raw chicken to avoid cross-contamination — and have everyone wash their hands before cooking. These lessons in food safety are always valuable, too.
Bethany Thayer is a registered dietitian nutritionist with Henry Ford Health System. For more recipes and health information, visit henryford.com/blog and for questions about today’s recipe email [email protected].
Oven-Fried Chicken Bites with Tangy Dill Dip
Makes: 8 servings / Prep time: 20 minutes / Total time: 1 minutes
Non-stick cooking spray
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
⅓ cup whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups cornflakes cereal
¼ cup nonfat milk
½ cup fat-free mayonnaise
1 cup plain, fat-free Greek yogurt
¾ cup fat-free buttermilk
1 clove minced garlic
Juice of ½ lemon
½ teaspoon dried dill
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray and set aside.
Cut chicken into bite-size pieces that are all about the same size and place in a large, zip-top bag. Add flour, salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic and onion powder to the bag and toss to coat the chicken. Place cornflakes in a separate large, zip-top bag and crush with hands or rolling pin. Pour onto large plate.
In a large bowl, mix eggs with milk. Dip each flour-coated chicken piece into the egg-milk mixture and then roll in the cornflakes to coat the chicken. Place each piece on a prepared baking sheet.
Bake for about 20 minutes until cooked through (when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees using an instant-read thermometer).
While chicken is baking mix together mayonnaise, yogurt, buttermilk, garlic, lemon and dill in a medium-sized bowl. Use mixture for dipping chicken tenders. Each serving is approximately ¼ cup.
From Henry Ford LiveWell.
Nutritional information per serving.
258 calories (18% from fat), 5 grams fat (1.5 grams sat. fat, 0 grams trans fat), 19 grams carbohydrates, 33 grams protein, 460 mg sodium, 131 mg cholesterol, 57 mg calcium, 1.5 grams fiber. Food exchanges: 1 starch, 4 protein.
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