This weekend, my friend Dustin and his roommate had an ugly sweater party with a bit of a Nordic theme. In addition to a couple Nordic-related desserts, Dustin asked if I’d being a hot appetizer and I decided I wanted to try something new. After perusing MarthaStewart.com for a bit, I came across the perfect recipe: Panko-Crusted Chicken Bites with Apricot-Mustard Sauce. They’re basically chicken nuggets, only a whole lot healthier since they’re just lightly breaded and baked, instead of fried. But really? I thought they were absolutely delicious and would choose to eat these over any fried chicken nugget any day. In case you’re wondering, panko is also known as Japanese breadcrumbs and you should be able to find it in your grocery store, likely in the Asian section.
What you’ll need for the chicken nuggets:
- 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs), cut into 1 inch cubes.
- 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 C panko breadcrumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 C freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 1 C apricot jam or preserves
- 1/4 C dijon mustard
- 1 t thyme leaves, chopped
Sara came over before the party and helped me make them before we got all dressed up in our ugly sweater outfits. She cut up all the chicken, which is probably the worst job ever and the hardest part of the whole thing. Also quite impressive because I know Sara isn’t the biggest fan of handling raw chicken. Anyway, she cut the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces.
We placed the chicken on a wire rack sprayed with cooking spray, which was on top of a parchment paper-lined cookie tray. We repeated the process until all of the chicken was coated in breadcrumbs.
When we got to the party, we assembled the chicken on a couple of plates and added some toothpicks for serving; and by the end of the night, it was all gone!