My Kids Ate It: Dill Pickle Chicken Nuggets

by Wendy Copley on September 30, 2013

Dill Pickle Chicken Bites

OK — I admit it. For most people, serving their kids chicken nuggets isn’t exactly pushing the envelope. But for my children? Well that’s cutting edge, folks.

I don’t know why my boys don’t like chicken nuggets, but they just…don’t. When Wyatt was younger he hated all chicken and he’d complain bitterly when he got home if someone served him dinos at a play date.  Augie’s never really been into them either.

So that’s why I think a chicken nugget recipe is blog-worthy. And on top of that, this nugget recipe is a little weird. What makes it weird? The chicken is marinated in dill pickle juice!

The pickle juice is actually the reason I decided to give this recipe a shot. Both boys — and especially their dad — loooooove dill pickles so I thought it might entice them to eat it.

Here’s what I made:

Chicken Nuggets
recipe courtesy of Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup dill pickle juice
  • 1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preparation

  1. To prepare the chicken nuggets, combine first 3 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally.
  2. Place panko in a large skillet; cook over medium heat 3 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Place panko in a zip-top plastic bag. Combine 2 tablespoons water and egg in a shallow dish; dip half of chicken in egg mixture. Add chicken to bag; seal and shake to coat. Remove chicken from bag; arrange chicken in a single layer on a baking sheet. Repeat procedure with remaining egg mixture, panko, and chicken. Bake chicken at 400° for 12 minutes or until done.

Dill Pickle Chicken Bites

Modifications

None! I made this recipe exactly as written (for once in my life).

The Verdict

When we sat down to dinner, I asked my family if they could figure out what the secret ingredient in this recipe was. The kids were intrigued and their guesses were hilarious. “Chicken? Bread crumbs?” Uh…those aren’t exactly a secret guys! When they gave up and I told them the secret was pickle juice, they thought it was pretty funny. The kids couldn’t tell it was there even after I told them, but my husband could taste it and he decided he liked it a lot. I’m not a big dill pickle fan and I thought they were quite tasty. The boys thought this recipe was just “OK.”

Do you have a dish with a secret ingredient?

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  • Louise Volper

    This dish couldn’t have been served at a better time, Wendy. I have this huge jar of pickles in the fridge that no one likes. (Marion bought them by accident, supposedly) I’ve been trying to figure out how I can use it up. Sauerbraten occurred to me but I was really wondering about using it on chicken. It seems like I sure should give a go if your family enjoyed it, perhaps we will too:) Thank you so much for sharing…

    P.S. For Sauerbraten, I marinade the beef in the pickle juice for 3 or 4 days and then cook it in the crock. Crumbled ginger snaps added to the juice/gravy is quite yummy!

  • Hey, I’m game to try this. I have a kid who could care less about the ‘nugget’ let alone chicken too. I’ll give it a whirl! Thanks (pinned)!

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