Grainless crispy chicken nuggets are coated in a spicy batter before frying. Absolutely delicious and go from stovetop to your table in 30 minutes flat.
My oldest son was visiting this past weekend and some time around 5:00, he asked, “Mom, just curious, what are we having for dinner?“
“Some kind of chicken,” I replied as I wasn’t sure yet what I was going to make.
“Chicken again? The problem with chicken is it tastes like…everything!” He was making a joke referring to one of his favorite Matrix movies. If you aren’t familiar with the scene, you can click here to watch it: Tasty Wheat Tastes Like Tuna or Chicken. 🙂
So I decided it would be fun to surprise my family with a completely new chicken recipe. Surfing the internet for ideas, I found a recipe for crispy chicken bites on paleoleap.com. Eureka! This was just the type of fun, crunchy food I was looking for to treat our taste buds!
Actually, paleo recipes work for us gluten free folks because they don’t use grains. I tweaked the recipe just a bit, adding a little garlic and spices for extra flavor.
What’s to love about this recipe?
There are two things that I love about this recipe: First, the tapioca starch batter. Slightly sweet tapioca starch is naturally gluten free and promotes browning and crispiness.
Second, the chicken is fried in coconut oil which make this a healthy alternative to deep fried nuggets. Compared to olive oil, coconut oil heats at a lower temperature. This means that it does not oxidize and form harmful free radicals which happens when frying with olive oil.
Read more about why coconut oil is a healthy cooking oil here.
These grainless chicken nuggets were ready in half an hour and got two thumbs up from my discriminating taste testers! I made three pounds of chicken, and they were devoured in no time.
My son had to agree that chicken can sometimes be quite tasty.
*Free printable recipe card is available at the end of the post.
To make the chicken nuggets, make a batter with eggs and tapioca starch, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet. You will know that it is hot when you see small ripples form.
Set up a plate with paper towels while you’re waiting for the oil to heat up. Pan-fry the chicken in batches for 5 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.
Finally, transfer the chicken to a broiler pan and broil for 3-4 minutes on each side until crispy.
Can I use another oil instead of coconut oil?
Totally! You’re pretty free with whatever kind of oil or fat you use. Just be sure when you heat the oil, it doesn’t smoke.
How simple is that? You can season your batter with ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper if you like hot and spicy.
Serve them with your favorite gluten free barbecue sauce or gluten free ranch dressing.
More chicken recipes you’ll love
One-Pan Roast Chicken And Potatoes
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Grainless Crispy Chicken Nuggets
- 1 pound of skinless and boneless chicken breast cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup tapioca starch
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika or cayenne pepper if you like heat
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Combine eggs, tapioca starch, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- Place chicken in the batter and coat well.
- Heat coconut oil in a skillet.
- Carefully place the chicken pieces in batches into the hot skillet, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.
- Transfer to broiler pan and broil for 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.
- You can season your batter with ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper if you like hot and spicy.
- You’re pretty free with whatever kind of oil or fat you choose. Just be sure when you heat the oil, it doesn't smoke.
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Nick #thisyearinmusic says
This looks really tasty. I read that as long as you use fresh meat, chicken in this case, it’ll be gluten free!
Yes, Nick. Meat is gluten free, but regular flour contains wheat which contains gluten. Here I use tapioca flour, also known as tapioca starch which is made from a gluten free cassava plant and is especially delicious and at the same time safe for folks who can’t eat gluten. 🙂
Francene Stanley says
That sounds and looks fantastic. Tapioca and coconut oil for the frying. I’d love to try it.
Thanks, Francene. Hope you love ’em as much as we do. 🙂
I would imagine unrefined coconut oil would lend a little coconut flavor to this dish, which would be a delicious combination. Sounds yummy.
Yes, Alana. There is an ever so slight taste of coconut. 🙂
Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life says
I like having some gluten free options, so I am going to try this. We usually have coconut oil here but I don’t always remember to use it. I know I should though because of the high temperature cooking.
I absolutely know what you mean about remembering to use it. Tonight I actually fried my chicken cutlets in coconut oil for a delicious chicken parmigiana. My family loved it.
We all loved it. I used thighs and it did throw off a lot of fat so it took time but thicked up like a dream. It kind of beaded below the fat and then became sticky. That sticky glaze is great and I am glad I read the directions to be patient. Also, I was worried that I would hate the skin since I usually only like skin if it is baked very crispy but after cooking it so long the skin becomes almost part of the glaze. So glad I finally made this recipe after years of planning to try it!
I was recently diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease, and I am constantly looking for new GF recipes that taste as good as my old tried and true recipes. This recipe fit the bill! I used two pounds of chicken tenderloins and had plenty of batter. I was a bit skeptical of mixing the eggs with the dry ingredients, but it coated the chicken just fine. Normally when making chicken strips, I would have drudged the chicken in the egg mix and then coated in the “flour” mix. Cooking the meat in the coconut oil adds a very delicious, yet subtle flavor to the strips. I made my own homemade honey mustard for dipping the strips, which was an excellent addition to an already outstanding recipe. My husband declared this recipe to be a new favorite. This one is a keeper! Thank you!
Wow Jen, you made my day! I’m so glad that you liked them. Thanks so much for coming back and telling me. I love honey mustard dip. Yum. And thanks for the stars. 💕