Recipe: Pistachio Crusted Low Carb Chicken Nuggets

Mar 10, 2013 by     No Comments    Posted under: Appetizer Recipes, Main Course Recipes, Recipes
Pistachio Crusted Chicken Nuggets

Pistachio Crusted Chicken Nuggets

Don’t let the title turn you away.  These Lebanese flavor inspired nuggets are awesome.  Serve these delicious low carb, low fat, high flavor chicken nuggets to your family and friends, and I guarantee they won’t want to eat store-bought frozen crap nuggets again.  They are healthy, delicious, low fat, and full of crunch; perfect for a party platter appetizer or a weeknight family dinner.

This recipe calls for Sumac (sometimes spelled sumak), a traditional middle eastern spice used extensively in middle eastern and Lebanese cooking.  It is the ground dried berry of the native sumac bushes of the region.  It has a tart lemon flavor, subtle sweet aroma, and a beautiful deep purple color.  You can find it at any middle eastern foods store, and often in the spice aisle of high-end specialty grocers like Whole Foods.  I recommend getting some and using it in this recipe, as well as sprinkling it on hummus, fish, chicken, salad, or even popcorn.  But if you can’t find any, you could substitute the zest of a large lemon in this recipe instead.

How to Make Delicious Low Carb Breading for Chicken Nuggets

Pistachio Breading for Chicken Nuggets

Pistachio Breading for Chicken Nuggets

Yes, I still use the traditional bread crumb base for my nuggets, but I incorporate ground pistachios into them to cut back on the carbs, increase the flavor, and add an extra layer of crunch.  They are delicious.  Buy the pre-shelled ones to save yourself a bunch of work and time.  Simply dump them into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Then mix with bread crumbs and the spices.

When using bread crumbs, it is best to use homemade crumbs from homemade bread.  Just leave a chopped up loaf out over night, then pulse in a food processor to form fine crumbs.  Different sizes of the crumbs are good, as they will provide varying levels of texture and crunch on your nuggets.

  • 2 cups shelled pistachios, finely chopped
  • 3 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

This recipe makes enough to cover 8 large chicken breasts worth of nuggets.  Cut the recipe in half if you want to make less nuggets.  But I find that I want to make extra nuggets to stick in the freezer and pop in the toaster oven later whenever I’m in the mood for a quick healthy snack/meal.

How to Make Healthy Low Fat Pistachio Crusted Chicken Nuggets

I say “low fat” because my nuggets are not fried, but rather baked until golden brown in the oven.  There is fat from the nuts, as well as the eggs, but that’s about it.  Lower fat than deep frying for sure, and the pistachio fat is the healthy fat our bodies actually need.  Such a simple change to make a healthier option.  Not to mention that they actually taste better too!

  • 8 large chicken breasts, cut into large bite nuggets
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Low carb Pistachio Breading

Prepare the chicken by first slicing into strips roughly 1 inch wide.

Cut Chicken Into Strips

Cut Chicken Into Strips

Then cut the strips into nuggets, roughly 1.5 inches long.

Cut Strips Into Large Bite Nuggets

Cut Strips Into Large Bite Nuggets

Place the beaten eggs in a shallow pan, like a loaf pan.  Form an assembly line of the chicken, eggs, and pistachio breading to simplify preparation.

Breading Station

Breading Station

Dip the chicken nugget pieces into the beaten eggs, covering to coat.

Coat Chicken with Eggs

Coat Chicken with Eggs

Then toss them in the pistachio breading, fully covering to coat.

Toss Chicken Nuggets in Pistachio Breading

Toss Chicken Nuggets in Pistachio Breading

Place breaded nuggets on an oiled baking pan (I like to use non-stick spray), leaving about an inch of space around each nugget.

Placed Breaded Nuggets on Baking Sheet

Placed Breaded Nuggets on Baking Sheet

This recipe should make roughly 4 baking sheets worth of nuggets.

Place the nuggets in a 375° convection oven for 20 minutes.  Baking in a convection oven reduces the baking time needed, ensures an even browning crunch on each nugget, and ensures even cooking throughout your oven.  Turn the pans around half way through cooking so that the blowing air from the convection fan does not over brown any surfaces.

If you do not have a convection oven, increase the temperature to 400° and increase the cooking time to 30 minutes, rotating the pans between shelves in the oven halfway through.

Serve hot nuggets with your favorite dipping sauce.

Pistachio Crusted Chicken Nuggets with BBQ Sauce

Pistachio Crusted Chicken Nuggets with BBQ Sauce

 

Recipe by Jothan Yeager, March 2013

 

The Bald Gourmet creates a delicious and healthy version of fast food chicken nuggets with the help of Sadie Clift.

 

Recipe: Pistachio Crusted Low Carb Chicken Nuggets
 
These Low Carb Nuggets still use the traditional bread crumb base, but incorporate ground pistachios into them to cut back on the carbs, increase the flavor, and add an extra layer of crunch. They are delicious. Buy pre-shelled pistachios to save yourself a bunch of work and time. Simply dump them into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, then mix with bread crumbs and the spices. When using bread crumbs, it is best to use homemade crumbs from homemade bread. Just leave a chopped up loaf out over night, then pulse in a food processor to form fine crumbs. Different sizes of the crumbs are good, as they will provide varying levels of texture and crunch on your nuggets.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetiser

Ingredients
  • 2 cups shelled pistachios, finely chopped
  • 3 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 large chicken breasts, cut into large bite nuggets
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • This recipe makes enough to cover 8 large chicken breasts worth of nuggets. Cut the recipe in half if you want to make less nuggets. But I find that I want to make extra nuggets to stick in the freezer and pop in the toaster oven later whenever I’m in the mood for a quick healthy snack/meal.

Instructions
  1. Prepare the chicken by first slicing into strips roughly 1 inch wide.
  2. Then cut the strips into nuggets, roughly 1.5 inches long.
  3. Place the beaten eggs in a shallow pan, like a loaf pan. Form an assembly line of the chicken, eggs, and pistachio breading to simplify preparation.
  4. Dip the chicken nugget pieces into the beaten eggs, covering to coat.
  5. Then toss them in the pistachio breading, fully covering to coat.
  6. Place breaded nuggets on an oiled baking pan (I like to use non-stick spray), leaving about an inch of space around each nugget (this recipe should make roughly 4 baking sheets worth of nuggets).
  7. Place the nuggets in a 375° convection oven for 20 minutes. Baking in a convection oven reduces the baking time needed, ensures an even browning crunch on each nugget, and ensures even cooking throughout your oven. Turn the pans around half way through cooking so that the blowing air from the convection fan does not over brown any surfaces. If you do not have a convection oven, increase the temperature to 400° and increase the cooking time to 30 minutes, rotating the pans between shelves in the oven halfway through.
  8. Serve hot nuggets with your favorite dipping sauce.

Notes
This recipe calls for Sumac (sometimes spelled sumak), a traditional middle eastern spice used extensively in middle eastern and Lebanese cooking. It is the ground dried berry of the native sumac bushes of the region. It has a tart lemon flavor, subtle sweet aroma, and a beautiful deep purple color. You can find it at any middle eastern foods store, and often in the spice aisle of high-end specialty grocers like Whole Foods. I recommend getting some and using it in this recipe, as well as sprinkling it on hummus, fish, chicken, salad, or even popcorn. But if you can’t find any, you could substitute the zest of a large lemon in this recipe instead.

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The Bald Gourmet Mug

I'm Jothan Yeager and I am The Bald Gourmet. After years of experimenting in my kitchen, creating delicious food and eating at amazing places around the world, I wanted a place to share my experiences with everyone. Thus the Bald Gourmet was born. I hope to open the doors of great food and great cooking to you, to inspire you to reach beyond prepared boxed meals, and to teach you of a world of deliciousness that has brought joy to me and those around me. Please enjoy the adventure which is The Bald Gourmet and share it with those you love.