When my son was little, he ate a lot of chicken nuggets. Yes I am embarrassed to say that they were not junk free but were actually quite the opposite of junk free. To my defense, I can say that I was full time studying in grad school at that time and super busy and had no clue about how fast foods were made! I really thought they were made fresh right at the restaurant! Talk about being clueless!
Thankfully by the time our daughter was born, I was a bit more educated. At least I knew processed foods were bad and that fast food was processed food. That was progress! Fortunately for us and for her, our daughter was not very fond of these processed nuggets! She was so attached to home cooked food that I had to pack her home cooked meals and snacks when she started going to day care! Smart girl! Her being fussy like that, I started to cook finger foods for her and making chicken nuggets using bread crumbs was one thing I learned to do!
Now for a while, I had been thinking of trying a gluten free version! And how perfect was it when Love Bird Foods reached out to me asking if I would like to sample their grain free cereal! I was excited since I knew my kids would love to have cereal once again! Cereal had been banned from our house now for the last two years and my kids(who aren’t kids anymore!) love to remind me once in a while how they miss their ‘Honey bunches’ !
Forget what the kids thought…I was totally blown away by this grain free junk free cereal that is made from only pure natural and nourishing ingredients – cassava, collagen, coconut oil, coconut and sea salt! And the taste and texture is mind blowing! I was literally jumping up and down in joy when I had my first taste of this cereal! I added it on top of my smoothie and it was just fantastic!
Love Bird Foods also invited me to participate in a culinary competition the proceeds of which would go to a cancer charity that the winner could choose. I knew the cereal had so many possibilities so I signed up! I tried out a few different recipes and I ate a LOT of cereal! LOL!
Anyways, this grain free junk free chicken nuggets is one recipe that came out of my trials! I used an air fryer for making it and my family absolutely LOVED it! So this was the recipe I submitted for the competition.
I used the unsweetened cereal variety for this recipe and it provided the perfect crisp coating that is also so tasty! I used ground chicken for this recipe and seasoned it minimally. Coz it’s chicken nuggets man! You don’t have to go crazy right? But I did add some ground ginger. If you are elimination phase AIP, I highly recommend you add the ginger since it gives it a slight kick.
This recipe has seriously become my ‘go to’ Appetizer! Making it in the Air Fryer makes it so easy too! If you don’t have an air fryer, you can either deep fry or pan fry it too. I have tried both methods and my video shows all 3 methods of making it. See below link for the video:
- 1 lb ground chicken, thawed to room temperature
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp ginger powder (optional)
- ½ tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
- 4 tbsp cassava flour (Otto's or Anthony's Goods)
- ¼ cup plus 2-3 tbsp water
- 2 cups Lovebird unsweetened grain free cereal (see notes for an alternate to this)
- About 2 cups avocado oil (if deep frying)
- About 2 tbsp avocado oil (if using air fryer)
- In a large mixing bowl, add the ground chicken and the rest of the ingredients. Mix using your hands so as to mix the seasoning uniformly throughout the chicken. Divide into about 16 balls and keep aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the cassava flour with the water and stir with a spoon to form a thick batter like mixture. Keep aside.
- In a food processor, add the cereal and pulse for about 5-7 seconds until you get a coarse mixture (do not overprocess otherwise you will get a fine dust). Alternatively, you can also crush the cereal placing it in a paper bag or ziploc bag and crushing it using a rolling pin. Place the crushed cereal in a large plate.
- Brush the air fryer tray lightly with avocado oil. Pre heat for 400 F. Follow the same process as above and place the coated chicken pieces in the tray of the air fryer. Air fry at 400 for 5 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes until you get golden brown nuggets! Repeat process until all nuggets are fried!
- Heat a deep frying pan with the oil until the oil is hot. Turn heat to medium.
- Take each ball of the chicken mixture and pat it with your hands to form a flat nugget shape and then dip it in the cassava mixture to coat it completely. Dip it onto the crushed cereal mixture and work quickly to coat it completely. Immediately place this coated nugget into the hot oil carefully. Repeat process for 3 more nuggets. Continue frying until the nuggets turn golden brown about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat process until all nuggets are fried!