WHAT IS A CHICKEN NUGGET?
So they’re a bit controversial but basically it’s the chicken equivalent of meat balls. Ground meat is taken from broilers (industrially slaughtered chickens) and then formed, breaded and deep-fried or baked. Which cuts of meat can vary but any part of the bird is fair game. Originally invented in 1950 at Cornell University, the chicken nugget was a solution on how to bind and form cheap meat that could both be frozen and prevent the outer fried coating from separating.
WHERE IS THIS CUT LOCATED?
While the breast is often mentioned, all parts of the chicken can be included even the skin! There are a number of terms associated with industrial nugget production that can be a bit off-putting:
- Mechanically separated chicken – this is a paste used much like pink slime in ground meat
- Meat glue – also known as transglutaminase, it’s meat glue
- Retired egg layers – not traditionally used in nuggets, this is the name given to hens that lay eggs which grow into broilers
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TENDERS, CUTLETS AND NUGGETS?
Cutlets are boneless chicken breasts sliced horizontally, pounded and then fried. Tenders are almost identical but can also be made from the inner filet cut as well as the chicken breast. Nuggets are as described basically ground chicken meatballs that are then fried.
WHAT RECIPES WORK WELL WITH THIS CUT?
They are their own recipe. In terms of cooking, baking or frying recipes will both work.