Salty pretzel and panko crusted chicken nuggets oven fried with an easy cheddar cheese sauce for dipping. The pretzels breathe life into boring old chicken with a unique twist that makes them not only fun to eat but make.
Cubes of chicken are dredged in flour, beaten egg then a mixture of toasted Japanese panko and pretzel crumbs. In less than 20 minutes they bake up super crunchy with tender, juicy middles.
While the nuggets bake you make a quick cheese sauce with milk and cheddar cheese. The perfect dipping sauce for just about anything. Even an old shoe.
Pretzel and panko crusted chicken nuggets oven fried with an easy cheddar cheese sauce for dipping.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Lightly grease a large, non-stick baking sheet or roasting pan. If you don't have a non-stick pan line a regular pan with parchment and lightly grease with oil.
- In a large skillet over medium heat toast the panko crumbs until lightly golden, stirring constantly. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.
- In a food processor pulse pretzels until coarsely ground in batches if needed until you get about 2 cups of crumbs (small crumbs with some small pretzel pieces) then add them to a medium bowl and mix with the panko crumbs.
- Cut the chicken into one and a half to two-inch sized cubes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Beat the eggs with 2 tablespoons water in a wide shallow dish, add the flour to a separate wide plate and add half the pretzel mixture to a large, shallow bowl or dish (add more pretzel mixture as needed).
- Working one at a time and using tongs dredge the chicken in the flour then into the eggs allowing excess to drip off then into the pretzel crumbs patting them on if needed. Place on greased baking sheet.
- Bake 12 - 18 minutes depending on their thickness until lightly golden and cooked through (internal temperature 165 - 174 degrees F.).
- In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook 2 minutes continuously whisking. Slowly whisk in the milk and mustard, if using, then turn the heat up and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes, whisking often.
- Turn heat down to low and add the cheddar cheese whisk until completely melted. Remove from heat. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
**I used these pretzels but you can also use the harder sourdough type.