Plump and juicy chicken bites that are coated with crispy panko breadcrumbs. These small nuggets marinate in a seasoned buttermilk brine that enhances the flavors and makes them tender. Absolutely delicious!
Prep Time:15 minutes (not including time to marinate)
Cook Time:10 minutes
Total Time:25 minutes
Yield:32 chicken bites 1x
For Brining Chicken:
3 cups Buttermilk
3 large cloves Minced Garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon Hot Pepper Sauce (Tabasco)
3–4 large sprigs of Rosemary
4–5 large sprigs of Thyme
3 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, cubed
Seasoned Bread Crumbs
3 cups 100% Whole Wheat Panko Breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 teaspoons of Kosher Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of Red Pepper Flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons of Smoked Paprika
3 teaspoons of Garlic Powder
1 cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese, extra for garnish
Fresh Chopped Parsley, for garnish
Combine in a large mixing bowl 3 cups buttermilk, 3 large cloves garlic (minced), 1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (Tabasco), 3-4 large sprigs of rosemary, and 4-5 large sprigs of Thyme.and the first nine ingredients of the brine into a large bowl. Mix all together.
Add 3 pounds cubed boneless, skinless chicken breast and transfer to a large ziplock bag and place it on a large plate. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Turn the bag over three or four times during the marinating process.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil and panko breadcrumbs. Spread the panko breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and shake them to an even layer. Place them in the preheated oven and bake for 4 to 5 minutes until nice and toasted.
In a medium size bowl, combine 3 cups 100% whole wheat panko breadcrumbs, 3 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 3 teaspoons garlic powder and 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Remove chicken along with the brine to a large bowl. Dredge the chicken bites directly from the brine into the bread crumbs. Make sure to coat each piece well.
Use a piece of parchment paper to cover the bottom of a baking sheet and add a wire baking rack on top. and on a cookie sheet with a baking rack.
Bake the chicken bites in the 400°F oven for 20-25 minutes depending on how large the bites are. Using an instant read thermometer, cook until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160°F. (They continue to cook after you pull them from the oven.)
Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with the extra grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
Cut the boneless, skinless chicken breasts into about 2-inch cubes.
Let the chicken sit in the buttermilk for at least four hours. The longer the better. The recipe here calls for 24 hours or overnight. This gives plenty of time for everything to marinate.
Don’t rinse the buttermilk brine off before you dredge the cubed chicken in panko crumbs.
There’s no need to dredge the pieces twice. Because the buttermilk is so thick, it makes for the perfect panko coating.
Toasting the panko breadcrumbs will help give a crispier crust on the chicken bites.
Don’t substitute regular breadcrumbs for Panko.
Placing the chicken bites on a wire baking rack will prevent the breaded chicken from becoming soggy. It allows the air to circulate around the chicken and will keep it from steaming.
Don’t grab the green powdered can of parmesan off the shelf of the grocery store to replace freshly grated parmesan.
Avoid the pre-grated packaged parmesan when purchasing.Parmesan is best and obviously the freshest when grating just prior to using it in a recipe.
This recipe can easily convert into a Keto-Friendly diet. Instead of the panko breadcrumbs, I substituted crushed up pork rinds with the same spices and seasonings.
To freeze these chicken bites, let them cool completely and separate per dinner or snack portions into freezer bags. These can remain in the freezer for a good month.
To reheat, place them frozen on the wire rack over a baking sheet in a 350°F oven. Bake until they are crispy and heated through, about 30 minutes.