Crispy Chicken Bites

Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer


  • 1 pound boneless skinless

  • Smart Chicken breasts, cut into large cubes

  • 2 cups flour

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 4 whole eggs

  • 1 cup milk

  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs

  • 1 cup hot wing sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • Celery, for serving

  • Cornichons, for serving

  • Crumbled blue cheese, for serving

  • Oil, as needed for frying

  • Skewers or toothpicks, for serving


In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, and thyme and mix to combine. Add the chicken cubes to the flour mixture and thoroughly coat. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and milk; to a third bowl, add the panko. Transfer the flour-coated chicken into the egg wash to coat. Dredge each piece of chicken in the bread crumb mixture to coat. Set chicken aside. To a mixing bowl, add the hot wing sauce and the butter. Put the bowl in a warm place or microwave briefly so the butter melts, then whisk to combine.

Heat the oil to 350°F and fry the chicken (in batches if necessary) for 3 to 5 minutes, or until each piece is golden and internal temperature is 165°F. Toss the fried chicken in the wing sauce to glaze. Top each nugget with cornichon, celery, and blue cheese, using a toothpick or skewer to hold in place.

Recipe created by Benjamin Maides, Chef, Au Courant Regional Kitchen, Omaha, Nebraska