Giada De Laurentiis' Lemon Chicken Bocconcini Are Like Chicken Nuggets for Adults

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There’s nothing quite like chowing down on some finger food to make you feel like a kid again. There’s something about little bites of sustenance, preferably served with a dip or sauce of some kind, that brings us back to our youth. But the sad truth is that a lot of the finger foods we loved as a kid just don’t hold up to our adult palates. No offense to dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, but when you can’t really tell if the meat inside your nugget is chicken, or some sort of mystery pate, well, it loses its appeal. But that doesn’t mean you can’t eat chicken nuggets! Giada De Laurentiis just shared a recipe for lemon chicken bocconcini, and it turns out, it’s basically a meal of citrusy chicken nuggets that kids and adults will both love.

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According to the recipe notes, this is actually a recipe that comes from De Laurentiis’ mother, Veronica. It’s egg-free and dairy-free, and it doesn’t even require a classic three-part breading station, making it a truly weeknight-friendly recipe, unlike some of the homemade chicken nugget recipes we’ve come across.

Courtesy of Clarkson Potter.

To start with, bite-sized pieces of chicken breast are tossed with flour, then are pan-fried in olive oil. No messy deep-frying needed here. After awhile, you add lemon juice directly to the pan while the chicken is cooking. The flour coating soaks up all of the citrusy, tangy flavor.

Breadcrumbs are then added directly to the pan, getting tossed with the chicken until golden-brown. It’s surprising how well they stick to the lemony chicken bites, all without you having to deal with the tedium (and sticky fingers) of the traditional breading method.

De Laurentiis says her lemon chicken bocconcini (which means tidbits in Italian) can be served “over rice and vegetables, alongside a salad,” or you can “just dunk them into your favorite dipping sauce for the easiest comfort meal ever.” We think they’d be a delicious Super Bowl snack, too!

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