Michael and I love Just Bare Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks from Costco. They taste great in the air fryer, and they're perfect for a quick meal when I can't be bothered to actually cook. Michael loves them for football games, and has even mentioned that they taste a lot like Chick-fil-a nuggets. At the beginning of the football season, I was serving these chicken nuggets in a different way every week, inspired by popular food in the geographical region that the Washington Football Team's opposing team was from. When they played Atlanta, I made these lemon pepper chicken nuggets, inspired by Atlanta's popular lemon pepper chicken.
Like I said, we use these lightly breaded chicken nuggets from Costco, but you can use whatever chicken nuggets you're fond of (or you can make your own!).
What is lemon pepper chicken?
Lemon pepper chicken generally consists of a lemon pepper seasoning (which has dried lemon zest and pepper, among other seasonings), lemon juice, butter, and extra pepper. It's a "wet" chicken, due to the buttery sauce that it's drenched in. I didn't stick to the script exactly, but I think my quick version is pretty dang good.
Here's what you need.
- Chicken nuggets. We use these from Costco. I like them because they're lightly breaded and not too heavy. Feel free to use your favorite chicken nuggets (or make your own!). Here are some made by Purdue.
- Fresh lemon juice
- Lemon zest
- Lemon pepper seasoning. I bought mine at the grocery store. You can also make your own.
- Pantry ingredients/spices: butter, garlic, onion powder, and ground cayenne.
Here's how I made these nuggets.
I heat my chicken nuggets in the air fryer at 350 degrees until they're crisp, about 10 minutes, but you can cook them according to package directions or whatever is easiest for you.
While the chicken is cooking, combine butter, garlic, lemon juice, lemon pepper seasoning, onion powder, ground cayenne, and lemon zest in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter is melted and the sauce is hot, stirring to combine everything. Add the cooked chicken to the sauce and stir/toss until all the chicken is covered. Remove the chicken from the pan and place it into a serving dish. Serve and enjoy!
Serve these chicken nuggets with...
- Copycat Kraft Mac and Cheese
- Fall Harvest Salad with Sweet Potato, Apple, and Halloumi Cheese
- Quick Sweet and Spicy Crispy Thai Brussels Sprouts