Chicken nugget

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Chicken nugget
Fast food chicken.jpg
Place of origin United States
Creator Robert C. Baker
Cookbook: Chicken nugget  Media: Chicken nugget
Fast food chicken nuggets from McDonald's
Some home-baked chicken nuggets

A chicken nugget is a chicken product made from either meat slurry[citation needed] or chicken breasts cut to shape, breaded or battered, then deep-fried or baked. Fast food restaurants typically fry their nuggets in vegetable oil.[1]

Some fast food restaurants have launched vegetarian alternatives. McDonald's served Garden McNuggets made of beans and Swedish fast food restaurant Max Hamburgare offers a dish containing nuggets made of falafel. Quorn also supplies vegetarian chicken style nuggets.[2][3]


The chicken nugget was invented in the 1950s by Robert C. Baker, a food science professor at Cornell University, and published as unpatented academic work.[4] Dr. Baker's innovations made it possible to form chicken nuggets in any shape. The McDonald's version of Chicken Nuggets are known as Chicken McNuggets. Their recipe was created on commission from McDonald's by Tyson Foods in 1979[5] and the product was sold beginning in 1980.


Chicken nuggets are generally regarded as a fatty, unhealthy food. Nutritionists agree that the dish is one of the prime reasons that obesity and health problems are such a big problem in countries like the United States, especially in children.[6]

A study published in the American Journal of Medicine analyzed the composition of chicken nuggets from 2 different American fast food chains. The study found that less than half of the material was skeletal muscle, with fat occurring in equal or greater quantities. Other components included epithelial tissue, bone, nervous tissue, and connective tissue. The authors concluded that "Chicken nuggets are mostly fat, and their name is a misnomer."[7]

World record

The largest recorded chicken nugget weighed 51.1 pounds (23.2 kg) and was 3.25 feet (0.99 m) long and 2 feet (0.61 m) wide and was created by Empire Kosher. It was unveiled at Kosherfest in Secaucus, New Jersey on October 29, 2013.[8]

See also


  1. ^ "What's Really In That Chicken Nugget? - The National Chicken Council". The National Chicken Council. Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  2. ^ What's in Those Nuggets? Meat Substitute Stirs Debate
  3. ^ Quorn Meat Free Chicken Nuggets
  4. ^ (Cornell University) obituary, March 16, 2006
  5. ^ "A History of Chicken Nuggets". Foodimentary - National Food Holidays. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  6. ^ "Nuggets, or not?: Chicken nuggets have gotten more healthful - even gourmet - in the last 25 years, but parents still struggle with whether to feed them to their kids.". The Baltimore Sun  – via HighBeam (subscription required). October 10, 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2016. 
  7. ^ deShazo, Richard D.; Bigler, Steven; Skipworth, Leigh Baldwin (2013-11-01). "The autopsy of chicken nuggets reads "chicken little"". The American Journal of Medicine. 126 (11): 1018–1019. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2013.05.005. ISSN 1555-7162. PMID 24035124. 
  8. ^ "Photos: World's largest chicken nugget on display in Secaucus". New Jersey On-Line. October 29, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2013.