Chicken Bites

You can make this oven-fried chicken with whole thighs or breasts, but cutting them into smaller pieces produces a crunchier and more tender result. Plus it’s more fun to eat smaller pieces at a picnic.

Hands-on time:
20 minutes
Total time:
45 minutes

Kitchen Gear

Cutting board
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Baking sheet
Mixing spoon or whisk
2 dinner plates
Large bowl Fork or whisk
Pot holders
Spatula or tongs


2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
3⁄4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs, panko, or cornmeal (or 1/2 cup bread crumbs or panko and 1/4 cup cornmeal)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you like spicy)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (or whatever kind you have)
6 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (trimmed of excess fat, and cut into roughly 2-inch cubes)
1 lemon, cut into quarters


  1. Turn the oven on and set the heat to 425 degrees.
  2. Pour the oil on the baking sheet and, using your clean hands or a paper towel, spread it around.
  3. Put the flour on one of the plates.
  4. Put the bread crumbs and/or cornmeal, thyme, salt, and cayenne (if you like spicy) on the other plate. Mix well. 
  5. Crack the eggs into the bowl and beat them with the fork or whisk until pale yellow. Add the mustard and mix well.
  6. One at a time, put the chicken pieces on the plate with the flour and move them around until they are lightly dusted with flour. Shake off any excess.
  7. One at a time, add the chicken pieces to the egg mixture and swish them around until they are well coated.
  8. Remove the chicken pieces, one at a time, from the egg mixture, letting any extra egg mixture drip off, and dip each one in the bread crumb mixture, rolling and pressing down to coat each side.
  9. Shake off any extra coating and put each chicken piece on the baking sheet. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water after handling raw chicken.
  10. Once the oven temperature has reached 425 degrees, carefully put the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  11. Using the pot holders carefully take the baking sheet out of the oven. Turn the chicken pieces over with the spatula or tongs, then put the baking sheet back in the oven. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes more.
  12. Serve right away, with a quarter of a lemon on each plate, or set aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate up to overnight.


If there are piece of yellow fat on the chicken, use clean kitchen scissors or a knife to cut them off.