The Genius Reason Why Chicken Nuggets Were Invented

Chicken nuggets are a food item full of good memories and nostalgia. Whether your favorite variety is from your choice fast-food restaurant or a homemade recipe, they are such a staple comfort food. But did you know that this tasty treat was actually created as a way to efficiently transport chicken in the 1950s?

According to Price of Meat, Robert Baker coated shreds of chicken in vinegar, spices, and flour, so that frozen poultry could be sold while retaining the crispy outside before being cooked. The chunks of chicken were then covered in a mixture of grain and egg, so it could be fried later.

Sound familiar? This is nearly the exact process to make modern chicken nuggets, though as we know, you can customize the seasonings to your own taste palette. If you ever need inspiration for taking your traditional chicken nuggets to the next level, you can look onlineĀ for plenty of ideas.

Which came first, the idea or the nugget?

As stated before, Robert Baker, who was a Cornell University poultry science and food science professor, coined the concept of chicken nuggets (via Cornell Chronicle). However, he initially called them the "Chicken Crispie," according to Price of Meat.

Creating chicken nuggets wasn't the only experience that Baker had with chickens, as you can imagine. He had an impressive culinary and agricultural background, developing a Cornell chicken barbecue sauce, along with poultry hot dogs and turkey ham.

So it made sense that while Baker was trying to find a way to effectively store chicken before it was purchased, that he unknowingly created this treat that is both naturally delicious and American at the same time.

Though in this case, the nugget came before the idea that these chicken bits can be fried and eaten alone, and we have a serious tribute to pay to Robert Baker for creating this meal that is so beloved in many of our hearts.