Chicken nuggets were invented in 1959 by Cornell University food science professor Robert C. Baker, whom the New York Times dubbed as a “chicken Edison”. At that time, the price of whole chickens had dropped dramatically and chicken was taking a back seat to beef and pork. By creating this new way of processing and preserving chicken, he hoped to help increase profits for chicken farmers. Baker published his process, a way to form chicken into any shape, as an unpatented academic work. This made it possible for any company to create and market chicken nuggets without any patent infringement. Unfortunately for Baker, it would be several years before his process really took off and his name would not be widely associated with it.
Chicken nuggets were made famous by McDonald’s, who called their version Chicken McNuggets. The recipe was developed with Tyson Foods throughout the late 1970s and Chicken McNuggets finally became available in McDonald’s restaurants in 1980. Their popularity spread, especially among children, and today there are numerous companies making chicken nuggets in all sorts of shapes to be sold frozen in grocery stores or in restaurants (especially on children’s menus).
A bite size chicken product that is breaded and either fried or baked.
Chicken, flavorings, bread crumbs, flour, egg, salt, oil for frying or baking.