Did you know that chicken nuggets were invented in the 1950s by Robert C. Baker, a food science professor at Cornell University, and published as unpatented academic work.  Dr. Baker’s innovations made it possible to form chicken nuggets in any shape.

McDonald’s recipe for Chicken McNuggets was created on commission from McDonald’s by Tyson Foods in 1979 and the product was sold beginning in 1980.

A chicken nugget is a chicken product molded from meat slurry, breaded or battered, then deep-fried or baked.

Fast food restaurants typically fry their nuggets in vegetable oil.  The process is fattening, but it also creates a seared seal around the meat that traps moisture.  These fried treats used to be considered a healthy alternative to the beef already being offered.

Five Food Finds for Chicken McNuggets

  • McDonald’s couldn’t nationally introduce the chicken nuggets for four years because they could not find a big enough supply of chicken to match potential demand.
  • McDonald’s first Executive Chef Rene Arend created Chicken McNuggets in 1979. “The McNuggets were so well received that every franchise wanted them.”
  • They were first introduced to the McDonald’s menu in 1983.
  • During the time of their introduction, they were considered a healthy alternative to beef meals, despite the fact that these were fried.
  • On March 15, 1980, McDonald’s “test-marketed”, for the first time, their chicken McNuggets in Knoxville, TN.