Chicken McNuggets (introduced in 1983) are a fast food product offered by the restaurant chain McDonald's. They popularized the chicken nugget, which had been invented in the 1950s, and are one of the most popular trademarked items on the McDonald's menu.
McNuggets, as they are commonly known, are small pieces of formed chicken that have been battered and deep fried. They are sold in packages of 4, 6, 10 (originally 9), 20 and 50 (4, 6, 9 and 20 in the United Kingdom). In New Zealand and Australia, they are also available in 3 packs in Happy Meals and Heart Foundation approved Tick healthy meals. They come with a choice of various flavors of dipping sauce.
At the same time that they stopped using dark meat, McDonald's announced that they were using less salt in the preparation of McNuggets. This was recognized as an attempt to make their products healthier. However, the sodium levels listed in McDonald's nutrition facts have actually increased: from 530 mg for 6 pieces between 2000–2002, to 670 mg for 2003–2005.
Chicken McNuggets vary from different countries. For example, in European countries a crumby breading is used, whereas in the North America the previously mentioned batter is used.
In 1988 "Fiesta" McNuggets were marketed, these were like McNuggets Shanghai in that nothing was different except for the packaging and a foreign/exotic gimmick, in this case Fiesta McNuggets came with a collectible "fiesta" coin. These also did not last long and were discontinued soon after.
In the McDonaldland series of advertisements, Chicken McNuggets were anthropomorphised as the McNugget Buddies, rounded nuggets with faces and voices who usually came in groups corresponding to the amounts available on a McDonald's menu, appearing in a McNugget box, lined up like eggs in a carton.
As of July, 2007, a McNuggets rap has been used by McDonalds. The video contains two young men, one of them beatboxing while the other does a freestyle rap about McNuggets. The young men in the video are Fernando Sosa (beatboxing) and Thomas Middleditch. The video was directed by Matt Malinsky. All three are improv actors in Chicago (Wrigley Field can be seen in the background). As of 3/1 2008 the commercial had not aired in Chicago, but run in a number of cities in the northeastern United States.
The 2004 documentary Super Size Me alleged that McNuggets were, at one point in time, made from sick and/or old chickens unable to lay eggs, and that they included chemicals such as tertiary butylhydroquinone (a phenolic antioxidant), polydimethylsiloxane (an anti-foaming agent), and other ingredients not used by a typical home cook. As of 2007, these two ingredients are still listed as possible ingredients of the vegetable oil that is used to fry McNuggets. Eventually it was senior engineer Ivan Martinez that decided to make the nuggets with all white meat.
According to raw ingredients listing on the wholesale packaging of Chicken McNuggets, chicken breast accounts for less than 50% of the product.
Similar products sold by other QSR vendors:
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