For the Beer Cheese:
- 1 16 oz block cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 12 oz bottle beer of choice (I prefer lager)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
For the Nuggets:
- 2 cups thin pretzels, pulsed to breadcrumb consistency
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Nonstick cooking spray
- In a large bowl, toss the grated cheddar cheese with the cornstarch to coat evenly.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the beer, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce over medium heat.
- Once the beer mixture has warmed up, start adding in the cheddar cheese, a handful at a time. You want to add in a bit, stir it until completely melted, and then add more. Gradually adding the cheese ensures that you don’t wind up with a lumpy mess, and prevents any cheese from burning on the bottom.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let come to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- While the beer cheese cools and solidifies, prepare the nuggets. In a food processor, pulse the pretzels until they are the size of breadcrumbs. Remove and set aside.
- Still using the food processor, combine the chicken, garlic powder, and onion powder. Pulse until well-combined and moldable.
- Remove the meat from the food processor. Shape into small nugget-sized balls and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Remove the beer cheese from the refrigerator. It should be solid at this point. Using a spoon, scrape out the beer cheese and shape into small balls, about 1/2 of the size of your chicken nugget balls. Then, flatten the chicken nuggets slightly and place the cheese ball in the center. Form the chicken around the cheese, making sure to cover completely. Flatten slightly to make the chicken nugget shape.
- In three separate bowls, set out the flour, pretzels, and eggs.
- Coat the chicken nuggets in the flour, then the egg, and then the pretzel crumbs. Make sure to cover entirely. Once covered, place on the prepared baking sheet. Continue until all of the nuggets have been crusted. Lightly spray the nuggets with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bake 8 minutes, flip the nuggets over, spray the side facing up, and turn the tray. Continue baking for an additional 8 minutes, or until the pretzels have slightly browned and the chicken is cooked through.
- Serve warm with mustard. (Just make sure not to bite into one the second it comes out of the oven, because the cheese will be very hot and very liquidy! Give it a few minutes so that they are still warm, but not little cheese volcanos.)