Tonight marked my 3rd attempt at a convection-oven baked version of Taiwanese chicken nuggets (鹽酥雞). It's a slightly different recipe that I found online (plus my own changes), and in my second attempt, I added eggs as a test, and also tried some with a batter. As I expected, batters don't work well with the convection oven, as they mostly dripped away (like the fat from the bacon). Aside from that, the eggs created a texture I didn't particularly like (probably would have worked better fried). This third try turned out pretty well.
My modified recipe:
4 pieces of skinless, boneless chicken thighs (or similarly portioned chicken breasts)
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon of rice wine (FYI: 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon of 5-spice powder
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
5 tablespoons of sweet potato powder (coarse)
Small pinch of salt
Small dash of sesame oil
Chopped basil leaves (to taste)
Ground white pepper
Pam cooking spray or olive oil
Create marinade mixing soy sauce, rice wine, minced garlic, 5-spice powder, sugar, black pepper, salt, sesame oil, and basil leaves. Cut the chicken into bitesize pieces, and marinate for at least 2 hours (I let it marinate overnight).
In a plate or pan, fill with sweet potato powder. Take the chicken pieces from the marinade and coat each with the powder. (Most sweet potato powder packs you get from the Chinese market should be coarse, although there are also fine varieties--I made the mistake of getting these for my second attempt, without looking carefully at the package, so be sure you check the package carefully prior to purchase.)
Brush grills with olive oil or spray non-stick cooking spray. Bake in convection oven for 30 minutes at 400°F, turning over halfway through. If, after 20 minutes, any of the sweet potato powder are still white, brush with some olive oil to get them to "cook."
(Alternatively, you can deep fry the nuggets in peanut oil, heated to around 350°F, for about 5 minutes.)
Sprinkle ground white pepper over the nuggets, and serve.