I need to do one of two things:
A. Make a small (6 in) cake that looks like a chicken nugget
B. Make something that looks like a chicken nugget to fit on a small cake.
I have not too much experience but I will make a square cake shape like the chicken nugets box with open lid and RKT chicken nugets.
I hope this can help you.
1st decide if you want it to look like an obviously machine made nugget:
the more irregular "natural" nugget (as if such a thing exists!)
for a cake --
the machine ones easiest as its basically an oval-ish shape --
so carve a sheet to the shape or start with an oval cake (like can make with the oval pans from the wilton courses)
then it's really the outer covering that does the trick.
so, call in the "sand" -- as it looks remarkably like what we use for sand on cakes
that being ---
crushed graham crackers or vanilla wafers or snickerdoodles or blend of those and brown sugar or..
if they like it -- toasted coconut that has been whirled in food processor to make it "crushed"
use a good BC that will crust and smoosh the "breading" of choice on until fully covered -- being sure to "dent" the icing so it has an very irregular finish -- this is not a time to be fussy about "smooth"
for something on the cake -- i'd be crazy enough to use real cooked nuggets. -- of course you could also make as already suggested from RKT or even just blobs of fondant/gumpaste.
Depending on how much time and how much the customer is paying, I like the idea about making the cake look like the box of nuggets, with little fondant nuggets alongside, or in it. Then it would be fairly simple to make the nuggets, but a little more difficult to make the box! )
If you make the 6" cake to look like a nugget, then you're going to need to go with a single layer cake and carve it into the semi-oval shape of the nugget. I'd also cut away at it a little more to give it some "texture". I'd ice it a golden yellow with some brown in it and then smooth it with a paper towel. Then I'd go back with a damp sponge (one with lots of texture) and rough it up some. You can just press down on a crusted buttercream and it will give it a "mottled" texture. I'd do it this way rather than adding "toppings" only because chicken nuggets tend to look more like they've been batter dipped and not dry dipped. Make sense? They're not smooth, but you could peel the entire coating off in one piece. Anyway, after it's iced, I'd go back with an airbrush, or a spray can of brown and darken it up in spots which will also give it more texture.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do!