A Case for Chicken Nuggets

Monday, April 12, 2010

Who doesn't love chicken nuggets? They are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and DEFINITELY a favorite with kids and adults alike. The chicken nugget was invented by Tyson in 1983 for McDonalds. Today, there are so many different kinds of chicken nuggets. The problem with chicken nuggets is that they have a lot of yucky stuff in them, including chicken bones, connective tissue, skin and other parts of the chicken that people don't normally eat, plus corn in many different forms. And don't get me started on Micky D's chicken McNuggets. Anyway, I make a version of chicken nuggets that you can be happy to feed your kids, because you know everything that is in them, and they are made from chicken breasts. I came up with this recipe when trying to replicate the texture of chicken nuggets you buy at the grocery store. They are really easy, and freeze really well, so just like frozen nuggets, you can remove them from the freezer and bake them in the oven for a great lunch!

Real Chicken Nuggets
2 lbs chicken breast cut into large chunks (this is about 2 large chicken breasts)
1/2 head cauliflower, steamed until soft
2 eggs
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup hot chicken stock
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion flakes
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1tbsp. dried herbes de provence or italian seasoning
1/2 cup grated cheese (I usually use parmesan but you can use any white cheese)
3 tbsp. parmesan cheese
1 cup corn flakes, cracker crumbs, bread crumbs or panko (whatever you have on hand)
4 tbsp. butter, melted (or you can use olive oil if you want it a little lighter)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place all of the ingredients except the eggs, corn flakes and 3 tbsp. parmesan cheese in the food processor. Process until well combined. Add the eggs and pulse until combined. Place mixture in a bowl and clean out your food processor. Add the 3 tbsp. parmesan cheese and cornflakes (or cracker crumbs or breadcrumbs) to the food processor and process until well combined. Place in a shallow dish. Line a cookie sheet with foil and wire racks. Spray well with cooking spray. Form small patties out of the chicken mixture, it might be a little easier to work with if you have wet hands. Coat the patties in the corn flake and parmesan mixture and place on the cookie sheet with wire racks. Drizzle nuggets with melted butter or olive oil (this helps the nuggets to get crunchy and brown on the top). Bake for 15 minutes, and then turn broiler on high. Broil until brown and crunchy on top. Watch the nuggets so they do not burn.
Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite sides and dipping sauce. Tonight I served my chicken nuggets with celeriac puree and broccoli.
To make ahead a freeze- prepare as in recipe skipping the broiling stage. Remove from oven an allow to cool. Freeze using your Foodsaver or just in freezer bags. To reheat, preheat oven to 400 and bake frozen nuggets until heated through about 15 minutes. Then broil on high until crispy, watching closely so as to avoid burning. I hope you enjoy this recipe! Until next time, happy cooking!

5 comments:

Amy said...

These look yummy, I'll have to add them to my meals to cook list.

Andrea said...

This recipe sounds awesome! I don't buy frozen nuggets anymore, but I can't believe it's never occurred to me to just make my own! Thanks!

Hi by the way, I'll be a new follower. I just stumbled on your blog though a friend of mine.

frenchieliza said...

Welcome Andrea! Thanks for reading! My husband was on submarines too, for 9 years!

Laura Lee Drum said...

I made chicken tenders with whole wheat panko crumbs - made me think of this recipe. I think I might try it next! FYI - I wish your pictures were a tiny bit bigger - there's a few that I would like to see a little more closely =)

frenchieliza said...

Hey Laura,
Did you blog about your chicken tenders? I would love that recipe. I am sorry about the pictures on the early posts, my camera broke so I was taking pictures with my iPhone. Fortunately that problem isn't a problem anymore cause David got me a camera for my birthday.

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