Saturday, July 16, 2011

Kid-friendly Chicken Nuggets

Baby fingers crawling towards the nuggets-can't wait for mommy to photograph it first!
These chicken nuggets are currently my son's hot favorite-and they are a hit with my parents too, so calling it only "kid-friendly" might be a misnomer! Although frozen chicken nuggets are easily available and all the brands proudly claim to be preservative and other-chemical free, for my own peace of mind, I make them at home. I do this on weekends and freeze a batch that lasts for a week. You don't have to thaw them out when it's time to fry them-just take them straight out of the freezer and either deep fry or shallow fry them on low heat. 

Here's the recipe that makes up to 8 toddler-palm sized nuggets. Please note that any and all measurements I use in this blog are indicative only as I rarely follow measurements to a T, so do make adjustments according to your requirements!
  1. 200 g minced chicken meat
  2. 50 g grated soft cheese
  3. 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  4. 1 egg white, beaten lightly
  5. Pepper to taste
  6. Salt to taste
  • You could cook the mince in two ways-1)in a pressure cooker, with enough water, salt and pepper, for about 8 minutes after the first whistle or 2) in an covered saucepan, with water, salt and pepper for about 10-15 minutes or until nicely cooked.
  • Drain all the water (which you could reserve to use as chicken stock in soups) and squeeze any remaining water out of the cooked mince.
  • Mix in the grated cheese.
  • Add salt and pepper again if needed.
  • Now take a lemon-sized ball of mince and flatten it in your palm, roll it in the egg white, and then in the bread crumbs.
  • They are ready to fry or freeze.
  • If frying, either deep fry or shallow fry in oil.
  • If freezing, in order to be able to separate them easily, I either:
a) place them with spaces in between them in a freezer container
b) if the freezer is full already and I want to save space, I place the nuggets (with some space in between them) on a tray, cover with cling film, and freeze for about 2 hours (somehow find space for this in your freezer-it's just for 2 hours!). Remove the tray and transfer the nuggets to a freezer bag. This way, they won't stick to each other and can be easily removed later. This can be done with anything you chose to freeze and want to use individually later, like cutlets, etc.

You could also bake the nuggets, after thawing them first, and brushing on a little olive or vegetable oil, in a preheated oven at 180 C for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning over once in between (or till they get evenly browned all over).