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Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Nuggets

October 8, 2010

So after yesterday’s post, you maybe thinking to myself….”but I love chicken nuggets….”

Well, like most foods that end up on the “never, ever eat” list, you can almost always make your own, using high quality ingredients.  And chicken nuggets are no exception.  (Though, really, can you make – or do you even want to make – homemade hot dogs?  Blech.)

Here’s a recipe from Jamie Oliver, he of the Food Revolution, the movement to put real food back into our public school lunch menus.  I’ve done a million variations on this recipe, depending on what flavor I was searching for.  But the principle is all the same, and this is something that you can actually serve your children and feel OK about it!

Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Nuggets

* 1 garlic clove
* 1 lemon
* 6 cream or 6 plain crackers, such as Jacob’s
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 4 sprigs fresh Italian parsley
* sea salt
* fresh ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
* 1 large egg, preferably free-range
* 2 skinless chicken breast fillets, preferably free-range
* olive oil

Prep Time: 10 mins, Total Time: 25 mins

1. To prepare your chicken: Peel the garlic and zest the lemon. Put your crackers into a food processor with the butter, garlic, parsley sprigs, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whiz until the mixture is very fine, then pour these crumbs on to a plate. Sprinkle the flour on to a second plate. Crack the egg into a small bowl and beat with a fork. Lightly score the underside of the chicken breasts. Put a square of plastic wrap over each one and bash a few times with the bottom of a pan until the breasts flatten out a bit. Dip the chicken into the flour until both sides are completely coated, then dip into the egg and finally into the flavored crumbs. Push the crumbs on to the chicken breasts so they stick – you want the meat to be totally coated.

2. To cook your chicken: You can either bake or fry the chicken. If baking, preheat your oven to its highest temperature (475°), place your chicken on a sheet pan and cook for 15 minutes. If frying, put a frying pan on a medium heat, add a few good lugs of olive oil and cook the chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until cooked through, golden and crisp.

3. To serve your chicken: Either serve the chicken breasts whole, or cut them into strips and pile them on a plate. Beautiful and simple served with a lemon wedge for squeezing over, and a tiny sprinkling of salt. Great with a lovely fresh salad or simply dressed veggies.

FitMommas‘s Notes: I recently found out that store-bought bread crumbs, what I’ve always used for recipes like this, have crap ingredients!  So if you’re going to bust out a food processor, might as well whip up a batch and store the extra for awhile.  And if you’re kids don’t mind a crunchier version, don’t bother with the food processor, and just crush the crackers/stale bread in a ziplock bag and add dried seasonings.  Don’t make it harder than it has to be!

Because I don’t make his bread crumbs exactly, I like to season the flour, also – usually salt and pepper.

To make it more nugget like, cut the chicken before hand, and cook smaller pieces.  This does take more time!

Pampered Chef makes a Coating Tray and Tools set that I love to use for recipes like this.  You can always use bowls or plates, but I have more success using these items.  Just an idea for your Kitchen Wish List!

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