Sunday, October 31, 2010

Homemade Chicken Nuggets and Yummy Oven Fries

How do you get your kids to eat their veggies?  Surprisingly veggies are the one thing that every member of my family will eat.  I saw the idea for these chicken nuggets here and have just wanted to make them so badly.  They call for ground chicken (they also call for veggies ....eeeeh!).  So, I was thinking that I could just go into the store and get some ground chicken.  WRONG!! I have spent two weeks asking butchers to grind me chicken just to be turned down, looking in the frozen section for the little pound tubes of ground chicken (you know... like ground turkey comes in), and I finally learned that I would obviously just be better off grinding my own chicken.  Problem... I don't have a meat grinder!  Well, my sweet grandma has one and she was kind enough to let me borrow it for a few hours.  I went to the local butcher and bought a bag containing almost 10 pounds of chicken.  I trimmed all the fat off of it.  Then cut it into 2 inch pieces and ground it.  I then measured it out and placed a pound of ground chicken into quart sized freezer bags.  (When you do this, make sure to get all the excess air out of the bags to prevent freezer burn.)  I ended up getting 6 1/2 lbs of ground chicken.  My sweet little girl labeled the freezer bags neatly, however as much as we enjoyed these, those 6 pounds aren't going to last too long.  (grinding this meat took about 45 minutes from start to finish) 

Homemade Chicken Nuggets
original recipe from Cheeky Kitchen
adapted by From Cupboard to Cupboard
1 16-oz pkg frozen California-style veggies, thawed out
1 1/2 lbs ground chicken
1 tsp onion salt
Crispy Coating Mix (recipe to follow)

Thaw out your package of California-style veggies and blend in your blender.  Mix veggies, chicken and onion salt together.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Grease your cookie sheet.  Prepare your crispy coating:

note my little helper's beautiful hands... I love her helpful hands in the kitchen.

Crispy Coating Mix
recipe from More Make-A-Mix Cookery

3 cups corn flake crumbs
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup sesame seeds
4 teaspoons dried parley leaves, crushed
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Stir with a wire whisk until evenly distributed.  Pour into a 5-cup container with a tight-fitting lid.  Seal container.  Label with date and contents.  Store in a cool dry place.  Use within 2 months or freeze.  Makes about 4 1/2 cups crispy coating mix...

So there are bunches of ways you could do this!  This is the way we chose to do it:
First, put a layer of crumb mixture on the countertop or cutting board.  Then, grab a handful of the chicken/veggie mixture and press it down onto the crumb mixture.  Then sprinkle the chicken with more crumbs and press down into the meat to coat it.  We used a pizza cutter to just cut bite-size squares (My mom and I didn't figure my dad would be impressed by fun shapes :) ) You could just make single chicken nuggets and press them each into the crumb mixture, or your could cut them into shapes with cookie cutters.  Just do as you please! Now place the chicken nuggets on the prepared cookie sheet and bake them for 14-16 minutes in your preheated oven. 

so they weren't all the same size, but they were DELICIOUS!

For the Yummy Oven Fries:

Scrub 1 potato per person being served.  Wedge the potatoes lengthwise.  In a large (gallon-size) ziploc bag, add some olive oil.  Place the wedged potatoes in the bag and seal the bag.  Shake well to coat all the potatoes with olive oil.  You can either add your seasoning to the bag at this point, like ranch dressing mix, salt and pepper, etc.  We just added salt and pepper and shook well making sure each potato has been seasoned well.  Place them on a cookie sheet (no need to grease) and bake in your 400 degree oven.  They should bake for nearly an hour.  So place them in the oven approximately 45 minutes before your plan on placing your chicken nuggets in the oven.  Then simply place your chicken nuggets on the lower rack when  there is approximately 15 minutes of cook-time left on your potatoes.

Serve with bbq sauce, ranch dressing, & fry sauce.  And remember, no need for adding veggies, as you already did!

Happy Cooking!

1 comment:

  1. Thats pretty much how I make my nuggets too :) They're so much better!! I HIGHLY recommend the grinder that attaches to the KitchenAid stand mixer, its about $50. I use mine all the time for chicken, beef, pork, you name it! Quick and easy :)


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