Here’s the result of the chicken nuggets (or popcorn, which ever you prefer) inspiration post. In three words: I Love Them.
My custom recipe is as follows. I have to admit that the measurements for the marinade and breading are approximations (for someone so OC, I seem to have a thing against using measuring spoons/cups!). The recipe is enough for 1 toddler and 1 adult plus leftovers for about 1-2 more servings. My tip is to just bake enough of what you’ll be eating, and freeze the remaining breaded nuggets for later use.
- 250g chicken breast fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 carton single-serve milk
- Half an orange (or lemon; I just ran out of lemons so I used an orange!)
- 1 tbsp each of dried herbs of your choice: I used thyme, basil, oregano
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsps Parmesan
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar
- olive oil
Marinade the chicken pieces in milk, lemon/orange, and about half of the herbs, for 4 hours or overnight, as I did. The milk and acid from the lemon/orange juice helped to soften the chicken pieces, and keep them moist during baking.
Before breading, make sure to drain the excess marinade. In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, remaining herbs, garlic powder, Parmesan, and cheddar. I added a dash of olive oil to bind the mixture together. Using chopsticks, I transferred the chicken pieces into the bowl of breading, making sure they are completely covered before lining them up on a baking tray.
Bake for 15-20 minutes on 175C; check for when the breading starts to turn a golden brown.
I served the nuggets with mini rotelle (wagon wheels) pasta, which deserves a recipe post of its own; I know it’s been around for some time but I just discovered it recently! I was happy to find that our local supermarket stocked it. My daughter loves eating the “little wheels”. I tossed them with green peas, a little olive oil, and some remaining leftover grated cheese. I’m thinking of using these for mac and cheese (rotelle and cheese?) sometime.
Overall, I’m happy with this recipe and will make them again. I will try other herbs – paprika, perhaps? – and explore dips and other side dishes to go with the nuggets. I’m happy with the marinade, but I do have some smoky barbecue and buffalo wings sauces at home, so may try those too. (Ooo, buffalo chicken popcorn for the grownups!)
Do you have a favorite homemade chicken nugget recipe of your own? Feel free to share!