Many times I have bitten my lip feeling nasty, trying to ignore the pleading look in the eyes of my +Two. Had there been tantrums and defiance, I would have firmly put my foot down but that silent look patiently asking for permission to have one single chicken nugget… just one piece … it’s never failed to make me feel guilty for always steering the kids away from processed foods.
Well… I have also relented at times and let them enjoy processed junk but not without pointing out the zillion reasons why it’s bad for them. Then one day the older of the +Two suggested the obvious: “So why don’t you make them at home?”
I balked!!! What? Nuggets? Those over salted, over processed pieces of ….. What?
A small raised eyebrow with a curiously questioning look…. “You can make them? Right?”
Gulp! Of course I can….
And that commitment led to countless experiments, small wrinkling noses till we came down to the simplest way and the simplest ingredients for kids. Simple enough? You decide….
You will need 500 grams of boneless chicken cut into 2 inch sized pieces. You can choose white meat or brown meat and can also combine both. However cooking time for white meat is lesser so I don’t normally combine them. The +Two prefer the breast meat.
Rub ½ teaspoon minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of baking powder over the chicken pieces and let sit for an hour.
Combine the flour, egg, oil, salt and paprika in a basin. You can change the recipe to personal flavor. I love a bit of heat so I sprinkle the raw chicken pieces with some cayenne powder. The older of the +Two loves to add onion powder to the flour while Gadget Guy prefers the good ol herbs.
Rub all the ingredients together with your hands till mixed well. Start to add cold water a tablespoon at a time till you have small flour crumbs instead of fine flour.
Make sure the chicken is well-drained. Place the chicken pieces over the crumbs spaced well apart. Shake the basin to and fro while lightly tossing so that the chicken pieces roll over the crumbs and are coated.
Next pick up each piece turn by turn in the palm of the hand and close the fist slightly to pack the tightly crumbs against the chicken. Line them on a metal tray making sure they aren’t touching each other. Chill in the freezer for 20 min.
To fry: Heat vegetable oil in the wok. It should be at least an inch deep. Throw in a small crumb, it should raise to the surface at the count of three. When the oil is ready, add the nuggets making sure you do not overcrowd them. Fry on medium heat till a lovely golden brown.
To bake: Put the semi frozen nuggets in a bowl and drizzle with 3-4 table spoons of oil and toss to coat each nugget well. Line them on an oiled baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes at 180⁰C turning each nugget at half time to brown evenly.
To Freeze: This recipe also freezes really very well which is something I particularly love about it. Once coated with crumbs, line them on top of plastic table mats and pop them in the freezer. Once they are completely frozen, remove them from the sheets and into a plastic box and back to the freezer. Since frozen separately they don’t stick together and so you can take out as many as required. Thaw for 5-10 min only and fry reducing the heat to medium to make sure they cook through.
Happy kids … happy mom!
- 500 grams Chicken Breast - Boneless
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic – Minced
- 2 Cups Flour
- 1 Egg
- 4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Paprika
- 2 Teaspoons Favorite Herb/ Onion Powder (Optional)
- ½ Cup Water- Cold
- Vegetable Oil - For Frying
- Cut the chicken breast into 2 inch cubes.
- Rub the chicken pieces with the garlic paste and baking powder and let rest for an hour.
- Mix together the flour, egg, oil, salt and paprika and rub together with hands to make crumbs.
- Add enough cold water, one table spoon at a time, to make coarse crumbs from the flour.
- Place chicken pieces on the flour crumbs and toss to coat the chicken.
- Use hands to coats any areas left un-coated.
- Line nuggets ½ inch apart on a metal tray and chill in the freezer for 20 min.
- Deep fry till golden brown or bake for 20-25 min at 180⁰C turning each piece over half way.