Eating and thinking and thinking about eating

In our conversation about Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Vicky asked for my recipe for chicken nuggets. I’m happy to share — I wish I’d started making them like this 10 years ago!

For the five of us I use three chicken breasts, although I’m going to have to start making up a fourth soon — the boys get to the end of their chicken before they get to the end of their appetite! You need: chicken breasts, bread crumbs, seasonings to taste (I use chili powder and a little fresh ground pepper, sometimes some oregano), milk and white vinegar.

You also need two flat-bottomed bowls or deep plates. In one bowl, dump your bread crumbs and seasonings. I use about 3/4 of a cup of breadcrumbs. In other bowl, dump 1/3 of a cup of milk (I’m speculating about the measurements here — that’s why I like cooking instead of baking. Accuracy is not one of my strengths in the kitchen!) and drop a capful of vinegar into the milk. I know, that sounds disgusting, but it turns the milk into buttermilk and thickens it up a bit. Trust me! Also, lay out your baking sheet so you have an assembly-line — chicken then milk then crumbs then cookie sheet.

Cut your chicken into nugget or strip sized pieces. I usually cut off the filet first, then cut across the width in two inch strips, so each breast gives eight to ten pieces. Dunk in the buttermilk mixture, roll in the crumbs, pushing down a bit so they stick really well, and place on the cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes at 400F, turning half way. Serve with your family’s favourite dipping sauces!

For a variation, I’ve used caesar salad dressing instead of the buttermilk. It’s a little messier, but a nice variant.

So it’s your turn — I’m always looking for side-dish ideas. Care to share your ideas for a nice healthy side for chicken nuggets?