Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

I have been getting lots of kids cookbooks from the library lately. As a result I have been cooking lots of child friendly meals. I have been cooking some of our old favourites and playing around with some new ideas.

My own children are getting older, and I have started to think about cooking for other people's children. There will be more friends who come for lunch or dinner and eventually there will be sleepovers. As my cousins children get older, I can't wait for them to come for a visit over the school holidays.

I want any child to get excited by what goes onto their plate.

Over the last few weeks we have been 'road testing' homemade chicken nuggets. My children have never eaten nuggets that weren't homemade. But usually I cheat. I buy crumbed chicken schnitzels at our local butcher, cut them in strips and call them chicken nuggets.

I have decided to do it properly and have played around with spices and herbs in the mix and tried different types of crumbs. But this is what I have come up with as 'the best' for our family.

I prefered them plainer and made with ingredients that I always have in my fridge or pantry. My husband and I are still debating about the cheddar cheese. He found the nuggets with it, too cheesy, but the children cleared the plate. So I have made the cheddar cheese optional, to suit your tastes. At our house, I will be adding cheddar if I serve the nuggets with tomato sauce and not adding it if I am serving them with yoghurt sauce.

The wedges were just something that happened and stuck. I made them for a quick midweek meal and my daughter could not get enough of them. So now when I mention chicken nuggets, there are always wedges. And a salad.

I have added a favourite yoghurt dipping sauce recipe too. Of course there are so many other sauces to dip your nuggets into. My son likes tomato sauce, but my daughter prefers the yoghurt sauce.

Chicken Nuggets

serves 4

• 500 grams chicken breast (about 3 breasts – cut into 3 x 5 cm strips)

for the batter

• 1/3 cup plain flour

• 1/3 cup milk
 • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
• salt and pepper

for the crumb mixture

• 2 1/4 cups cornflake crumbs

• 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
- optional
• 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)

• olive oil

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Grease a baking tray with olive oil. Mix all of the batter ingredients together and set aside. Combine all of the crumb ingredients and set aside. Dip the chicken into the batter and then the crumb mixture. Lay onto the greased tray and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes.

Garlic and Herb Wedges

serves 4

• 1 kilogram new potatoes (washed and cut lengthways into 6 wedges)

• 3 - 4 garlic cloves (smashed and roughly chopped into 3-4 pieces)

• 2 - 3 tablespoons fresh herbs - rosemary and thyme (roughly chopped)

• olive oil
• salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Mixed all of the ingredients well in a large baking dish, making sure the potatoes are well coated with oil. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes .

I usually toss the potatoes gently with an egg flip a few times during baking to ensure that the wedges are browning all over.

Lemon Yogurt Sauce

• 3/4 cup natural yoghurt
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice

• 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Mix all of the ingredients and serve. Make this the day before if you can to let the flavours develop.

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Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear what's happening in your kitchen. If you've tried one of my recipes, I'd like to know what you thought? Do you have some advice to make it better? Did you find a mistake? Perhaps it is a new favourite in your home?

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