Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Recipe: Chicken Nuggets for Grown-Ups

Just because chicken nuggets are marketed to children with poor taste does not mean that they are not actually a delightful food, if prepared correctly. They have real potential to be bite-sized packets of flavor and work well both as a main meat dish or a hand-held appetizer for a party. I serve my chicken nuggets with some sweet potato fries, a frisée salad, and a variety of dipping sauces for a casual, fun dinner.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 heaping teaspoon ground sumac
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
3–4 tablespoons flour
vegetable oil
chives (for garnish)

Cut your chicken into the desired nugget-sized pieces. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken pieces with the soy sauce, sumac, and Herbes de Provence. Toss everything together and let it marinade for at least 30 minutes.

To make the batter, whisk together your eggs, milk, white pepper, and a pinch of salt. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of flour. If you prefer your batter to be thin and airy, you can probably stop here. I prefer my batter to be a bit more on the soft but thick side, so I would whisk in an additional tablespoon of flour.

Since I don't have a deep fryer, I cook my chicken nuggets in a sturdy 9-inch skillet. Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Fill the skillet 1/2-inch deep with cooking oil and allow the oil to heat up. Work in small batches of 6 to 8 nuggets; coat the chicken pieces with the batter and gently place them into the oil. When they turn golden brown on one side, gently turn each nugget over and fry until they are golden brown on the other side. Place the nuggets on a brown paper bag or paper towels to allow the oil to drain off.

When all the nuggets have been fried, transfer them to an oven-safe dish and place them in the oven to finish cooking (about 10 minutes). Look for small bubbles of oil sizzling on the surface of the nuggets or cut one open as a tester. Transfer them to your serving dish, finely chop some chives, and sprinkle the chives over the nuggets as a garnish. Serve with spicy ketchup if desired.

Makes 2 dinner servings.

| Spicy Ketchup | In a small dish, add a dollop of ketchup and as much Sriracha sauce as you dare to use. Mix thoroughly.

| Photo Credit: Me. |

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