Tuesday, September 11, 2012

No Way Nuggets

Rex's Daycare does not provide lunch for the children - such a pain, I know!  But just because it would be easier if they did, it doesn't stop me from trying to make his lunch special.  I was blessed with a great eater.  He is not like most picky toddlers I hear about that live off of grapes and cheese.  He willingly eats meat, loves rice with any type of gravy, still digs on pureed veggies and can't get enough whole grains.  Sure, he has a few hangups but in general he eats great.  And he eats A LOT.  So I normally send some type of grilled meat leftover from the night before, a starch, a veggie pouch or yogurt and a granola bar.  I have special little containers and I make sure it appears well balanced and appealing.  Very rarely, if we eat out the night before or have something strange or extremely spicy I have to send Rex with a sandwich.  But those occasions are few and far between.  So I was quite appalled when his teacher made a lunch suggestion to me one day a few weeks ago.  She said that Rex was "sharing" one of the other students lunch items and he really seemed to enjoy them.  I was intrigued and always open for suggestions so I inquired further.  That is when I found out that this lucky Tot's Mom placed frozen chicken nuggets in a Ziploc bag in the morning, left them out in the lunch box all day, so they were (according to Rex's teacher) perfectly thawed by mid day.  "It is so easy", she remarked.  I smiled politley, nodded, gathered Rex's things and started our short walk home.

I am not a food snob by any means.  Sure, I like fancy cheese and will spend a small fortune on French Sea Salt and have no problem throwing down $30 bucks for cured meats to snack on over the weekend but anyone that truly knows me knows that I love low brow food as much as the next guy.  I eat fast food more frequently than I would like to admit and can't wait to order bar food at the local dives as soon as I arrive.  But I have to put my foot down somewhere and I think that somewhere is not cooking my child's frozen processed "chicken" nuggets.  It just seems wrong and I can't even force myself to buy those things even if I were to cook them.  However, being the middle child that I am, I aim to please and wanted to give Rex a chicken nugget option every now and then and was so happy to find this recipe.  It was the perfect compromise!


Chicken Nuggets and Honey Mustard
Adapted Cooking Light September 2012



Chicken nuggets:
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup dill pickle juice
  • 1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard



1. To prepare the chicken nuggets, combine first 3 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally.

2. Place panko in a large skillet; cook over medium heat 3 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently.

3. Preheat oven to 400°.

4. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place panko in a zip-top plastic bag. Combine 2 tablespoons water and egg in a shallow dish; dip half of chicken in egg mixture.

Add chicken to bag; seal and shake to coat. Remove chicken from bag; arrange chicken in a single layer on a baking sheet. Repeat procedure with remaining egg mixture, panko, and chicken. Bake chicken at 400° for 12 minutes or until done.

5. To prepare sauce, combine mayonnaise and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl; stir to combine.

Serve with chicken nuggets.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe

1 comment:

Dining Alone said...

your son is very lucky to have such tasty snacks in his lunch. I think they look delicious! Have a wonderful weekend.