Saturday, April 23, 2011

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Have you ever read the ingredients in chicken nuggets?

It's scary.

Even the Tyson brand, which claims it's all natural sure has a lot of extras.

"Chicken breast with rib meat, water, dried whole eggs, seasoning (salt, onion powder, modified corn starch, natural flavor), and sodium phosphates. BREADED WITH: Enriched unbleached wheat flour (enriched with niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, dextrose, iodized salt, yellow corn flour, modified corn starch, dried whey, soy flour, sugar, spices, caramel color, garlic powder, methylcellulose, oleoresin paprika, spice extractive. Breading set in vegetable oil."

I don't need sugar and corn and soy in my boys' CHICKEN! Sodium phosphate is a meat preservative.

Unbleached flour is NOT whole grain.

I like to control what goes in my guys as much as possible.

Making your own chicken nuggets is easy and fast.  It takes 5 minutes of prep time.  You can get you kids to help!  I've brought the boys into the kitchen more and more lately.  Often it's just to get the spices out of the spice drawer that I need and helping me assemble the ingredients.  We can all benefit from a sous chef or two!

I use Arrowhead Organic Spelt Cereal as the bread crumbs. It's Spelt, not wheat. It's organic. It's wholegrain.  It's easy.

Use a large Ziploc bag. I often use the freezer kind so it doesn't break.

Add 1 cup of spelt cereal. Crush it.

Add in the seasonings you like such as: Italian seasoning, Paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Shake, smash, smush.

Chicken tenders are super easy to use for nuggets since they are tender and already cut into strips.

This is a good as I can buy at my local stores.

Give the tenders a rough chop.

Bite size. 

Kid bite size.

Although in my house, that's the same as adult bite size.


Drop the chicken into the bag and shake it up.

Make sure each piece is coated.

No eggs needed.

Dump the coated chicken on an oiled baking sheet or glass dish.

Spread evenly in the pan.

Bake on 375 degrees (F) for 15-20 minutes till browned and done.

Quickly shove them down your kids throats as you haul them off to baseball practice.

Oh. Sorry. I was just talking to myself.

Alas, it is the story of my life.

I live for the weekends of unhurried meal making.

Note: This is boy food in my house since I'm not mixing carbs and proteins.  I don't deprive my guys of chicken nuggets every once in a while.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets
2 pounds chicken tenders, cubed
1 cup Spelt cereal, crushed
1/2 teaspoon each Paprika, Italian Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Salt, and Pepper.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F)
Cube chicken.  Add cereal and spices to a Ziploc bag. Mix.
Add chicken and shake till coated.
Place crumb coated chicken into an oiled baking dish in a flat layer.
Bake for 15-20 minutes browned and done.

Remember: Substitute if you don't have something on my list.  Use toasted bread and make crumbs if you don't have any.  Use regular chicken breasts cut up into cubes.  I've used a touch of curry powder or chili powder in these before. You can change the seasoning up to suit your meal flavors.

Feel good about what you feed them,
The Lunch Lady

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