I have yet to meet a child who doesn’t require chicken nuggets as a part of their diet. That being said, I opted to make chicken nuggets the flagship recipe for Out of the Box Food. As a mom, I’ve fallen prey to claims of “all white-meat chicken” and “whole grain” on boxes of cute dinosaur or mouse shaped chicken nuggets. But it’s what lies beneath those items on the ingredient list that are harmful to our children. In a very short amount of time you can prepare comparable nuggets both in taste and consistency. After baking them, they can then be easily frozen for those quick weeknight dinner or school lunch box needs.
THE COMPARISON: DINO BUDDIES vs. OUT OF THE BOX CHICKEN NUGGETS
DINO BUDDIES by Maxi (SOLD AT COSTCO)
(All ingredients followed by an * can be referenced at www.wikipedia.org by clicking on the ingredient)
- Boneless skinless chicken breast with rib meat
- Enriched wheat flour (enriched with niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
- yellow corn flour
- isolated soy protein *
- food starch
- dextrose *
- vegetable oil (canola and/or soybean and/or sunflower)
- leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate *, sodium bicarbonate *)
- guar gum *
- natural flavor
- dough conditioners (ascorbic acid*, L-Cysteine monohydrochloride* )
- Extractive of Paprika
Okay, easy? Sure. Recognizable ingredients? Are you kidding? Healthy? Debatable. Sure they’re cute, but do you want to feed them to your child? Read on….
Out of the Box FoodSM Healthy Chicken Nuggets
SERVES: Makes 25-30 nuggets
TIME: Prep 20 min
Cook 25 min
SUPPLIES: Food processor, broiler pan (or cookie sheet and rack)
- 2 lbs organic boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp parsley flakes
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 2 eggs beaten
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Step 1 (8 minutes)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Cut chicken into large pieces.
- Place chicken pieces in food processor and pulse until ground fine.
- Transfer chicken to large bowl and mix in sea salt, garlic powder, parsley flakes, onion powder and pepper.
Step 2 (12 minutes)j
- Coat broiler pan with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil
- Mix flours and paprika onto plate. In separate bowl/plate, beat eggs.
- Roll chicken into small golf ball sized balls (approximately 25-30 balls)
- Roll each ball into flour, then egg, then flour.
- Press each ball into rectangular “nugget” shape (or using cookie cutter cut into shape of choice)
- Place nugget on broiler pan.
- Drizzle olive oil over the nuggets. (nugget does not need to be completely coated)
Step 3 (25 min)
- Bake nuggets for 15 minutes. Turn nuggets over, drizzle other side with olive oil, and bake an additional 10 minutes or until browned.
Total Time: 45 minutes
- Let nuggets come to room temperature, then place in plastic freezer bag and freeze.
- Nuggets can remain in freezer for up to 3 months.
- Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake nuggets for 15 minutes.
Okay, easy? Check. Recognizable ingredients? Check. Healthy? Check, check! We’ve explored what actually needs to be in a chicken nugget and we’ve seen what the national consumer brands actually have in them. The goal of Out of the Box Food is to encourage parents to question the ingredients in our children’s food. Do we recognize the ingredients. Are they man-made or natural? If you can’t pronounce it, question it!
© 2010 – 2011, kimgerber. All rights reserved.