There will always be a place in my heart for you, chicken nugget.
Does anything epitomize kid food more than a chicken nugget? I doubt it. Chicken nuggets and mac n’ cheese were some of my favorite foods when growing up. In fact, they still remain some of my favorite foods to this day. During my pregnancy, I had vivid dreams involving those foods leading me on a next day nugget quest. I am not ashamed to admit that sometimes I even steal a nugget or two off of my daughter’s plate (she’s not gonna eat them so it’s cool).
‘Kid-friendly’ is not ‘kid healthy’
In all my years of teaching and working with kids, I’ve seen the side effects of the modern child’s diet. Many ‘kid-friendly’ foods are chocked full of hidden sugars and artificial coloring, things that have been linked to hyperactivity in most kids. Furthermore, the right combination of fat, salt, sugar and artificial ‘flavors’ has turned food into a designer drug. Healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables just can’t compete.
As a result, childhood obesity is becoming a global problem. Not only that, but I’ve even seen young children with their baby teeth rotting out of the head from all the sugar either known or hidden in their processed foods. It would appear that ‘food’ is no longer food. Sadly, the world is becoming both malnourished and obese from the overconsumption of this bizarre “stuff” which doesn’t come from a kitchen but instead from a laboratory. How can a kid grow healthy and strong off that?
Why make them homemade?
Now, I’m not advocating for you to never eat processed food because it is just not realistic. There will be times when you indulge in fast food, frozen and boxed meals and that’s OK. I do the same from time to time. However, I don’t make it a daily habit of it and instead, do the majority of my cooking at home. I make nearly everything from scratch – french fries, fish cakes, my child’s spaghetti O’s, mac n’ cheese, pizza, pasta sauce, etc.
Although it may seem surprising, it’s not as difficult or time-consuming as you might think. Plus there is an added bonus of it usually tasting better. Take for example this chicken nugget recipe. Get ground chicken from the grocer (if not already ground, ask your butcher to ground some chicken for you or do it at home in a food processor), add the herbs and spices, breadcrumbs, egg and combine. Form into patties, dip in batter, lightly fry it up in a non-stick frying pan with some oil and voilà- done! The hardest thing about this recipe is taking the thyme leaves off the stems. Other than that, it’s easy.
Can I make them ahead of time?
I like to make a batch ahead of time and freeze the rest in ziplock bags in the freezer. They’re easy to take out, throw in the oven and warm up for a quick lunch or dinner. I must admit though that I’m always tempted to put some aside for me. After all, if my 1 year old throws a chicken nugget at me, it’s open game. I can eat it. And I do so…happily.
These crispy chicken nuggets are made from all natural ingredients and with no sugar added. Kid food you want to steal for yourself. #chicken #chickennuggets #healthyrecipes #kidfood
- 400 g/14 oz ground chicken
- 1/2 tsp fresh chopped thyme leaves
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- freshly cracked pepper
- 1 egg
- 2 1/2 tbsp breadcrumbs
- oil for frying
- 6 tbsp glutinous rice flour (or 50/50 mixture of cornstarch and flour)
- 105 ml/ 3.5 oz water
- pinch of ground sweet paprika
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- In a large mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, chopped fresh thyme leaves, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt and a sprinkling of cracked pepper together and mix until thoroughly combined.
- In another bowl, mix together glutinous rice flour and spices then whisk in water to form a light batter. The mixture should be fluid but thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Using your hands, form 1 inch/2 cm sized patties. If you are having trouble with chicken mixture sticking to you, try wetting your hands slightly or chilling the meat mixture in the freezer for 5 min.
- Dip chicken patty into coating mixture.
- Shake off excess batter and fry in a light layer of oil a non-stick frying pan over medium/medium-high heat until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Evenly space them in the frying pan as they have a tendency to stick together.
- Transfer to plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil (there shouldn’t be too much), then serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
- Category: Chicken
- Method: pan frying/baking
- Cuisine: Western
Keywords: Chicken Nuggets, chicken, healthy recipe, kid food