#22 chicken nuggets

Aren’t we all familiar with the question when we visit popular fast food restaurants with kids: hamburger, cheeseburger, or nuggets?  I’m not one to condemn fast food, in fact I think it’s just another great invention to ease the load off busy & exhausted moms, plus who can deny how delicious biting into a big juicy burger really is.  To whoever thinks otherwise: lies, you lie!  In any case, I also believe in the healthier homemade versions of all those meals.  Because, yes, eating out every single day will definitely do some damage to your mind, body, & wallet.

This recipe is also an awesome way to make your chicken yield better quantities for dinner.  Whether you have guests or a hungry wolf pack for a family, two large chicken breasts will go a long way!  The simple batter fluffs up as it cooks, resulting in crunchy but tender chicken bits.  Unlike tempura, which uses cold water and eggs, this lighter batter is thick enough to adhere to the chicken, but not so thick as to become heavy and soggy.  The best part is that the simplicity of the nuggets with their crunch and balance make for a great leading act for any selection of sauces to accompany them for dipping.

For the Nuggets

  • 2 large chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2/3 cups (85g) of all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cups (160ml) of water
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 3-5 cups (500ml-800ml) of oil, for deep-frying

Begin by dicing the chicken breast into approximately 1-inch cubes, they don’t have to be perfect!  I sometimes make a bunch of tiny ones, for a popcorn-style bucket, other times I make larger chicken fingers, it’s all up to you, really.  Season the chicken with plenty of salt & pepper and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour and the water.  In a separate smaller bowl, mix the vinegar and baking soda until foamy.  Let the foam drop into the flour & water mixture and mix everything together.  Add the chicken cubes and coat well, my preferred method is by hand.  Really get in there and blend it all together!  Do not prepare batter in blender or mixer, as the over-beaten blend will active the gluten in the mix = tough & dry results.

Heat vegetable or corn oil in a deep-frying pan or skillet, until very hot.  Drop in the coated chicken cubes, one by one and cook until browned and golden, making sure the inside gets cooked as well.  Remove from the oil and drain well; place on a serving dish lined with kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.  Serve with the delicious sweet & sour sauce I will be posting later…wait for it, it’s great!

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