Fast (cheap and healthy) Food: Chicken Nuggets

I’ve been going through the slow, and at times undeniably bland process of eating a low amine, low salicylate diet over the past two months. It has certainly been a challenge, and my willpower has been tested sorely by a lack of variety in my diet. However, as time has gone by I have slowly been learning some new ways to put ingredients together and I am pleased to say that my skin is healing! It’s not fully there yet, but I am well on the way.

In the midst of all this bland cooking, I have discovered a glimmer of something rather exquisite!

Drumroll please…IMGP5429 (2)

Enter home-made chicken nuggets!

Now, you may think this recipe is so easy it hardly warrants an entire blog post. But let me tell you that for all those poor souls out there wandering in a colourless world of elimination eating, this is pure brilliance.

Fast food is absolutely a forbidden fruit for those of us on this eating journey. Sadly, this means on those days when you just want to send the hubby off to KFC for some scrumptious lazy deliciousness, you can’t. Sorry to be so blunt, but NO.

So, I brought home a kilo of chicken thigh fillets the other day, and had to go to work immediately, either cooking the lot after a shopping trip (no thanks), or freezing it all so I had yet to face the task of cooking it all, later… I don’t like standing in my kitchen for hours on end. So, I quickly prepped a bunch of the chicken to a recipe out of the The Failsafe Cookbook and dumped it in a baking dish. The remaining 250g of chicken sat on my bench looking at me. I was fast running out of energy, and my afternoon coffee break was calling. What to do?

I decided to dice the chicken into roughly nugget sized portions, and turn them into ready to cook Saturday night fast food!IMGP5440 (2)

So, without further ‘waffling’, let me present:

Lazy Fried Chicken

Prep time: 20 min, Cooking time approx 20 min

Ingredients:

250g chicken fillets (thigh, breast, whatever tickles your fancy)
1 dry breadcrust (gluten free option)
1/2 C plain flour (approx) (gluten free option)
Salt to taste (as if anyone dips their finger in flour to taste the saltiness, but every recipe says ‘to taste’)
Small pinch saffron threads (optional)
1/2 C Rice Bran oil

Method:

Put out a lamington size tray and line with baking paper. Set aside.

Rip breadcrust into chunks and then blend into breadcrumbs. Dump into a large cereal bowl and add flour, salt, and the saffron threads (if using). It’s best to lightly crush the saffron threads between your fingers so they get distributed a bit more evenly in the flour mixture. Stir around with an implement of your choice (preferably not a hairbrush) until the ingredients are reasonably combined.IMGP5393

Pour oil into a separate dish.IMGP5443 (2)

Hack chicken fillets into nuggety size lumps.IMGP5390

Dip the chicken into oil first, then coat in crumb mixture. If the mixture starts to run out, just add some more flour and salt (to taste if you are willing to brave the raw chicken juices that will be in the mixture now).IMGP5394 (2)

Lay your crumbed nuggets on the baking tray. Cover with another sheet of baking paper and pop in the freezer overnight. Once frozen, remove and put into a snaplock back. Voila! Chicken nuggets ready to cook.IMGP5395 (2)

It’s really important that you cook chicken properly, but don’t dry it out. As a good rule of thumb, cut open a nice thick section of one nugget. If the juices are running clear, then its cooked. If there’s no juice left, it’s overdone!

To bake: Place on a oiled baking tray, bake at 180C fan forced for 10 minutes, turn, and bake another 10 minutes, or until cooked through as described.

To fry: heat enough oil to grease the base of frypan and add chicken, fry on medium heat until golden on first side, turn, and cook on med-low heat until cooked through. Fry pans vary immensely in cooking temps, so be guided by the appearance of your own chicken!

I think I’ll be baking these, rather than frying. Then it can be LFC baked not fried! So naturally healthier, as there will be less oil involved in the cooking process. Also, you won’t have to slave over your frypan for 7 long minutes while you wait for them to cook. You can dump on a lightly oiled baking tray, wack into a moderate oven, set a timer for 20 minutes while you go put your feet up, and then eat your really Lazy Fried Chicken whilst working up a sweat watching a Saturday night movie.

This also works out to be a much cheaper way of having fast food! The chicken cost me $8/kg, so $2 for the nuggets, plus about 20 cents for the rest of the ingredients. I’ll need to cook some veggies to go with the nuggets, but that will cost less than $1 to feed the three of us. I think dinner for $3 on Saturday sounds rather frugal, don’t you?

IMGP5431 (2)This post contains affiliate links.

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