Everybody loves chicken nuggets

One of my family members has only been eating "people food" for about the past 18 months, and I worry about her getting enough variety and healthy foods. One of my main concerns is lunch. We pack it for her to take to daycare, and it is well established that hot dogs, peanut butter & jelly and mac & cheese are good bets. But I'm looking for more variety. So, I made my own chicken nuggets. I had help from the website Wholesome Toddler Food, which lists food ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Since it is common knowledge that most little people love chicken nuggets, I decided to try them. The site even claims these can be frozen for future use. I modified the recipe somewhat with reference to Jessica Seinfeld's book Deceptively Delicious, which also has a chicken nugget recipe. Here's what I came up with (and they were a hit!).

3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
3 slices whole wheat bread
2 T grated parmesan cheese
1/2 t paprika
salt and pepper
2 eggs
1/4 cup cooked butternut squash (optional)

Preheat oven to 375˚
Tear up the bread and put it in your food processor with the cheese, paprika, salt and pepper.

Blend until everything is mixed together fine.
Beat the 2 eggs together with the butternut squash. This ensures your family gets a tiny amount of vegetables during the day.
Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray (or just oil it).
Set up an assembly line with the chicken chunks, egg mixture, bread crumbs and cookie sheet.

Assemble nuggets by coating chicken chunks with the egg mixture, rolling in the breadcrumbs and then placing on the cookie sheet.

Continue until all chicken is coated.

Bake for 20 minutes until the nuggets are golden brown. I like to then turn the oven off and leave them in there for another 5 minutes or so to make sure the chicken is cooked through. Below, lower right nugget has been turned to show perfect browning on the bottom.


Gladys Glover said...

Cool recipe! And you might be able to make this cheaper if you buy those things they package and call "chicken tenders," white meat chicken that comes from some part of the bird near the breast (?). I find they are priced lower per pound than the whole breasts. And if you're cutting them into chunks anyway...

"Prof. Kitty" said...

Good idea! The "health food store" where I shop doesn't sell chicken tenders, but I know a place that does! Will check it out.