Saturday, 22 September 2012

Wholesome & tasty chicken nuggets

I have always preferred to crumb my own strips of chicken, great for children's parties and relatively quick to make as part of an easy dinner dished up with colourful veg for my girls. But, I must admit, I do usually have of a box of supermarket bought, frozen chicken nuggets on hand for the convenience factor . . . they are the organic variety, 'made from chicken breast' . . . but still, buying a processed product like this to serve up to my girls has never really sat comfortably with me. So, needless to say, I have finally got around to developing my own nutritious Thermomix version, which freeze really well by the way! They are easy to make, (albeit a little messy) and so great to have on hand, ready for a quick and easy, child-friendly dinner. . . and what mummy is not on the look out for this?! 

To help retain the moisture during oven baking, I have incorporated ground flaxseed into the chicken mixture, plus I have also enlisted Quirky Cooking's chicken stock paste as an ingredient, for it's delicious flavour :) This is a basic, yet very tasty recipe. I don't try to hide any veggies inside, (there's just onion for flavour and apple for moisture and sweetness). But, that's OK because I serve steamed veg on the side for mine, together with a generous helping of Thermomix made tomato ketchup of course! If you haven't got around to making your own tomato ketchup (tomato sauce for the Aussies), you just have to try it! 

2 tbsp organic golden flaxseeds
50g parmesan, chunks
1 large thick slice homemade wholegrain spelt bread, toasted, broken into chunks
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
600g organic chicken breast or thigh fillet, skin off, cut into cubes
1 heaped tbsp TM chicken stock paste
1/4 onion
1/2 small apple
1 clove garlic
1 egg, beaten
3 tbsp (60ml) milk
splash of coconut oil (liquefied)

  1. Preheat fan-forced oven to 180°C.
  2. Add golden flaxseeds to TM bowl and grind for 30 seconds on speed 9. Decant into a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Add parmesan cheese, chunks of toasted wholegrain bread and a good grind of black pepper to the TM bowl. Chop on speed 8 for 10 seconds, or until breadcrumbs form. Decant and set aside in a shallow dish (separate to the flaxseeds), ready for crumbing the chicken mixture.
  4. Add onion, apple and garlic to TM bowl and chop on speed 8 for 5-10 seconds, or until finely chopped. 
  5. Return the ground flaxseeds to the TM bowl with the cubed chicken and chicken stock paste. Mix on speed 8 for 20 seconds, or until well minced and blended. The mixture will be very moist and sticky but this is exactly what you want :) If you are not ready to shape the mixture into nuggets at this stage, the mixture can be stored in the fridge until later. 
  6. To a medium-sized bowl add one egg, milk, and a splash of coconut oil. Whisk well to combine.
  7. Now for the messy part . . . pick up a heaped teaspoonful of the chicken mixture and dollop or scrape off the spoon into the egg mixture. Shape into a ball using two teaspoons (or your fingers), then transfer to the breadcrumb and parmesan cheese mixture. Roll to coat well, then place on an oven tray lined with a baking sheet. Flatten and shape to resemble chicken nuggets as best as you can! I shape into a flat oval first, then gently press in the sides at the middle :) 
  8. Cook the chicken nuggets in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Turn over halfway during cooking. I sprayed the nuggets with a homemade oil spray made from 1 part coconut oil & 4 parts filtered water for extra crispiness, but the splash of oil mixed into the egg dip should be sufficient. 
If you plan to freeze the nuggets to have them on hand for quick and easy mid-week dinners, cook until lightly golden (about 20 minutes). Reheat as needed from frozen at 200°C for about 10-15 minutes or until piping hot. 

variation ideas

  • Add fresh parsley to the breadcrumbs at step 3. 
  • If you so desire, try hiding some vegetables inside, such as a small carrot or half a zucchini. Finely chop with onion and apple at step 4. 

no thermomix? 
Grind the flaxseeds using a coffee grinder and make the mince mixture using a food processor.

For more child-friendly dinner ideas check these out . . . 

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1 comment:

  1. Wow! I am so in love with these nuggets and thankfully my 2 year old does too! We make batches and freeze for easy/lazy meals. Thank you so much for sharing. x