My 2nd daughter was going to have a bithday party and she asked for a Mermaid themed party.
As I planned out the menu, I thought of making a finger food menu, food that can be eaten without cutlery. And I will try to incorporate as many homemade food as possible. And most importantly, food that can be prepared in advance and reheated on that day.
One of which I planned was chicken nuggets as dear daughter doesn’t eat Chicken, as in chicken, but she eats chicken nuggets. Cooking for her is always a headache as she can happily say no to everything and eat plain rice happily. So, to make things better, I decided to make them myself, in the shape of fish to suit her theme.
I have never made nuggets before and I asked a few of my facebook friends, asking them for their recipe, hoping I could find some tips to solve the question in my mind. In the end, I guess the only way, will be to experiment, as the recipe that I have in mind is more complicated than most recipes I saw online.
Filler in mind: Potato flakes, or oatmeal or bread crumbs?
Spice: Garlic and shallot… chopped or juiced?
Coating: Cornflakes or breadcrumbs?
Egg or no egg in the chicken?
Egg or no egg in the coating?
|half cooked and going to be kept frozen|
The rest I have made up my mind to use. Trying to imagine the taste I get from commercial nuggets.
I did 4 experimental batches, yes just 4!! And the outcome??
I prefer potato flakes to fill (better texture), juiced garlic and shallot to season(more pronounced flavour), no egg in chicken (makes the outcome smell better) and cornflakes to coat (nicer colour).
And whether to egg or not to egg the coating….. both ways are ok. But if they are not egged, the crumbs don’t attach that much. But egging it might make shaped nuggets out of shape.
You can use dark meat for better texture, breast for leaner option or the fillets for a more tender outcome. I just mixed dark meat with breast. I didn’t mince them with a knife but I used the food processor as I made double portion of this.
|Mr R shaping the nuggets 🙂|
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
230gm skinless chicken, minced
1/3 tsp salt
1 Tbsp powdered Parmesan
Some black pepper
A dash of ground oregano
2 Tbsp potato flakes*
1 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 small clove garlic
1 cup Cornflakes crumbs
Beaten egg, optional
1. Grate shallot and garlic into a cup. Mix with water. Stir it. Let it sit for around 5 minutes.
2. Place minced chicken intoa big bowl/basin. Strain the shallot garlic infusion and pour onto the chicken. Press out the remaining juices from the shallot garlic and discard the pulp. Mix the chicken well,
3. Mix all the other dry ingredients together in a bowl. Pour this dry mixture into the chicken and mix.
4. Take a small portion of chicken and roll it, slightly press it to form a patty. Take a quick dip into the egg and coat it with cornflake crumbs. (If you’re making fancy shaped nuggets, it’s hard to maintain the shape if you dip into the egg, so just coat with the crumbs)
5. Fry the nuggets until they float. If you are going to freeze it, you can stop the frying now. If you’re going to serve it, continue to fry it for a while until you get the colour you prefer.
6. Drain on paper towels and serve.
* Potato flakes looks dry and flaky, and is easily available at baking ingredient shops. It can substituted with oatmeal that is ground until fine.
For Freezing, you can try out these steps. I’ve tried both and they both work well.
a. Raw : freeze after Step 4. Keep the formed nuggets layered, separated with baking paper or plastic. Keep frozen until needed and just fry. No need to thaw.
b. Cooked: freeze after Step 5, but only fry until they float. Drain and cool. Lay them out on trays and freeze them for 5 minutes. Then, put them into a ziplock bag or a container (no need to arrange) and freeze until needed. These can be baked (arranged neatly ina single layer) at 180C for 5-7 minutes, no need to thaw.
The outcome? My kids said they tasted similar to McD’s. Well…. it’s a little bit like it. But of course, McD’s are batter coated. These are crumb coated.
I’m not blowing my own trumpet…but a few days after I made my experimental batch, I saw this website stating the 40 ingredients used to make McDonald’s chicken nuggets. And I think I snagged quite a few of the ingredients not usually stated in other internet recipes, like baking soda! LOL.
Yellow corn flour is in the cornflakes 🙂
But I guess the defining taste factor is the spices….. and that’s the secret that I’m not sure whether I hit the jackpot or not.
Here’s how I made them shaped for the party.
Other days I don’t think I will bother with all these work.
|Place crumb coated chicken into mould,
Cover and press it to form. (method depends on the mould you use).
Remove from mould and dust with more crumbs.
|they will float when cooked through|
|Fish and bear shaped.
Got these moulds from Mr DIY