19 August 2009

Chicken MarNuggets

Don't drop over dead. I'm still alive. I just require more blog breaks than I used to. Today I invented a recipe and out of unprecedented randomness, I'm posting* it. I'm pretty sure I'm the first one to do this and now I'm sharing it with you, the internets. If I'm not the first, please don't tell me. I want to think I am special.

Its origin has a few roots which I shall explain: recently The Bean proved that she can pound chicken nuggets like nobody's business. So rather than give Costco all my money, I have decided to get a little crazy in my kitchen and make my own homemade chicken nuggets.

The other root of this recipe stems from a "fried" chicken recipe I found in The Biggest Loser Cookbook. The chicken is neither fried nor breaded but it is coated and baked in such a way that it's healthy and still quite delectable. A piece of this leftover chicken once got chopped into smaller pieces and dipped in BBQ sauce, thus giving me an idea.

The final root here is that I don't think the Dino Nuggets from Costco are the best source of nutrition for my Bean so I put all these roots together and the following Chicken MarNuggets recipe was born:

1-2 thawed chicken breasts, patted dry
1 packet Hidden Valley Dips Mix, The Original Ranch (prepared according to the package with 16 oz. light sour cream)
3-4 C. corn flakes, finely crushed

Pound chicken breasts with meat pounder until 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, depending on your preference in thickness. Slice into one-inch square pieces. Place about half of the prepared dip in a shallow bowl and coat the chicken pieces with it. Then place the crushed corn flakes in another shallow bowl and coat the dip-covered pieces of chicken with the corn flakes.

Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and place the coated chicken pieces on it. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes, flip the pieces over and bake for another 8-10 minutes. One large chicken breast makes about 8-10 nuggets.

You will love them and if you have a Bean, she will love them too! Dipping ideas include the leftover Ranch dip mix (the stuff that hasn't had the raw chicken in it, of course), BBQ sauce, honey mustard, and plain old ketchup. Other ways I've used this recipe is to skip the meat pounding and slicing and just bake the whole coated breast for an entree with rice or whatever. Also, you can pound the breast out, slice it in half, bake it, and use it to make ranch chicken sandwiches. Or put the nuggets on top of a large salad with some ranch dressing and BBQ sauce. I've done it and it rivals the $12.99 chain restaurant salads any day.

I will toot my horn and say they are wicked tasty and a lot more nutritious than any other nuggets I can think of.

*I think it's weird that I just posted a recipe with a lot of ideas for its use. It's very unlike me.