IrresistiblePosted: November 28, 2010
And so the not-so-prodigal author of the blog returns.
I’ve been eating out a lot or just eating bad junk at home so I decided it was time to return to home-cooked meals. The weather’s warming up at last although the past week has been horribly wet and humid. For the first time in my life I’ve been dealing with the horrible symptoms of hayfever and it’s been torture! I’ve been catching up on sleep so that’s the only upside because I’m finding the sneezing and sniffly nose so very unsexy.
Today for lunch I decided to make some chicken nuggets. Last night before heading out I marinated two chicken breasts, and it was ready to bake this afternoon.
It was a little bit of everything. Wedges (frozen and baked), the nuggets, Sriracha mayonnaise (uh-huh you heard me right!) and a salad of leafy greens, toasted walnuts and a honey-red wine vinaigrette.
I adored these nuggets and they were a bit of a random whim of fancy so I’ll try to think of the quantities and ingredients used. If you watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution or if you have half a brain, you’d know that most of the chicken nuggets you get from the frozen food section contains a lot of disgusting junk like chicken skin, cartilage and fat. Good stuff when you have the munchies or if you’re drunk and starving, but not exactly the most healthful stuff to eat. I happen to love nuggets but I love them more when I make them from scratch.
Tender Oven-Baked Chicken Nuggets
2 skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
5 Tbsp Greek yogurt (or more if needed)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3 sprigs thyme
Salt and pepper
1. Put the chicken pieces, yogurt, paprika, garlic, thyme and seasoning in a glass bowl, and toss to coat. You don’t have to remove the leaves from the thyme, I just chucked it in on the stem. I also went pretty heavy on the paprika but I happen to love the taste of it so go light on that if you’re unsure. You can taste the yogurt (then spit it out!) to check the taste.
2. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least four hours.
3. Preheat oven to 180˚C. Toss chicken pieces in a bowl of Panko breadcrumbs to completely cover each piece and place on a sheet tray. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
4. Turn the grill/broiler on and leave the nuggets in for a further 3-5 minutes or until lightly brown. Mine didn’t seem to want to darken up though!
5. Serve with Sriracha mayonnaise, a salad and potato wedges. Or whatever you want, but that’s what I did!
So what you’ll be needing to make mayonnaise is a stick blender. I suppose you could use a whisk and I’ve done that before and my arm almost fell off. The stick blender method takes about a minute so I’d go with that option if I were you!
Here’s what you’ll be needing. You can use lemon or lime juice instead of vinegar, though. I mixed a bit of both but I’ve done with either as well.
Makes 200ml mayonnaise
1 egg yolk
2-3 tsp lemon/lime juice or white vinegar
170ml olive oil or canola oil (something with a very light flavour so canola oil is preferable but I ran out)
A pinch of salt
1.5 tsp Sriracha hot chilli sauce
1. Place the egg yolk, salt and acid (lemon/lime juice or vinegar) in a small bowl, glass measuring jug or the container that came with your stick blender. Blend it until it just comes together.
2. Pour the oil in a steady, thin stream whilst continuously blending. DO NOT STOP. You can jiggle the stick blender about or move it up and down. When you see the mayonnaise start to thicken and you feel like it’s the right consistency that you want, you can stop pouring the oil. You may not use all of the oil, even.
3. Add the Sriracha and blend until well combined. Stop, taste and adjust seasoning according to preference.
I feel like I just discovered the bees knees and it’s all thanks to Esther who talked about her Thanksgiving leftovers and Sriracha mayonnaise. Mmm! I suppose you could use bottled mayonnaise but why would you? Mayonnaise takes a minute to make and it’s so much tastier than the bottled versions and there’s zero preservatives!
Apart from how easy and fuss-free and healthy these nuggets were, I think I loved the fact that it was so tender despite the fact that it was baked chicken breast. The yogurt makes all the difference. If you wanted to be naughty you could use buttermilk but Greek yogurt (more protein than the average yogurt!) is a better call.
Those black dots you see on it are peppercorns, not burnt bits, by the way. I have a little bit leftover but I don’t think it’ll make it until tomorrow. If you’re a Sriracha fiend like me, you’re going to love the combination of paprika in the nuggets with the Sriracha mayo. And if you aren’t a Sriracha fan, I’m pretty sure the mayo would change your mind!