Monday, August 29, 2011
Italian Chicken Dunkers
I have a little confession to make. There is a certain national fast food chain that makes chicken nuggets that I will eat whenever I can justify it. There is nothing healthy or good about them and after reading the ingredient list I should be utterly appalled, vowing to never consume them again. But, something about how they taste, their crispy texture and the bar-b-que sauce I dip them in makes me crumple and I consume them all along with the fries and a diet soda. Yes, I admit I not only eat the nuggets but I also buy them in a combo meal. Unfortunately all three of my kiddos also love these bites of fried, over-processed goodness too. It is not something I am proud to admit.
Do I endorse this kind of eating? Absolutely not. It goes against all the changes I have been trying to make for the health of my family. But what is a girl to do when the nugget craving hits not only her but the entire family? Well come up with a recipe that we all can be happy with and that is at least somewhat healthy. And that is how the Italian Chicken Dunkers I am about to share with you were born.
Are they similar to many other recipes out there? Yep, they sure are but my kiddos and I have made them more than once perfecting the recipe into something we all love. You can eat them straight out of the oven or pop them into the freezer like the over processed and expensive nuggets seen in stores but, these are soooo much better! They are baked, not fried. They have homemade breadcrumbs seasoned with lots of garlic and best of all parmesan cheese. YUM! Go make up a batch and see for yourself, I promise you will love them too. Enjoy!
Italian Chicken Dunkers
Recipe Source: A Cook's Quest
1-2 pounds chicken breasts-cut into strips
1-2 cups flour for dredging
fresh breadcrumbs (I used about 8 large slices of bread) or store bought if you want. I would suggest panko.
2-3 eggs, beaten
1/4-1/2 cup parmesan cheese
4 T melted butter or olive oil
I wish I could give you exact measurements, but really this is a recipe that can be customized to your liking.
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Season flour with salt, pepper and garlic.
Place bread into your food processor and pulse until the consistency you want. I like a bigger fluffy crumb so I leave mine pretty rough. Pour into a pie plate and add onion powder, garlic salt and parmesan cheese.
Set up an assembly line to dredge the chicken. Start with the flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mixture. Place chicken pieces on a buttered baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your nuggets, or until the juices are clear and the meat is cooked through.
Dip in your favorite sauce. We chose marinara because it's what we had on hand, but any dipping sauce would be great. I think next time we will use homemade ranch.