Way back in January, I made some yummy chicken tenderloin "nuggets" with an almond crust. They were kid friendly and adult approved. They were a hit around here. But they aren't the most frugal thing I could have made, so it's time to revisit them. We are looking at a probable move by this time next year, probably to Germany! So I need to start stashing extra money away now. Anywhere I can cut corners, I will. And where's the easiest place to do that? In the kitchen.
I wanted to make chicken nuggets. They had to meet several criteria:
- They had to be wholesome.
- They had to taste delicious.
- They had to be made from what was sitting around the house, because it's "use it up" week and we're running out of things fast. That meant no egg, no dairy, no oil.
Think of this recipe like a whole tray of tiny meatloaves. Tiny, chicken meatloaves. Just like meatloaf is only partially meat (lots of fillers), these are partially chicken. But completely wholesome.
One suggestion: If I had olive oil, I would have pan-fried them in it instead of oven-baking. They would be ten times tastier in olive oil. But they were delicious as written.
"Real" Chicken Nuggets
for the chicken mixture:
- 2 lb cooked chicken, removed from bones and skin
- 1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
- dash of hot sauce
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup oat flour (process oats in a food processor until they resemble flour)
- 2 Tbsp corn meal
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 large onion, minced
- 1/4 cup water or broth
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 Tbsp dried minced onion
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/3 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Dump all the chicken ingredients in the food processor and process until it looks like chicken paste. ;) If it frightens you to look at it, smell it. You'll feel better because it will smell very, very tasty.
- Set out two pie plates. In one, mix together the flour, cornmeal, dried minced onion, oat flour, sea salt, and parika. Whisk together the mayonnaise, tahini, and soy sauce until smooth. Stir in the water. Pour this into the other pie plate.
- Form the chicken paste (sorry, don't know what else to call it. You'll understand when you make them!) into nuggets. Dip them in the tahini-mayo mixture, then the breading mixture, coating both sides.
- Spray with olive oil cooking spray and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the nuggets over after the first 15 minutes.
(P.S. I gave up the Diet Coke a while ago and have been doing really well without it. I weaned myself onto Iced Tea with sugar, then slowly reduced the amount of sugar in it until I was drinking unsweetened iced tea, and I find it refreshing now. I tried some Crystal Light yesterday for a change of pace and was unable to finish a glass. I found it sickly-sweet. No headaches, no withdrawal, since I switched to iced tea right away. And I love the money I'm saving!)