As a mom, I don’t want my kids to feel deprived or left out over something as easy to fix as dinner.
I have teenage girls and sometimes they are like little walking time bombs. Things that seem somewhat matter of fact to you and me seem so dramatic to them. In fact, I think they actually like drama so much that they create it. So the fact that they cannot have the chicken nuggets that are served at school for lunch may not be such a big deal to some kids, but to teenage girls everything seems like a big deal.
There is no reason they should feel deprived over something as easy as a chicken nuggets. We can’t hit the drive through at McDonalds (thank goodness) but we can make our own! And it is super easy.
To make your own Chicken Nuggets in Three Easy Steps:
Step One: Prepare the Chicken Take two to four chicken breast, put them in a gallon ziplock bag and pound them until they are thin strips.
Cut into one inch strips.
Put them in a bowl and pour about ¼ cup olive or canola oil over the top. Add 1 - 2 teaspoons of salt and stir to coat all of the chicken pieces.
Step Two: Make the Topping and Coat Make or buy a Gluten Free coating.
You can use almost anything that you have in the kitchen. Premade breadcrumbs and coatings work nice but so do ground up potato chips. Use about 1/2 cup of prepared coating for every breast of chicken. Some choices:
- Make a coating by combining 1/2 cup of GF Flour (really any kind will work) per chicken breast with 1 teaspoon of salt, some pepper and 1 teaspoon of garlic salt. For a southwest flavored nugget use chili powder and cayenne pepper. Want to serve the chicken with pasta and red sauce, use some oregano and thyme.
- Buy a premade coating such as Hodgson Mill Seasoned Coating Mix. I actually really like the flavors in this coating. Reminds me of the fried chicken my grandma used to make.
- Grind up GF chips in a food processor such as Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Chips, GF Tostitos, or try Lays BBQ Stax for a BBQ tasting chicken nugget. If you have some GF flour, I think it helps to add a couple of tablespoons of GF flour to the ground up chips. Gives it a little better texture but is not necessary.
- Going for a healthier nugget, try quinoa flakes.
Dredge the chicken through the coating. Coat both sides of the chicken.
Step Three: Bake at 450 degrees Place them on an oiled cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes depending on how thick you cut the chicken strips.
Bake until the chicken is cooked through and has a nice crispy crust. Halfway through the cooking time, turn the nuggets over and if there are any dry spots in the coating, drizzle on a little extra olive oil.
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That is pretty easy don't you think!
Still looking for a frozen GF nugget?
There is a pretty good selection of pre-made GF chicken nuggets in the freezer of your grocery store:
- Ian's Chicken Nuggets – we call these non-chicken chicken nuggets. I have not had McDonalds nuggets in years, but these seem to be a look alike; not much meat in terms of filing but a good crunchy crust and good flavor that my kids like. Free of gluten, casein, eggs, nuts and soy. Ian’s states that it "secures independent laboratory testing to ensure that our wheat-free, gluten-free products fall well below this World Health Organization requirement of less than 10 ppm."
- Bell and Evans Gluten Free Chicken Products - these are my favorite of the pre-made frozen kind. They have a really nice crust and bake well in the oven but they are also loaded with good white chicken meat. No one would ever guess they are gluten free. Their processing plant is monitored sensitive to less than 10 parts per million.
- Applegate Naturals GF Chicken Nuggets – these are a cross of the first two – more chicken product in them than the Ian’s but not as much as Bell and Evans. They also have a stronger flavor than the Ian’s but seem more towards the snack kind of GF nugget than a real meal. This brand is certified GF by the GFCO but some were recalled earlier this year for “misbranding and undeclared wheat on the product label.” Apparently some “regular” nuggets were accidentally put into the packing for the GF nuggets. Personally, I won’t eat them.