Here is a recipe you and the kids will love. Using plain panko bread crumbs and spices from your own pantry, you can create a healthy and VERY tasty new version of the dreaded nugget.
Panko is a Japanese breadcrumb and provides a nice crunch compared to regular breadcrumbs. They are also sold pre-seasoned but I like to control the sodium in my food. You can find these breadcrumbs anywhere now, even Ocean State Job Lot!
You can make these without the ground flax meal but why bother? I use it any chance I get. High in Omega 3, take a look http://www.bobsredmill.com/flaxseed-meal.html. (I love Bob's products and also find them at Job Lot.)
2 boneless chicken breasts washed, patted dry and cut into finger like strips
1 cup plain panko bread crumbs
3 TBS ground flax meal
1 TBS kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 shakes of cumin powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp oregano
1 TBS Parmesan or Romano grated cheese
grape seed oil and/or cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a shallow bowl, whisk the egg and approx 1 tsp of water to thin it a bit.
In a separate pie plate or shallow dish, place your panko bread crumbs, flax meal, and all the spices and grated cheese. Mix well using your hands. At this point, smell the mixture, or even taste it if you think it needs more of something else. Don't be scared....it's your masterpiece, not mine!
Spray a baking sheet generously with cooking spray lined with aluminum foil (optional, but the foil helps the cleanup after).
Taking 2-3 tenders at a time, dip each in the egg mixture and let the egg drip off into the bowl. Then coat in the panko mixture, pressing down firmly so the crumbs stick well. Don't be afraid to turn them over a few times to get a good crunch on them. Repeat until done.
Place each tender on the baking sheet in one layer. Next, spray the tops generously with more cooking spray, or drizzle grape seed oil over each tender. (Grape seed oil is one of those super healthy oils and adds a nice flavor. Also very tolerant of high heat.)
Bake in the oven for about 12-14 minutes and then turn each tender over and bake another 12 minutes or so. You are looking for a golden brown color and a decent crunch.
- Double up when making the panko mixture so you'll have extra for next time. You can store them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer for later use.
- Put your own twist on this, using more of less of certain spices. Try adding chili powder, cayenne, dried thyme or lemon pepper.
- Use the crumb mixture for homemade fish sticks. Choose a sturdy white fish. (I haven't tried this yet. Cooking time would probably be shorter)
- I've turned them into Buffalo style by dousing them in hot sauce just after cooking and dunking in blue cheese dressing.
- You can also slice them after cooking and put in a salad for your lunch.