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Food Matters

Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom

August 8th, 2016

Submitted by: ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen

If the only version they know comes frozen in a box, why not let them help make the real deal?

Sometimes, on those nights when soccer practice runs late, when homework needs extra attention and when time gets the better of you, frozen chicken nuggets and a jar of supermarket plum sauce look like a dinner table knight in shining armour. That’s fine. Who hasn’t been there?

For when you have a bit more time, it can be fun to show your kids that things like chicken nuggets aren’t just plucked, fully ripe, from a nugget tree, then individually flash frozen. Before they show up in a box, there’s a process to making them, there are ingredients, and they can be made at home if you’re curious to try something new. 

For dipping, leave that jar of plum sauce in the back of the fridge and make a fresh Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce from scratch.

All in all, the pair makes for a delicious alternative to a frozen dinner that’s still familiar enough to please picky eaters.---

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
3 tbsp (40 mL) sesame seeds
2 tbsp (25 mL) chia seeds, optional
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) paprika
3/4 tsp (3 mL) salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup (75 mL) mayonnaise

Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce (recipe follows)*

1. Combine panko, sesame seeds, chia seeds, paprika and salt in a pie plate; set aside.
2. Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Cut each chicken piece crosswise into 1 1/2 inch (3.75 cm) chunks.
3. Place chicken in a bowl. Add mayonnaise and toss to coat.
4. Working with a few chunks at a time, place chunks in panko mixture, pressing lightly so that panko mixture adheres; turn to coat all sides.
5. Nuggets may be prepared to this point and frozen for up to 1 month. If freezing, layer nuggets with wax paper in an airtight container. Do not thaw before baking.
6. Preheat oven to 425ºF (220ºC).
7. Place nuggets in a non-stick foil-lined large rimmed baking sheet.
8. Bake until nuggets are completely cooked and coating is golden brown, about 15 minutes if fresh and 20 minutes if frozen. Serves 6.

Nutritional analysis per serving:
278 calories, 14.9 g fat, 21.3 g protein, 15.7 g carbohydrate, 2.7 g fibre, 429 mg sodium
*Ingredient not included in nutritional analysis.

Sweet And Sour Dipping Sauce
1/3 cup (75 mL) rice vinegar
1/4 cup (50 mL) chicken broth
1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch
1/2 cup (125 mL) packed golden brown sugar
2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped green bell pepper
2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce
1/2 tsp (2 mL) grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1. Whisk together vinegar, broth and cornstarch in a small non-reactive saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, bell peppers, soy sauce, ginger and garlic; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
2. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 5 – 7 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 1 cup (250 mL).
Nutritional analysis per 2 tbsp (25 mL) serving:
62 calories, 0.1 g fat, 0.3 g protein, 15.3 g carbohydrate, 0.1 g fibre, 166 mg sodium

For tips on energy safety, food or household matters, call ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen’s Answer Line at 1-877-420-9090 toll-free, visit us online at, or email us - . To buy a copy of our brand new Everyday Delicious 2013 cookbook, visit the online shop on our website, drop by the ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen Calgary Learning Centre, or call our toll-free cookbook order line: 1-800-840-3393

Tags: food, kids

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