Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Do You Have Nugget Fatigue?

If Even the Kids Are Getting Tired of Chicken With Frost Bite, It’s “Thyme” for a Fresher, Better Recipe!

For children age 6 and under, mealtime is a revolving door of the same ol’ same ol’. There’s PBJ, mac n’ cheese, pizza and the almighty chicken nugget, which comes in a value meal of 4 or 6 pieces at the drive-thru, in a big plastic bag that sits in your freezer, or on the children’s menu at nearly every restaurant on earth. So, may I present to you the nugget fatigue test! Find out if your loved ones have it by asking any mom or grandma what their (grand)kids like to eat, and it’s possible you’ll get what I like to call, the golden nugget review. In fact, some of the people I interviewed to bring you this article, say that they could—if blindfolded and engaged in a nugget taste test—tell you if it came from Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Chick Fil A or Burger King. This is sad folks, and not very cost effective either.

Nuggets of Wisdom

At the grocery store a big bag of frozen nuggets costs around $7. This is a ridiculous amount to pay in exchange for freezer-burned chicken that would stay in tact during an apocalypse. And don’t even talk to me about the way nuggets (a.k.a. strips & fingers) are presented at most restaurants—the dipping sauces make a foodie want to weep! It’s already not-so-healthy, and yet the cooks at these establishments want your precious grandchild to plunge one deep-fried piece of chicken after another into ketchup or ranch dressing.

Ladies and Gentleman, Get Ready for Elegant Chicken Fingers of Which Even Mr. Wolfgang Puck Would Approve

So I’m proposing skipping the restaurant, drive-thru and that big frozen bag of near calcified chicken parts, and getting more bang for your buck this way: MAKING YOUR OWN CHICKEN FINGERS AT HOME!! For the same price as a frozen bag of nuggets, you can pick up 6 to 8 ounces of fresh, boneless chicken breast; the other supplies my Parmesan Chicken Fingers with a Curried Ginger Cashew Dipping Sauce require will last forever in your pantry. You may even find that your grandchildren—even your adult diners—like this recipe so much that they request some of its spices—like curry, thyme and ginger—be tried again in other chicken dishes.

My Favorite Part About These Gourmet Fingers?

They utilize a primary ingredient that grandkids across the nation already hold near and dear—Corn Flakes! So now that the crunchy, yummy cereal you dredge the chicken through has supplied the fiber, look toward the other ingredients, like cashews and spinach to pack the rest of the nutritive punch. But beyond that, this is your chance to educate your grandchildren about ginger root, curry and other spice rack favs that show little people the amazing world beyond the salt, pepper and oil their fast food haunts use way too much of…

Who Knew My Special Chicken Strips Were Just Another Excuse to Shop?

Just one more thing before I go—you need a food processor to prepare this recipe. If this is a kitchen gadget you don’t yet have, see if a friend will loan you her’s—or better yet, just bite the bullet and go out and get one. If I had a nickel for every time my Cuisinart has saved the day I’d be a millionaire! Okay…I leave you now, with an express directive to go out and shop for cute kids’ dipping bowls and trays that make eating dishes like this more of an event. When I find the sort of thing I’m looking for, I’ll make a big to-do out of posting it on Nana’s Favorite Things!

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