The other night, when I was at Cate‘s house for our Blogger Thanksgiving fest, we were reheating a batch of these Homemade Seasoned Baked Chicken Nuggets that I made for the kids. Cate asked me if they were done right after I’d checked on them, and I said “No, they aren’t humming yet.”
It never occurred to me that would be a weird thing to say. It never occurred to me that the idea of food humming is something that not everyone thinks. Or hears. Or says. Yea. But Patsy, Joanne and Cate set me straight. It’s definitely a Sarah-ism. (In my defense, that’s really what I look for whenever I reheat food — the hum of sizzling warmed food.)
So, about the chicken nuggets … honestly, I had never thought of making my own until a recent Skinny Chicken Nuggets post on Tablespoon set off a wild obsession with baked chicken nuggets for me. My kids love chicken nuggets (I think it’s written somewhere in the kid handbook that they have to), and I like feeding them good, wholesome, homemade food that doesn’t take long to make.
Ding. Ding. Ding! We have a winner.
These start with fresh breadcrumbs made from leftover bread (I use the ends of loaves). Just whirl it in a food processor into fine crumbs. Why fresh? Two reasons: one, the taste is just better and two, you can control the type of bread you use — like that favorite 12-grain that is omnipresent in your kitchen. So, once you have those fresh crumbs, you toast one cup of the crumbs with a clove of chopped garlic in a hot skillet until golden brown. If you have extra breadcrumbs, toast them in a resealable bag and freeze until ready to use.
Once the crumbs are toasted, whirl them again in the food processor with the garlic, salt, pepper and paprika. This will ensure that the seasonings are well-distributed throughout.
Now, for the chicken, you need to cut chicken tenderloins into nugget size pieces. Don’t worry. It only takes a minute or two. Aim for 1″x1″ pieces.
Dredge the chicken in the seasoned breadcrumbs.