It’s been a very long time since my last post; I blame this on my dissertation. Not that I’ve actually written any of it this week, or done much reading or research for it – it’s just the presence of it in the form of the pile of books by my desk has induced a reaction inside me that has put me off any form of writing right now. I wouldn’t even be writing tonight, sat in bed with the remains of a hangover and a bowl of cereal, if I hadn’t just been on the phone to boyfriend, who gave me a list of ideas for possible topics for my next post. This list consisted of:
- Jeremy Wade’s River Monsters (because it’s ‘utterly amazing wank’)
- Teabagging (mum, don’t google it)
- Watching my friends try and pull on nights out
Though a fantastically inspired and eclectic mix of topics that I’ll definitely be revisiting in the future (possibly all in one post, watch this space), I don’t think I have the creative energy for such weighty subject matter today. Instead, I’m going to talk about nugs. That’s right, chicken nugs.
Nuggets. How can one of the ugliest words in the English language – on par with ‘chunks’, ‘panties’, ‘map’ and ‘crusty’ – describe one of the finest pillars of civilisation? Forget The Romans (‘what did the Romans ever do for us?’ Not nuggets, so I don’t want to know), we really ought to be thanking Robert C. Baker, inventor of the nugget (thank you Google for that nugget of info, lol) for our continued ability to survive and thrive on this planet. World Wars, economic depression, iceburg lettuce/courgette crisis; all of these threats to our existence have been made surpassable by these crispy, golden morsels of glorious grease and questionable meat. I personally feel I owe my GCSE results to the McDonalds box of 20 McNuggets that my best friend Mirri and I would get after every English and Drama revision session.
To help us appreciate the nugget to the level it deserves, here’s a nugget fact file for you:
- Chicken nuggets were first invented in the 1950s by Robert C. Baker, a food science professor who’s innovations in food technology made it possible to form nuggets in any shape.
- The first McNugget was sold in McDonalds stores in 1980. Shortly after, the computer was invented, MTV was created, and the first ever rubix cube was sold. I think we all know what the masterminds behind these creations were eating.
- The largest recorded chicken nugget was 23.2kg and 1m long, created by Empire Kosher in New Jersey in 2013.
- Some chicken nugget imposters we all may recognise include: Birdseye Chicken Dippers (convenient in terms of shape, but lacking in the delicious greasiness of a genuine nug), chicken strips/tenders/that shit ‘popcorn chicken’ sold at KFC that just tastes like pepper and squidgyness, chicken goujons (don’t try and dress up your nug love with posh French (French?) words like ‘goujon’, it’s a nug, and you’re a mug) and turkey dinosaurs (neither chicken nor a nugget, but quite a fun, if inferior, alternative all the same).
However, owing to the fact that boyfriend is coeliac, the classic nugget is a no-go (selfish bastard). But not to worry, after harbouring a hankering for a good nug-fest, we have produced not one but two recipes for gluten free, actually (almost disappointingly) quite healthy, dead easy chicken nuggets. I only have pictures of recipe no.1 for now, but as soon as we make a batch of recipe no.2 (which will be soon, obviously), I’ll upload them too.
Chicken Nuggets no.1, as provided by me (this fed the two of us with plenty of leftovers)
4 chicken breasts
50g rice flour
50g ground almonds
Seasonings; I used 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp smoked garlic salt, 1tsp red pepper flakes, a sprinkle of chilli, salt and pepper, but use whatever you fancy to flavour your nuggets
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Pour your flour into one bowl, crack your eggs and whisk in another bowl, and pour your ground almonds into a third bowl, along with all the seasonings.
- Chop your chicken breasts into whatever size you please; I like my nugs quite big so I usually slice my chicken into 3.
- Take a chicken piece and coat it in the flour, followed by the egg, and then into the ground almonds, rolling around until coated. I use one hand for the four and egg, and another for the ground almonds to prevent getting too messy. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment, and repeat with the other chicken pieces. If you need to top up on flour or ground almonds with seasoning, go for it. When all the pieces are coated, sprinkle the leftover almond/seasoning mixture over the nuggets – this provides a nice crunchy finish.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Dip in all the sauces, consume with gusto.
Chicken Nugget Recipe No.2, as provided by boyfriend (this recipe is probs even better than mine, but I’m not telling him because I’m meant to be the better cook)
4 chicken breasts
50g rice flour
a large bowl of cornflakes
Seasonings: See above recipe, we used the same mix of spices
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Pour your flour into one bowl, crack your eggs and whisk into another bowl, and pour your cornflakes into a third. Using a rolling pin, or your hands, crush the cornflakes into tiny flakes/crumbs, before adding the spices.
- Slice your chicken into nuggets. Take one and coat it in the egg, then the flour, then the egg again, and finally the cornflakes. Place on a baking tray lined with baking parchments.
- Once all of the nuggets have been coated, heat some oil in a frying pan on medium, an fry the nuggets in batches until golden brown – no more than a few minutes. Place back on the baking tray, and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Consume with gusto.