I don’t know ‘bout you, but I’m feeling 22! That’s right, yesterday was my birthday and I celebrated the first half of the day with over a hundred campers—one of whom asked if I was turning 38 or 37, which I guess is a good indication of how much “beauty” sleep I’ve been missing out on…
Speaking of missing out on things… how did I not know how easy it was to make homemade chicken nuggets? Happy birthday to myself!
After camp, I celebrated in true adult fashion: by going to the Arrington Vineyards. Arrington Vineyards is my favorite place to go in the Middle Tennessee area; with a view of the vines and countryside, delicious wine tasting stations, swinging chairs, and ample space for picnicking, it’s perfect. Beautiful places to drink with excellent wine? That’s what I’m talkin’ about.
Ever since I went to Europe, I’ve loved my wines. Am I a connoisseur? No, but I do enjoy pretending to be one… and all the hors d’oeuvres that come with it. I spent all week prepping: going to Trader Joes to get some artisan cheeses for a cheese platter, shelling chick peas to make homemade hummus, making rosemary and gruyere breadsticks, and making bruschetta. All for under $30. No joke, Trader Joe’s is like my new favorite place to shop.
I’ll be posting recipes for those later, but with the Fourth of July coming up so soon, I wanted to share my most “American” dish that I make here in my little apartment (don’t laugh): chicken nuggets. I was shocked at just how easy and quick it was to make these, and just how yummy it was to fry them with panko bread crumbs. In the future I’ll be working on making Coke BBQ sauce to mimic some that I had in Chattanooga, but for now… here are some chicken nuggets. Enjoy!
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup Panko
- 1 Chicken breast—skinless and boneless
- Vegetable oil
- Cut the chicken breast into 1-inch strips, and then in half (so it creates little cubes “nuggets” of chicken).
- Place the flour, panko, and beaten eggs in separate dishes
- Pour vegetable oil into a pot until it is about half-full. With a thermometer, heat to 320-350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put the nugget into the bowl with flour until all sides are covered in the flour. Then take the nugget and repeat with the egg and then the panko.
- Put the nugget into the hot oil. It should bubble around it. After about 2 minutes, flip it over using metal tongs or a similar utensil. The chicken is done when it is golden brown on both sides, but always double check the temperature with a meat thermometer.
- You can add as many nuggets as your pot will hold but check the oil temperature frequently to make sure it doesn’t get to cold or hot.
- Place the chicken nuggets on a wire rack or a plate lined with paper towels.
- Let the oil cool, then put it in a bottle or a zip-lock bag and throw it away. Don’t pour it down the drain!
Poco a poco
Place your flour, egg, and Panko into separate bowls.
Chop up the chicken into inch wide strips, and then cut those in half. Put the chicken in the bowl of flour and flip it over so that it is completely covered in flour. Then dredge it thru the egg. Place it in the Panko bowl and roll it around so that the chicken is completely covered by the bread crumbs.
Place in the 320-350 degree oil and monitor the heat with a thermometer. Flip it over after about 2 minutes. Pull it out when both sides are golden brown, and check the temperature of the chicken (it should be 165 degrees). The dark-brown chicken in the middle of this photo were over done–the oil was at over 400 degrees, which caused it to get too crisp on the outside and not done on the inside. The chicken should look like the nuggets on the outside.
And that’s it! You’re set to go.
Fun part about living and working in the Greater Nashville area– I know a LOT of people who know Taylor personally, or went to high school with her. It’s a little mind boggling.