Recipes – CHICKEN NUGGETS

Chicken Nuggets is always a high winner with kids. Even a picky-eater will gulp down all those nuggets!!! Can be packed for their lunch-box and picnics too. Adults also love chicken nuggets as they are very tempting, addictive and make a popular snack/appetizers. Brine the chicken nuggets to make it tender, juicy, flavourful and then deep-fry in oil, preferably, peanut/groundnut oil. The nuggets taste perfect on its own, can have it with ketchup or any dips of your choice.

Do not be intimidated by seeing the long recipe below. You can add any herbs/spices of your choice that is available in your kitchen. Flour can also be replaced with rice flour too. It is very quick and easy to make when all things are available on the counter-top. You can make them in batches, freeze it and deep/shallow fry it whenever required.

I do not cook deep-fried items often, however, my toddler loves chicken nuggets, both the fried version as well as the baked one. Home-made chicken nuggets are much more healthier than the store-bought ones. It’s worth the effort!

Marinated chicken in seasoned buttermilk, coated with cornflakes for crispy texture, deep-fried till crunchy from outside and juicy inside.

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prep time : 10 mins, cooking time : 8 mins, serving : 4, cuisine : starters/appetizers

Ingredients

1 whole egg

oil

Marinade

250 gms chicken breasts

1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder/paprika

½ tsp chilly powder/cayenne pepper (optional)

½ tsp fine garlic paste

salt to taste

1/4 cup buttermilk

herbs of your choice (I mixed pinch of dried herbs like thyme, basil, oregano, parsley)

Flour Mixture

2 tbsp flour/maida

pinch of salt, chilly powder and pepper powder

For coating

½ cup cornflakes

½ cup grated cheddar cheese

a pinch of salt and pepper

To prep:

1. Clean/cut chicken breasts into half inch strips and then cut them further into bite sized pieces. Place them in a large bowl, add chilly powders, herbs, garlic paste, salt and buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for minimum 2 hours or overnight, preferably.

2. Take a small bowl, add flour/maida, salt, chilly and pepper powders.* Keep aside.

3. Into a separate bowl, crack one egg. Whisk it by adding little milk or water**. Keep aside (egg wash).

4. The next step is to take cornflakes in a plate, crush them with your hands. Add grated cheddar cheese, season it with salt and pepper.***

Method

1. Dredge the marinated chicken pieces in the flour mixture*

2. Dip it in the egg wash**, quickly removing it.

3. Coat it with the cornflakes mixture***

Shake of the excess and place them on a plate. Repeat process with the entire batch.

Take a kadai/heavy bottom pan. Into this, add enough oil about 2″ deep. Once oil heats up, (check by adding a cornflake if it sizzles, then it’s ready) carefully, add the coated chicken pieces few at a time, frying on medium heat till crispy turning the chicken pieces, as they become golden brown.

Using a slotted spoon, remove and transfer the fried chicken nuggets to a kitchen towel lined plate.

Serve and enjoy every bite with your favourite dip!!!

My observations/notes

  • while making it in huge quantities, do in batches

  • it is necessary to brine chicken so that it does not dry out as it cooks

  • it should be crispy and crunchy from outside and juicy/moist from inside

  • herbs like fresh coriander leaves, mint leaves etc can be added

  • it is important to maintain the heat temperature while frying :

    – too much hot, the chicken will burn and will be raw from inside

    – too cold, the chicken will not be crunchy/crispy enough.  it will be greasy and will not be flavourful

  • cutting the chicken into bite sized pieces, allows it to cook through.  large pieces can be raw inside

  • frying process of the chicken nuggets in a preheated oil will take around 7 to 8 mins

  • if preparing it for kids, reduce the salt content

  • I have made the baked version too; equally delicious! shall put it in my future posts

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Recipes – PANEER ALOO TIKKI (cottage cheese potato patty)

Paneer Aloo Tikki is a very popular street food snack in Northern India. It is prepared with boiled potato, green chillies and spices. It’s a simple preparation especially when you have potatoes in the refrigerator, it can be done in a jiffy. Tastes best when hot and can be enjoyed with some relish/chutney or ketchup. A great starter / appetizer in parties too. I made this paneer aloo tikki for my toddler who devoured every bit of it.

A crispy tikki of paneer and aloo with a bite of dry fruits/nuts filling – delicious taste-buds at any time!

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prep time : 10 mins, cooking time :15 mins, cuisine : starters/appetizer

Ingredients

Mixture :

125 gm paneer/cottage cheese (crumbled)

1 medium sized potato (boiled and mashed)

2 green chillies (as needed)

2 tbsp coriander leaves (chopped)

1/2 tsp rice flour or corn flour

salt to taste

Filling* :

1/2 tbsp roasted unsalted cashewnuts chopped

1/2 tbsp figs chopped

Slurry**:

2 1/2 tbsp refined flour/maida

2 1/2 tbsp water

pinch of chilly or pepper powder (optional)

Into a small bowl, add flour, pinch of chilly or pepper powder and water. Mix well to make a thin paste with no lumps.

For coating

1/2 cup bread crumbs

Oil for frying

Method

Boil potato with enough water, remove, and mash it using a fork. Keep it aside.

Take a bowl, add crumbled paneer, chopped coriander leaves, green chillies, mashed potato, rice flour or cornflour and salt. Combine everything together nicely to form a dough.

Take a small portion, roll it in your hands, make an indentation and add a teaspoon of the filling*, bringing the edges together and sealing it completely. Shape them into balls and flatten them lightly. Repeat process.

Dip the patties in the slurry** and coat it with bread crumbs. Repeat process with the entire batch.

In the meanwhile, take a pan, drizzle some oil and shallow fry the patties on both side, flipping from time to time till golden brown and crisp.

Enjoy it with some relish/chutney or ketchup

My observations/notes:

-use fresh paneer in this recipe

-after boiling potato, remove it immediately, so that the potato does not absorb water.

-can add more green chillies to make it spicy and garam masala, if required.

-the edges of the tikki should be smooth and there should not be any opening/cracks

– the mixture should not be sticky.

– if there is moisture in the mixture, add breadcrumbs or cornflour, if reqd. Be careful, do not add too much otherwise the flavour will be lost.

-do not dip the patties for too long in the slurry

-can also coat it with crushed cornflakes, poha (flattened rice), crushed oats or semolina (sooji) instead of breadcrumbs

– choose nuts of your choice like almonds, cashewnuts, pinenuts, pistachios or raisins etc

-while making this tikki for kids, skip green chillies

– I have made slurry with wheat flour and gram flour too. you can make combination of any flours. it goes best for tikkis.

– I used a cutlet cutter to give a heart shape

– while deep frying tikkies, keep the heat to medium for crispy tikkis