Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Toddler Friendly: Crispy Chicken Nuggets

I have been loving cooking for our daughter and having her try new things, so I have decided to start a new section for my blog - Toddler Friendly. Now by that I don't mean bland and boring foods, but rather transforming those easy to eat first foods into flavorful meals. These are things that I would also eat! Kids are more likely to want to try new things and won't be picky when you introduce them to different foods, spices, herbs, textures, and flavors at a young age.

When we had our daughter, my husband and I talked about how we wanted her to eat everything, try everything, and not be picky. So far she has been pretty adventurous and will try anything we give her (even seaweed salad at the sushi restaurant!). Our main goal is to be able to have her eat whatever we eat for dinner. However, there are some nights when we cook too late, or are making something too spicy, so it's nice to have a backup plan.

I love having homemade chicken nuggets in the freezer - just take one out to send to daycare for lunch, or use it as a quick and easy dinner. But I'm not going to give her just plain old breaded chicken nuggets! Our daughter loves lots of flavor - I gave her garlic soup at 8 months old and she couldn't get enough of it - so I really season the breading on these nuggets. And to add another texture, I mix crushed cereal in with my breadcrumbs.

Ingredients (for 9-12 nuggets)

  • 3 boneless, skinless, organic chicken breasts, trimmed and sliced into whatever size/shape nugget you want to make
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1 c crushed crunchy cereal, like Cornflakes or Special K
  • 1 c plain bread crumbs
  • Spices: Italian seasoning, basil, garlic powder, onion powder (maybe 1 tsp each - I don't measure, but added until the breading looked and smelled just right)
  • Cooking spray
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees; spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray
  • Soak chicken in buttermilk for 15 minutes
  • Mix the breadcrumbs, crushed cereal, and spices
  • Remove chicken from buttermilk and toss with the breadcrumb mixture; transfer to cookie sheet
  • Lightly spray tops of chicken with the cooking spray
  • Bake 15-18 minutes, flipping once, and turning on broiler at the end, until chicken is cooked through and the coating is crispy.
She loved them!

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