If there is ONE food item that I absolutely INSIST on buying organic (or at least no antibiotics, steroids, artificial colors or flavorings etc.) it is chicken (watch Food Inc. you’ll understand.) ESPECIALLY when it comes to chicken nuggets.
Mechanically Separated Chicken, anyone? (This is what “they” make regular chicken nuggets out of, here is some info on Snopes about it.
With a three year old in the house, I am tired of draining my wallet on organic chicken nuggets. Because, $8.99 for 10 nuggets is atrocious!
I then switched to Applegate Farms, all natural (non chemical) chicken nuggets for a much better price of $5.99 for 18 nuggets (8 oz.), but I knew I could do better. The control freak in me screamed “I will not be held back by the lack of inexpensive, healthy CHICKEN NUGGETS in the organic food market!” and so Pinterest to my rescue, once again. This is the easy recipe for homemade, baked chicken nuggets that I used.
Here’s how the match breaks down:
1 chicken breast = approximately 8 oz
1, 8oz. organic chicken breast = $3.00 ($5.99/lb at Costco)
Breadcrumbs, seasoning and oil = est. $.25 (if that!)
approximate # of nuggets from 8 oz. = 18, huh, go figure (see above)
Total Cost for 18 homemade, delicious, healthy, non processed, organic chicken nuggets (I should be in marketing ) = approx. $3.50
Total Cost for 18 minimally, but still processed, non-organic, but non chemically-enhanced, “natural” chicken nuggets = $5.99
Cost Savings = 41%!
Math is so not my forte, someone check on that calculation for me…but I’m pretty sure that is correct. 41% savings to make it yourself and you can control all of the good, healthy ingredients you toss in there!
Here’s are some tips:
- Breadcrumbs….they don’t have to be actual “breadcrumbs” and if you don’t have any, not to fret, you can make your own out of crackers or bread or whatever you have on hand. Just toss a bunch in a ziploc bag and smack the heck out of them with a rolling pin. I let Grant do it, he thought it was a hoot! I ended up using some roasted garlic bread sticks that I had. The roasted garlic added a nice flavor that the kids did not seem to mind at all.
- Use panko as the recipe recommends as it adds a nice crispy, crunch to it (along with the spritzing of the olive oil or whatever you spray on top.)
- Cutting your chicken when it is partially frozen makes it easier to cut and will give you more uniform pieces…better for even cooking.
- If you are making a big batch, don’t cook the chicken fully, cook it 3/4 of the way and then freeze them. This will help prevent them from drying out when you reheat them.
- Reheat them in the oven or a convection over to be sure they don’t dry out as well.
I took a half hour and made 4 batches, froze them all and now I am set for the week!
just kidding…maybe the next two weeks.