Tuesday, January 22, 2013

healthy, easy Paleo chicken nuggets

every kid in the world loves chicken nuggets, including mine.

but, being uber health-conscious plus Paleo means they are a big no-no in terms of the golden arches type.

but, never fear, mom is here

these are crazy delicious and really, really good for you!

(please to ignore my really old, trusty, baked-on-grease pans, ok?)


i used one $5 package of organic chicken thighs from costco...there are about 3 nice-sized thighs in the package, which turned out to be more than enough for two adults and two kids.

even kids who are jonesing for mickey d's...

so, just cut them up into bite or two-bite sized pieces, pat dry and season with some kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper...

now, set up your breading station and prepare to get messy, there is just no way around it. you'll need about:

1/4 cup arrowroot powder (i actually had to use cornstarch, which you see below, since that is all i had, but it's not paleo, so if you want to be legal, use arrowroot)

2 whole eggs (you will have some left over, so you can try it with one egg and see if it's enough, but i never want to stop and make more so i just start with plenty) ((also, you could sub flax eggs if you are egg-free))

1/4 c almond milk (or half that if you are using one egg and feeling lucky)

1/2 c almond flour

1/4 c coconut flour

1 tsp herbs de provence

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 T nutritional yeast flakes (available at health food markets and gives a nice, cheesy, nutty taste the kids will adore)

kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

:: place arrowroot (or cornstarch, if you are cheating) in one bowl

   mix together egg and almond milk in another bowl

   combine remaining ingredients in a third bowl

coat nuggets in arrowroot...shake off excess. this step creates a barrier between the chicken and the breading.

next, dip each nugget into the egg/milk mixture...and this is where it gets messy.

roll each battered nugget in the nut flour mixture and coat well. wash hands. repeatedly. remain calm. sing several songs.

it will be worth it.

place coated nuggets on a cooling rack set into a pan and let rest 10 min or so. this gives the starches a chance to fully hydrate and adhere to the nugget. drink a glass of wine while you wait.

or put lots of hand lotion on your hands that are now super dry from all that hand washing.

coat pan very thickly with coconut oil or other healthy oil and bake 'em at 375 degrees for approx. 20 min., flipping them after 10 minutes or so. You can cook them longer if you like them browner or crispier...thighs can handle a lot of cooking.

it is not golden arches...not by a long shot.

it is much, much better.


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