Tag Archives: cheap meal

Easy Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets

13 Sep

“I am craving chicken nuggets” said me never. Well, almost never. But recently all that was on my mind was crispy chicken. I needed to give in to this craving fast so I decided to make easy oven fried nuggets. Those only need to cook for about 10 minutes.

Time to get started! I needed chicken, a flour dip, an egg wash, and a crumb mixture. I try to keep a pretty well stocked pantry and fridge, so this was a snap to pull together. When I need breading I usually make my own. I just love a little of this and a little of that. I let my mood drive the flavors.

So I mixed up some buttery cracker crumbs with some panko (you can’t beat the light crispiness!) bread crumbs. I added some shredded parmesan cheese for a salty flavor pop. A little pepper, or in this case a lot of pepper, and my breading  was ready.

I made a quick egg wash. For that you simply take an egg, whip it up a bit, add a few tablespoons of water and it is ready. The flour will adhere to the chicken, and the egg wash helps the next layer, the breading, stick. This method all but guarantees a  juicy on the inside crunchy on the outside chicken tender.

Got my assembly line ready for my chicken nuggets!

Before starting my assembly line, I set my oven to 350 degrees to preheat. Then I got out a baking sheet and lined it with parchment paper. Personal preference here, you can also use foil-or nothing at all. Lining the baking sheet helps make clean up easier, so that is an extra step I don’t mind doing!

I then cut the chicken breasts into “finger” size, about 1 1/2 -2 ounces each. Next, I took the chicken pieces, dredged them in flour, gave them a quick dip in the egg wash, then rolled them around to coat in the cheesy buttery crumbs. As you can see, you need not be fussy about having exact size chicken pieces or a totally uniform breading. This recipe does not require perfection to turn out delish!

It is as easy as 1-2-3!

I lined these bits of chicken goodness up on my baking sheet and gave them a light spritz of olive oil. The oven was preheated, so in they went.

Oven ready homemade chicken nuggets!

I could hardly wait for these to be ready. I set my timer for 10 minutes and got my dipping sauces ready. For variety, I decided on a veggie herb laden buttermilk dip, some creamy bleu cheese dressing, and a sweet hot chili sauce. I have never been a ranch dressing fan. I know, weird, right? But if that is your thing, go for it!

Get sauces that you love, pour into little bowls, and get ready for a home YUM!

Out of the oven I could hardly wait for these to cool enough to eat. I piled them on a plate, grabbed my sauces and dug in.

Meaty crispy flavorful nuggets! And so fast! You will never go to the drive thru for nuggets again!

These nuggets were so flavorful with the perfect balance of crispy texture, firm chicken, and savory buttery goodness. Craving satisfied. Bonus-I had leftovers!

That’s the trick-make enough so you can enjoy them for another meal. Layer them on top of a salad, dice them up for a tortilla rollup on the go, or mix them into some mac and cheese! So many options! And there isn’t a bad one in the bunch.

Bon appetite!

 

Soup-Rich warm comfort food! Yum!

21 Sep
Home made tomato basil soup.  Easy and delicious!  And the leftovers were fabulous.

Home made tomato basil soup. Easy and delicious! And the leftovers were fabulous.

 

As the weather continues to turn from steamy days to the cool crisp air of fall, I am on my comfort food fast track.  Last week, home made tomato basil soup filled the bill.  And if I may be so bold,  it was creamy, rich, and quite delicious. (Ouch!  It hurts to pat myself on the back!)

Tomato basil soup is a snap to make with just a few things on hand.  I used canned tomatoes, but had fresh basil still going crazy in it’s sunny patio pot.  I began by sautéing onions, celery, and garlic in olive oil.  Next, in went some canned tomatoes to simmer for a bit. I use a variety of tomatoes depending on what is in the pantry.  (Whole tomatoes are just fine to use if you have a stick or immersion mixer to smooth it out). Salt, pepper, and a dash of sugar is also necessary.  I use both black pepper and red pepper flakes because I like a little heat in my soup, but you can be light handed with the pepper if that suits your personal preference.

Even if using fresh basil, tossing in about a tablespoon of dried basil while the soup is simmering adds a nice flavor touch, and certainly adds to the succulent aroma.  When the soup starts simmering, the amazing scents of tomatoes and basil begin wafting through the air.  Pathetic true confession: sometimes when I am cooking and it starts to smell good in the house, I will go outside for a sec, then step back inside and let those incredible aromas hit me all over again.

Fresh basil.  The taste is amazing and the aromas are truly mouth watering!

Fresh basil. The taste is amazing and the aromas are truly mouth watering!

There are so many reasons to love soup.  The house warms up with delicious lingering scents, and you can really customize it for your own taste and occasion.  Add a little of this and a little of that.  And soup is super budget friendly.  Soup is also easily paired with a well toasted or grilled sandwich…the crisp texture  of the sandwich is wonderful with the warm smooth soup.  Very pleasing to the palate. Make it on the weekend and use the leftovers for a quick week night supper.

Amy’s Tomato Soup

  • 2 T. olive oil

    Simple soup ingredients.

    Simple soup ingredients

  • 1/4 cup each of chopped onion and celery
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 cups chicken stock (can use vegetable to make it vegetarian)
  • 2 32 oz. cans tomatoes
  • 1 cup milk (optional-and I use skim)
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 2 T. ketchup
  • 1/2 t. sugar
  • 1 T. dried basil
  • 2-3 T chopped fresh basil
  • Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste

Put olive oil in large stock pot.  Heat briefly and add onion and celery. Sautee until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add garlic and stir for another minute.  Gently pour in stock and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring twice.  Add all tomatoes, tomato paste, ketchup, salt, pepper, sugar and dried basil.  Give this a good stir.  Turn heat to medium to low and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Use immersion or stick blender to smooth out the texture, being mindful of the hot liquid.  Taste for salt and pepper at this time and adjust for taste.  Add fresh basil  and let simmer on low for 15-20 minutes.  You can whisk in the milk at this time if you choose.  Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

This is a fun recipe to tinker with.  Feel free to make it more hispanic by adding cumin.  Make it a little more greek by adding oregano.  Go for it.  Have a blast!  Welcome fall into your family kitchen by adding this fabulous comfort food.  Try this soup, make it your own, and then shoot me a note to let me know what you did.  I can’t wait to hear about your foray into fall comfort food!