6.26.2008

Chicken Nuggets with Dill Dip


It is the first week of summer vacation, and I have to say our dinners have been unremarkable. Repeats of family favorites have been the order of the day. I have a couple menus picked out that I just haven't got around to making. Summer is supposed to be a lazy time and I have been sticking with tradition.

Lots of vacationers will be hitting the roads for family trips. A frequent culinary stop on road trips is McDonald's which offers the kid-favorite Chicken McNugget. I found several copycat recipes and decided I'd give making my own Chicken Nuggets a try. We are not frequent visitors to McDonald's so the homemade variety will be about as close as we get.

Making Chicken Nuggets was a little more labor intensive than I was hoping for today's dinner. Chicken breasts are chopped in a food processor and then seasoned and formed into small balls. The chicken balls are rolled in flour then egg and back into flour before frying in vegetable oil. The nuggets are drained on paper towels and sprinkled with salt. I served the nuggets with a childhood favorite of mine - Dill Dip.

Only 3 of the 5 family members had Chicken Nuggets for dinner tonight. I thought the texture and flavor was very good. I ate more than my share of the dip. My Middle One said that she likes them better than my Panko Chicken Fingers. When asked her opinion of the dip she said it was dilly. No Thank You Boy said I must have read his mind because he was hoping for battered chicken for dinner. He commented that I should buy a frying thingy and make preparing more Chicken Nuggets easier in the future.

I am not a big fan of deep frying. Eventhough my Chicken Nuggets are fried, I at least know that only chicken breast meat was used to make them. I'm not really sure what actually goes into a McDonald's Chicken McNugget and probably don't want to know.


Chicken Nuggets

makes about 30 nuggets

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in small pieces
2 teaspoons Montreal Chicken Seasoning
2 extra large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup flour seasoned with Penzey's Chicago Steak Seasoning or salt and pepper
vegetable oil for frying

Put chicken in a food processor and process until chicken is chopped into very small pieces. Add Montreal Chicken Seasoning and pulse about 5 times.

Form chicken mixture into about 30 small balls. Put the beaten eggs in a pie plate and the seasoned flour in another pie plate. Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large saucepan to medium-high heat. Dredge the chicken balls in the flour then the eggs and then in the flour again. Slightly flatten the coated chicken ball. Fry about 3 - 5 nuggets at a time in the hot oil (about 350 degrees) for 3 - 4 minutes per side or until golden brown.

Remove the nuggets from the oil and drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Serve warm with honey mustard, barbecue sauce, Dill Dip (recipe below) or ketchup.


Dill Dip

This dip also goes well with crudite and chips.

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill
1/2 teaspoon Montreal Chicken Seasoning

In a small bowl, combine ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for about 1 hour before serving.


14 comments:

Beth said...

Like the sound of the dill dip. You can't beat chicken nuggets!!

Robin Sue said...

What is Montreal Chicken seasoning? I never thought to use the Chicago in the flour great idea, could you taste the smoke?

EAT! said...

beth - I never turn down a chicken nugget.

robin sue - Montreal Chicken Seaasoning is one of those combination spice mixtures. I bought a huge bottle at Costco for less than $6. McCormick's also makes it and it is in the spice section of the grocery store.

Lisa said...

I'll have to try these for my picky son. Might be good to have some extra in the freezer which I can just pop in the oven. Thanks!

Bridgett said...

The dill dip gives the meal a more "adult" flavor but I know my kids would love the chicken nuggets. They look perfect and so yummy.

Grace said...

chicken nuggets with sweet and sour sauce used to be my go-to mickey d's meal. now, i'm pretty sure i'd prefer the homemade version. especially with dill. :)

Leah said...

I'm a closeted chicken nugget (okay, truth be told, McNugget) fan. I LOVE IT when my kids leave one or two in their little cardboard trays......mmmmmmm, nuggets. Now I have a craving!!

I've toyed with the idea of getting a Fry Baby to use ONLY when I can take it outside on the patio -- I don't like how the frying stinks up my kitchen for days!!

Kevin said...

Nice looking chicken nuggets! I like the sound of serving them with that dill dip.

Janet said...

I agree with you re McDonalds, I always give them, and others like them, a wide berth.

Your chicken nuggets sound great, as does your dip.

amandalouden said...

This looks great for kids and adults! Perfect

amandalouden said...

by the way, I think that is very clever about processing the chicken first.

DocChuck said...

Great post.

My wife and I have been making chicken nuggets similar to your method for years now. But the dip is a neat addition which we will try.

And your comment about what McDonald's "puts" into their nuggets hit a nerve with me.

We watched a documentary on television a year or two ago about that. And what we saw that they put into their "chicken nuggets" would gag a maggot!

Of course, we would NEVER set foot in a McDonalds or any other "fast food" restaurant for that matter.

Thanks for a good post.

Deborah said...

I love a good chicken nugget, but the dill dip is what I really want!

EAT! said...

lisa - I made some extra for the freezer.

bridgett - the dill dip is one of my favorites.

grace - I am a Big Mac eater on occasion. But usually not more than once a year.

leah - I have not mastered frying yet. My son thinks a Fry Baby would help me out. Not really sure about that b/c I try not to fry too many dinners. but donuts would be another option.

kevin - the dill dip is one of my favorites.

janet - thanks for reading and the compliments.

amandalouden - our whole family liked them.

docchuck - thanks for reading. I watched a documentary with my son on how hotdogs are made and he is having a hard time stomaching them these days.

deborah - I keep the dill dip in my frig for emergencies