I have been trying to catch the new episodes of Nigella showing on the FoodNetwork Sunday afternoons. I hadn't seen any of her shows before and I was oh so very excited to see what they would be like. My initial reaction was that she makes unfussy, tasty food. Perfect!
I did a test with her Ritzy Chicken Nuggets recipe. She says you can marinate the chicken in buttermilk for up to 2 days, but it didn't specifically say how long she marinated them for. She also gave two options for cooking them: In a pan with oil or in the oven.
I tried marinating them for about an hour then baking. They were pretty blah. Nothing I'd make twice.
I tried marinating them for about 8 hours, then pan frying. OOOH YES. Now this is good!
I tried marinating them for 2 days, then pan frying. EVEN MORE GOOD! The chicken nuggets were so juicy and flavorful. I was in heaven. I would highly recommend serving them alongside a dipping sauce. BBQ, honey mustard and ranch all tasted great with the nuggets.
Isn't it funny how they could taste so ho-hum one time, then completely delicious the next time? It just goes to show you that preparation technique is very important.
Ritzy Chicken Nuggets by Nigella
2 (each weighing approximately 8 ounces with the peg bone, less without) chicken breasts
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil (if you are frying the nuggets)
1 3/4 cups cracker crumbs (recommended: Ritz crackers- I used the Vegetable Herb Ritz crackers)
Cut off the chicken peg bone if there is 1, and put the chicken breasts one at a time into a freezer bag so that it lies flat. Bash with a rolling pin until the chicken is quite thin, and then take it out and slice into about 6 to 8 slices. Repeat with the other chicken breast. This is easiest done with scissors.
Put the slices into a freezer bag with the buttermilk and leave in the refrigerator to marinade for up to 2 days. (Highly recommended!)
When you are ready to cook them, heat the oil in a large frying pan, or preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Tip the cracker crumbs into a wide shallow bowl, and then shake off the excess buttermilk from the nuggets and dip them in the crumbs. Coat them well before lying gently in the hot oil, and cooking for about 2 minutes or so a side until they are golden brown. Transfer to a kitchen towel on a plate to blot the excess oil.
Alternatively, you can lay the crumb-coated chicken nuggets on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. They can also be frozen once marinated and crumbed. If cooking from frozen, add 5 minutes to the oven cooking time.
Recipe from FoodNetwork.com
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