I wanted chow mein. I wanted chicken nuggets. A legend was born.
I'm a big old fan of experimentation in the kitchen. Yes, it creates monstrosities such as the "egg white casserole" which came out looking like bird spit pie. But it also, on rare occasions, creates something so amazingly awesome, I'm surprised it's come out of my kitchen.
Such is the story of the of the Chow Mein Chicken Nuggets.
It's not a long story. I had all the ingredients to make chow mein, and I was going to put it on my stir fry. Except I didn't have any noodles. Kinda the whole things about chow mein is the noodles right? After all it means "a Chinese term for a dish of stir-fried noodles, of which there are many varieties." So basically, I decided I wanted chicken nuggets instead, and decided to flavour them with what I would have had in my chow mein.
Like I said, not exactly the most complex of creations.
But then...they came out, and they were like little nuggets of heaven in a little white bowl. I rarely get this excited by food I make, but I actually got really excited.
Then people started nicking them and I got a little annoyed... and hungry.
Either way, I decided to share them today because I'm feeling charitable and because quite frankly, they make me happy. The great thing about them is they are pretty low in fat & calories because they hardly need any oil and the recipe doesn't require traditional wheat flour.
First off, I should specify the awesomeness of this recipe. You can make it with meat substitute instead of chicken. The coating will work really well on sliced large mushrooms as well. You can also sub the egg for water/oil mixture. This recipe calls for gram flour and trust me, it's worth trying to find it. The flour makes the coating, crumbly, healthy & easy to cook, needing less oil than as with my other chicken coated recipe.
For some help, gram flour can also be called: chickpea flour, garbanzo flour, or besan. I found my packet very easily in the gluten free section of my supermarket. I'm told that you can make it yourself by grinding dried chickpeas in a food processor.
Makes 20 nuggets
2 Large Chicken Breasts.
150g Gram flour
1 large egg.
2 teaspoons onion granules
2 teaspoons garlic granules
4 teaspoons Chinese five spice
1 teaspoon Chili powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce.
3 teaspoons ground almond. (not essential if allergic to nuts)
Pinch of salt & pepper
First off, cut the chicken breasts in 20 equal chunks. Lay a baking sheet over them, then gently apply pressure to each piece, flattening it out slightly.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg, sesame oil, soy sauce and a pinch of salt & pepper, scrape the chicken into the bowl, mix to make sure all of the chicken pieces are covered in the mixture. Leave to one side.
In another bowl, mix the gram flour, onion granules, garlic granules, Chili Powder Chinese five spice and ground almond together. Next gradually roll each individual piece of chicken in the flour & spices until it is completely covered and dry. Pop them on a plate as you're doing it.
Once all the pieces are covered in flour, pour the rest of the dry mixture over the chicken on the plate, cover and leave to stand in a cool place for 30 minutes.
Once you come back to it, the coating should be quite sticky and no longer dry.
Heat up a large saucepan or griddle to a high heat, brush a little oil onto the pan using a pastry brush. Once it's hot enough, gently place the individual nuggets onto the pan. Cook each side carefully as the coating burns easily. Turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook the nuggets, turning regularly, adding more oil as you need it.
Cut open the biggest nugget to see if it's cooked. If it is, remove all the nuggets from the heat, season with a little salt and serve!
Soy sauce & olive oil.
Sweet & sour
Barbecue (let's face it, barbecue tastes good with anything)
Hope you enjoy it, I'm under orders to make some more tonight, let me know how it goes if you decide to try them!