Now there are two words which instantly bring a smile to mine and Hungry Hubby’s faces. Being forever the kids we were when we met, trapped in the 30-something bodies we begrudgingly find ourselves today, we love all sorts of food which is typically thought of as kid’s food. I
n Nigella’s magnum opus, How To Eat, I recall reading how she felt the very notion of “children’s food” was an unnecessary one as there is no need for food to be specifically designed for children – they should be encouraged to eat good food, full stop.
Commercialisation and mass production of breaded or battered strips of chicken and packaging them in brightly coloured cardboard boxes served out of driveway hutches may have devalued them and bring to mind mistreated chickens and E-numbers galore but when made at home with good quality, free range chicken, these Ranch Chicken Nuggets are one seriously delicious treat, fit for the dinner tables of any grown up or child!
If I had to pick a cut of chicken, it would almost always be chicken thighs for their flavour and how tender they become with slow and low cooking. Like in my Piri Piri Chicken with Chorizo and Black Beans.
However, I use chicken breast for my nuggets (am I the only one giggling here?!) as after a swim in some buttermilk over night before cooking, they are super, super soft and tender. Adding in some ranch seasoning to the marinade along with some fresh garlic gives these luscious nuggets bags of flavour. I sneak some seasoning into the seasoned flour I use to coat them in too to be sure they are flavour packed.
Like in my Homemade KFC recipe, I only use flour instead of going to the bother of making a batter or remembering not to eat all the bread to make breadcrumbs. If anything, this fine layer of seasoned coating is far superior to both options and a lot less work. Plus the buttermilk acts as glue so it adheres without having to dip them in egg first. This is my own Ranch Seasoning recipe, in case you can’t buy it ready made where you live (pin this for future reference):
The thing with frying food at home (a rare treat in the Apple Chapel) is that it makes me conscious of the need to balance it with a mountain of salad on the side. A side effect of home cooking, rather than ordering a takeaway 😉 Hungry Hubby may have preferred baked beans and chips in the past but his personal trainer is now following my blog so salad it is for us… What would you serve yours with? A bottle of Sriracha is just out of sight for me!