• 220g chicken breasts (skinless and boneless)
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 garlic glove
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 45g Rice Krispies
  • 15g strong cheddar
  • 1 tbsp parmigiana reggiano
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Chicken McNuggets (without the “Mc”)

You can make these chicken nuggets at home and avoid queuing up at the McDonald’s drive-through. However, they will take you twenty times as long to make. So overall it may take you longer – a lot longer – but don’t let that put you off. Why? Because these have been officially tested by Annie, aged 2, who has been consuming Chicken McNuggets for some time and consequently had five ways of testing the quality of ours:

  • At least 4 nuggets should be comfortably consumed within a 20 minute period with only 45% of that ending up on the floor.
  • They should taste acceptable when the ratio of nugget-to-ketchup is approximately 30:70.
  • They should fly through the sky effortlessly when hurled at people.
  • You should be able to smuggle a chicken nugget out in your pocket without your mummy and daddy being aware.
  • You should subsequently be able to smear the retained nugget successfully into the fabric of the car seat when going home with semi-permanent damage.

Let’s find out how well we fared then:

How we did it:

  • Jess and I used this recipe by Annabel Karmel: http://www.annabelkarmel.com/recipes/chicken-nuggets. It seemed to take us much longer preparing this than suggested but maybe that’s just the product of having a 45 year old man and 5 year old girl prepare it rather than Annabel Karmel.
  • We cubed the chicken and mixed it in a bowl with the milk, garlic, thyme (hand-picked from the garden by Jess), lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • We put it in the fridge to marinate overnight but unfortunately we (daddy) misjudged how far it had gone into the fridge and it fell out on to the floor. The ceramic bowl smashed into many pieces and the marinade and chicken seemed to splash every cupboard in the kitchen (as well as us).
  • We returned 2 weeks later (really) after calming down and repeated the steps above successfully.
  • We whizzed the Rice Krispies in a food processor for 2 minutes then added both cheeses, plus the salt and pepper and whizzed again for 30 seconds. We poured it out on to a plate and set aside.
  • We whisked the egg with a tablespoon of milk in a bowl and also set aside.
  • We mixed the flour with a pinch of salt and pepper and placed on another large plate. Guess what? We set that aside too.
  • We removed each piece of marinated chicken one-by-one from the chilled marinade and shook off any excess, tossed it in the flour, dipped it in the egg and then rolled it in the Rice Krispies.
  • We heated the oil to a medium heat in a large saucepan and fried the nuggets for about 3-4 minutes each side until golden brown and then lay it on kitchen paper (there is also a healthier oven-version on the original recipe).

What Annie thought of it:

Well let’s see what how things went based on Annie’s 5 tests:

  • More than 4 nuggets were consumed within a 20 minute period with only 36.4% (approx) of that ending up on the floor.
  • The nugget-to-ketchup ratio of 30:70 was achieved.
  • When thrown at her sister Jess, they did indeed fly through the air effortlessly and some would say with a certain amount of grace. Damage inflicted was satisfactory.
  • Various nuggets were smuggled in various ways (not just in pockets).
  • Various nuggets were smeared into various fabrics (and dolls). And the dog.

So on that basis they were an outstanding success.

Oh yes, and they tasted very nice as well. Even Jess had one and she “doesn’t do chicken nuggets”.