Premade Vs. Homemade: A Chicken Nugget Story + bonus recipe

Today at the grocery store I watched and listened as a mother with 2 kids decided on which organic dog food to buy for her dog. I listen as she reasoned with herself on the benefits of feeding her dog all natural grain free food. She explained to her kids about the benefits of feeding their dog healthy foods, Foods that would help his coat, teeth & aging bones.

I listened for a couple minutes and thought to myself if she’s this concerned on what goes into her dogs mouth, I wonder what amazing dishes she is feeding her kids and family.

Curiously, I peeked into her shopping cart as I walked by and was shocked to see nothing but junk! Cheap gross junk foods, premade dinners, drinks, sodas and snacks. Now don’t get me wrong we all have some of those guilty unhealthy snacks, food and drinks that hit the cart, but not the whole basket and right after she told her kids the benefits of eating right and healthy!

I tried to keep my mouth shut, but being me I could not. So I turned the cart around and I asked her this simple question…

“Why do you think we feed our pets better than our kids?”

She turned to me and said “what do you mean?”

I started explaining that she spent 75 bucks on a bag of dog food for her dog, and she spent two minutes explaining to her kids the benifits of their dog eating right. Yet combined in her cart to feed her family she’s spending maybe 50 bucks on processed premade meals and snacks. How much more important are our kids than our pets?

Of course she started defending herself showing me how the box said “fat free” or “less sugar” how some bags said “all natural” or “healthy”

I explain how processed premade food is still processed premade food! Explaining that eating fresh foods will cost you less sometimes and are better for ya. I asked her if I could help her pick out one meal to help her recreate with fresh ingredients, a meal based on what she had in her cart.

She said “I don’t cook, I don’t have the time, to its expensive”. I said, “just one meal, can I help you? I promise it will be simpler than you think and taste 10x better.”  She thought for a moment and said “please” I thought for a moment and said “Let’s start with dinner tonight! What’s on the menu? what are we eating?”

She reached in and pulled dinner out of her cart, it was a bag frozen chicken nuggets

we walked to the frozen food section and put it back the cost was 13.99 a bag. The bag had 64oz of chicken nuggets. (4 pounds, 3.5 pounds of meat .5 pounds breading)

We walked to the meat section and I pulled out a pack of fresh chicken breasts for 1.88 per pound got four pounds for 7.52. She had milk, eggs, flour and seasoning at home. next I explained how to clean, cut, bread and cook her nuggets at home. Her kids faces lit up as I told them how they too could help with the dinner! My 5 year old daughter explained how they could get their hands all dirty from the food.

This lady who I just met, who I just told was eating crappy thanked me. Thanked me for taking the time to help and explained how she was nervous, but also excited to try cooking something new. Explained how her husband was going to freak seeing her cook a meal from scratch and not a box.

After I helped her gather the other ingredients we said our good byes I gave her my number and told her to call of text with any question. Our kids said goodbye and we walked away.

As we walked away my daughter said to me “Daddy, that was nice of us right?” I thought to myself I hope so.

Later that evening I received this text message:

“Jeremiah, Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for calling me out today at the grocery store. I will be honest at first I was so upset. I was upset at this random guy walking up to me and calling me out, telling me that my cart was not reflexing my message I was preaching to my kids. But thank you so much. I will admit I was very nervous to get home and cook a meal that did not have directions on the package. I cut the chicken and had the kids help me season and bread them, I haven’t heard that much laughter and fun in my kitchen for a very long time. My husband came home and walked in on me cooking on the stove and said “what smells so good?” I explained my story and he was excited to eat.

The Meal was a huge hit in our household, they did as you say “taste 10x better”. I can’t thank you enough and the husband wants to invite your family over for a meal “as long as you cook” lol. thanks again.

Maryann-”

I guess my daughter was right, it was a nice thing we did. I know many of you are thinking to yourself, who in their right mind walks up to a stranger and calls them out on their eating. This guy, a guy who is passionate about food and feeding our children better. We need to start a revolution and it starts with what goes into the basket and in turn the plate.

so here is that simple to make Chicken nugget Recipe. Enjoy and get your hands dirty for your dinner, get your kids hands dirty for your dinner.

I told her I had a baked and fried version, she said fried please. I tried talking into baked but she wanted fried. So here is that recipe.

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Homemade Nuggets (Fried Version)

From Field To Plate

Ingredients:

6 chicken breasts (Or turkey, pheasant)

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1/2 tablespoon cracked pepper

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 large egg beaten

1 ½ cup milk

2 cups oil

Directions:

  1. Rinse chicken and pat dry, cut into 1 inch cubes and soak in milk for 15-20 minutes in fridge
  2. In large bowl or Ziploc bag combine all dry ingredients and mix completely
  3. Create an assembly line, chicken, flour, egg, flour, clean plate
  4. Heat oil over medium heat
  5. Take your chicken from the milk dredge in flour, followed by egg, followed by flour and set on plate. Finish all chicken pieces and let rest for 2-5 minutes
  6. Add chicken to fryer in batches. Cook 3-5 minutes until chicken reaches 165 degrees and juices runs clear
  7. Let drain on paper toweled wire rack
  8. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy

I also have a baked version if you’d like it.

updated! baked version

Chicken Nuggets (baked version)

From Field To Plate

Ingredients:

6-8 chicken breasts, cut in 2 inch cubes

1 cup flour 

1 cup panko bread crumbs

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon cracked pepper

2 teaspoons garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon oregano

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil

Cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, brown the panko bread crumbs for 5-7 minutes. Careful not to burn. Once out bump oven up to 450 degrees
  2. Drizzle panko with oil and stir
  3. Season your chicken with salt and pepper
  4. Season flour with garlic, onion and oregano. Make an assembly line in this order, chicken, flour, eggs, panko
  5. Place a wire baking rack in the center of rimmed baking sheet and coat with cooking spray
  6. In batches coat chicken in flour, eggs followed by panko pressing to adhere. Place nuggets on wire rack
  7. Bake 12 minutes or until chicken is cooked fully temping at 165 degrees and juices run clear. Flip nuggets half way. Set timer for 6 minutes, flip and bake another 6 minutes, adding up to your 12 minutes 
  8. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

10 comments

  1. Did the baked version again last night. The kids went crazy over them, AGAIN. Thanks a million. They’re delicious.

    Craig

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