Healthy and Delicious Chicken Nuggets in The South
There’s this thing…this stigma…about living in the South. That everything has to be fried. Yes, most of us indulge in a good plate of fried chicken, and some of us over-indulge. But, you know what? It’s ok. If being in the South says that we have to eat fried foods occasionally, I will live in it proudly. If you need to lay off of the traditional fried chicken, or if you find yourself having a hard time giving up the unique flavor of fried chicken, try these little nuggets of happiness out. Sometimes you just need a break from fried food to realize your body can survive without it…
This is super simple to make, doesn’t require a lot of prep work, and doesn’t take too awful long to bake. I took a Weight Watchers recipe for Baked Ranch Chicken and ever-so-slightly altered it for our taste buds.
I personally am kind of weird about my chicken preparation, and I don’t mind using frozen chicken. I did read recently that it is better not to rinse your chicken, because it just spreads the germs into your sink, and it really isn’t doing anything different for the chicken. It’s all in cooking it to the right temperature that keeps us from getting sick… (165 degrees is the recommended temperature for poultry). I find that cooking with breast tenderloins is somewhat easier with a lot of dishes. Especially with cutting them up in nuggets. I trim all of the fat, skins, and spots off of the meat. Like I said…very weird about chicken.
On a side note…I do feel as though I can hear my hands screaming for mercy whenever I pull out the chicken to prepare for the dinner that night. I have horrible eczema (just on my hands oddly), and I tend to wash my hands multiple times during chicken preps. Positive note…this is a good thing to be clean when handling meats and other bacteria carrying foods.
Healthy Ranch Chicken Nuggets
- 1 pack powdered Ranch Dressing Mix
- 1 cup bread crumbs (I like the finer crumb for this purpose…maybe even Panko.)
- 1 Tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper
- 4 chicken breasts
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Trim and cut chicken breasts into bite-sized “nugget” pieces.
3. Mix above ingredients in a bowl or large Ziploc baggie.
4. Toss “nuggets” in the crumbs to coat evenly.
5. Place “nuggets” on a Pam-sprayed cookie sheet
6. Bake for 13-15 minutes, take out and turn each one over. Put back in the oven, and bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown.
To cut down further on the calories of the entire meal…I served the nuggets with horseradish mustard for dipping and Black Beans simmered with Tomatoes and Green Chiles (both of these were cans to be specific). To the Beans and Tomatoes, I added a little Sea Salt, Smoked Paprika, and Texas Pete (YUM). Enjoy!