Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Coconut Curry Chicken Nuggets
I hate hearing the talk about what goes into chicken nuggets. And believe me, I don't want to know about it. I love the concept of chicken nuggets, so what is a girl to do? As usual, make her own. These are not breaded and fried, and they don't need the breading to impart flavor. These have a fantastic flavor all their own. Leave the ketchup and honey to the sugarvores. We have Coconut Curry Nuggets. Kinda a take off of the Naked Nuggets I told you about in the October Diner News, but these are better.
Nuggets are fun. Fun color with the curry. Fun to pick up with your fingers. Fun to surprise your friends with the secret ingredients. All so good for you too! Great for dinner and lunch boxes too. Make a big batch and freeze them up for later. You will be so glad you did! They might even be a go to late night snack.
You can buy pre-ground chicken and mix it all in, but I prefer to grind my own in my Ninja. It really is easy.
Coconut Curry Chicken Nuggets
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast or ground chicken
1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red curry paste
Grind your own: Trim fat from chicken breasts. Place them into the food processor and blend until coarsely chopped. Add the coconut, roughly chopped cilantro, egg, curry, garlic, curry paste and salt. Process again until ingredients are well mixed in and the chicken is smoothly ground. Proceed to cooking instructions (below)
Pre-ground: Place chicken in a large bowl. Add coconut, finely chopped cilantro, egg, curry, garlic and salt. Stir or mash by hand to incorporate all ingredients into the chicken. Proceed to cooking instructions below.
Pan Fried: Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet over a medium heat. When hot, drop large spoonfuls of the chicken mixture into the skillet. Use the back of a spoon dipped in the coconut oil to smooth the tops and shape the nuggets in the pan. Cook a few minutes until the bottom is browned. Turn with a spatula and brown the other side. This will take just a couple of minutes.
Oven Baked: This method allows you to bake more at a time than the skillet method, sacrificing only a little bit of browning. Spritz a rimmed cookie sheet with olive oil or brush with melted coconut oil. Drop by large spoonfuls onto the sheet. Use an oiled spoon back to shape and smooth the nuggets. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
These nuggets will be yellow tinted from the curry powder. I think my guys secretly did not want to like them, as they tend to shy away from Indian restaurants and always look concerned when I say curry. It always amazes me when they announce they like a new curry recipe everytime I serve one. Never fails, like it is always a surprise to them! Oh well, at least it is a good surprise! One of these days they might admit to liking curry.
The flavor combos are great in this dish. None of the spices are overpowering, and the coconut is not too strong. They have enough flavor though, that they will hold up to be eaten at room temperature in lunch boxes or for picnics. They would be great sliced and added to a spinach salad. They could be made into meatballs too; similar to the recipe from which I adapted my version, a Mark Sisson recipe in Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals. They would also be made into full sized patties for a yummy sandwich.
This is one of the arsenal of Paleo friendly recipes I am featuring in February's Diner News. Included are several ways to flavor ground meats for make ahead Paleo fare. Even if you are not following a Paleo eating plan, this recipes serves all low carbers with a great change of pace. Delish!