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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
1 egg
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.

6 servings:   159 calories   1 g net carb     1 g fiber      6 g fat      23 g protein

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!

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NeeCee said...

Do you think it would work to leave the chicken in nugget form and use the other ingredients to coat them? My Ninya broke and I haven't had the funds to buy a new one, but I still would love to try this recipe.

Lisa Marshall said...

You might be able to coat the chicken with spices, then dip in egg and coat with coconut and oven bake, but I am not sure. I would probably buy ground chicken if I couldn't grind it myself.

Retta said...

When I think of coconut and chicken, I don't think of them together. But this sounds good, I'll have to try it.

Oh, and today I caught up listening to a Dr Su podcast, where he interviewed the authors of the Low Carbing Among Friends cookbook... one of which was YOU. How fun to hear your voice. Somehow that makes you more "real" to, more 3 dimensional. Your passion for all this shone through... loved it.

Lisa Marshall said...

I know, I felt the same way about my fellow authors! I am a little amused by my Oklahoma accent, but then, what can I do about that? I have a funny story about that day too. I will have to drop you a note to tell you about it. Let's just say, I did not have it all together!

They Call Me Hypo said...

I've been thinking about making my own nuggets after seeing what goes into the store bought kinds. I think this was the push I needed. Thanks for the great inspiration!

Lisa Marshall said...

Hypo-- I do this a lot with different flavorings. I am really fond of Wright's Liquid smoke added in too.

Sonotthereason said...

How many carbs does this wind up with per nugget?

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