Mark Bittman’s new column in the New York Times was interesting this week. He is taking on McDonald’s new breakfast option, oatmeal. You can read his Opinionater column here. It seems that McDonald’s has taken a healthy food like oatmeal and turned it into a nutritional nightmare. Real oatmeal does not have any ingredients. It is the ingredient, as Bittman says. McDonald’s oatmeal has 7 ingredients, one of which is “natural flavor”. You have to wonder why it is necessary to make everything so complicated. AND BAD FOR US.
The same is true of Chicken McNuggets. It seems it would be just as easy to cut up pieces of chicken breast, roll them in a coating and fry them. But no, . . . chicken is mechanically separated, turned into a pink goo, washed in ammonia, redyed and reflavored. I think I will just make my chicken nuggets at home.
Here is a recipe that I adapted from myrecipes that has a twist on the usual coating for chicken pieces. It was very tasty and the pretzels gave it added crunch.
PRETZEL CHICKEN NUGGETS
2 cups small pretzel twists
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 large eggs
1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place pretzels and Parmesan in a food processor and process until coarsely ground and well mixed. Transfer to a bowl.
Combine flour and pepper in a separate bowl. Beat eggs with 1 tsp. water in a third bowl.
Roll chicken pieces in flour mixture until thoroughly coated. Dip in eggs, allowing excess to drip off. Transfer to pretzel mixture and turn until thoroughly coated. Place chicken on baking sheet; turn to coat with oil. Bake, turning once until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
To make it even better for you, serve the chicken nuggets on a bed of fresh salad greens.