Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Domestic goddess chicken nuggets

I was given Nigella Lawson's "Feast" cookbook years ago.  I had not long left home to make my way in London, living in a bedsit and surviving on bagels and boxes of cereal.  I remember reading her "Ritzy Chicken Nuggets" recipe and thinking...
"One day I will be the kind of woman who buys buttermilk."
"One day I will live in a proper house, and feed my family things that have been lovingly marinated in a proper fridge for several days."

Well, dear friends, that day has finally come.

It was time to put this legendary recipe to the test. 

The ingredients list is ridiculously simple:
- chicken breasts (1 per serving)
- a tub of buttermilk (enough to sludge them all in - and I've learned from baking that if you can't find buttermilk, full-fat plain yoghurt is just fine)
- Ritz crackers (Goldfish crackers or similar would also do)
- Oil for frying (I used sunflower).

And that's it.

I started by following Nigella's instructions to beat down the chicken with a rolling pin (do this inside a plastic bag, to save your kitchen from raw chicken splatter) and cut each breast into about 8 strips.  All you then need to do is find a suitable bag or tub into which to put the chicken bits and the buttermilk, and leave to marinate in the fridge for several days.

(Of course, I couldn't quite leave it there - so I added a heaped teaspoon of the husband's Steak Rub, essentially a mix of smoked salt, pepper, smoked paprika and a hint or chilli.)

The marinating started on Friday afternoon.  On Sunday evening I was ready to get my fry on.  The Ritz crackers (I used the whole box) were pounded down into crumbs, with an uneven crumb being the goal.  I then took each chicken piece and coated liberally in the crumbs, while heating about a 1cm of oil over a very high heat.  Make sure all small children and animals are safely out of the way for this bit!  You may also want to open all the windows at this point!

I then carefully placed the nuggets in the smouldering hot oil.  They literally took 2 mins on each side to reach a state of golden fried perfection: crispy on the outside, beautifully soft and tender on the inside.

We served them piled high, with just a simple homemade herby coleslaw and cos lettuce.  I have to admit this was as fine a Sunday night tea as I've ever produced!

I'm sharing this over at Honest Mum's

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com


  1. I like nigella recipe. They are always so easy to make! #tastytuesday

  2. My kids love chicken nuggets. I ought to give it a try. Great advice about the plastic bag! Mel #TastyTuesdays

  3. They sound fab, it's great to create more wholesome alternatives :-) #TastyTuesdays

  4. Homemade chicken nuggets are delicious! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays

  5. Oohhhhhhh fresh nuggets, mmmmmm I need to try these yum. Bet the kids will love them too. #tastytuesdays

  6. I should try this I've never made fresh chicken nuggets before :) Thank you for sharing x #tastytuesdays x