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Today, we’re going to do a main course and it’s going to be Ritz Cracker Chicken Nuggets. So as you see, I’ve got some chicken and the chicken is cubed up quote coarsely. You don’t want to make these too tiny or they will be fairly insignificant nuggets. When you get them at your grocery store or meat market, they may come in a container like this and I chose to buy whole—well, I they were halved breasts, boneless, skinless, but after I brought it home or just a few minutes ago actually, I trimmed all of the fat and any grease or skin so it looks like this. And that’s what we have in that bowl, about two pounds.
What I did in cutting that into cubes was just kind of go down through the chicken breast at a place where I thought it would be wide enough to make the size chunk I would want. These don’t have to be perfect but you want to get a good-sized chunk that goes into the other nuggets. I got about four from that strip and that’s probably all I need because this is definitely two pounds.
Next thing that we need to do, and this actually has to be begun ahead of time is take—I think I’m going to wash my hands because I had chicken on them. You don’t want to be touching a lot of other things when you have chicken on them because of salmonella, so just a quick washing of hands and then back to discussing the recipe.
I need some margarine. You can use butter if you prefer. What I need is 1 ½ sticks. I have already put that in a saucepan on the stove and melted it. You can see 1 ½ sticks of melted margarine and I’ve let it cool down a little bit. This will not work very well if you have cold chicken and then hot, melted margarine. You actually want the chicken to come up to room temperature but not for too long, and then you also want to let the margarine sit awhile after it’s been melted.
So I’m just going to salt this chicken. Instead of actual salt, I’m going to use meat tenderizer. It just makes these nuggets a little more tender, so I’m just going to give a nice, generous sprinkle over the top. I never really measure this. I would guess it’s somewhere between ½ teaspoon and 1 teaspoon. But if you like it being salty, then you’ll just put more. If you don’t, then you don’t have to actually put salt at all because we’re going to be topping it with the Ritz Crackers and they’re salty in themselves.
Alright. Next thing to do is to take the 1 ½ cups of melted margarine and just pour it over the chicken. So this, we’re going to cover here. And then for the topping, we’re going to use Ritz Crackers. You could use reduced fat Ritz Crackers. These are just regular. You won’t need the whole box. I had chosen to use one and one half of the canisters in here. They’re served in tubes. I’ve used 1 ½ tubes off the Ritz Crackers. You’ll notice that they don’t look like crackers anymore because I have crushed them up. You’ll put them in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and then use a rolling pin and hit it this kind of motion, then you’ll see that those Ritz crackers will become very fine crumbs and that’s what we want. So completing this is very simple.
What I need to do is have access to these crumbs and then I’m going to use my hands to get the melted margarine combined with the chicken. If you want to do this in a slower process, you can just dip each piece. In fact, these could be half chicken breasts, they could be chicken fingers, chicken strips, but my family seems to like the nuggets. So I just pour them in and mix them with my hands. What I’ll do at this point is take a handful or two and put them in the crumbs. Now, I’m not going to seal the top but I’ll close it off so nothing gets to the air, and then just shake. I’m going to reach into the bag and grab those pieces that are coated, shake them a little bit because they have a lot of coating that will be hanging on, and place them in a casserole dish. This is a Pyrex dish that is 8 x 12. You can use anything in that vicinity. It could be round, but if you use an oblong, it could be 9 x 12, 8 ½ x 12, and so on. You could choose to spray it originally with cooking oil. I just set that out here to show you, but we’re not going to do that because there is enough oil in this margarine to take care of it. That’s just your choice. If you like it a little crispier on the bottom, then you could cook it in oil. It will help the fat.
So let’s get to this first bunch out and then I’m just packing them—served toward one end and I’ll come back and get some more, and you see probably—I don’t know if you can see or not, this is beginning to congeal. That’s because the temperature of the chicken was a little lower than the temperature of the melted margarine. That’s not really good, but it doesn’t hurt anything. If you can manage to get these mixed together and put in that pan, then they just go in the oven and bake and they come out the same anyway.
So we’ll place these in. I do have the oven heated to 400 degrees and these will be cooking somewhere from 25 to 30 minutes. I just finished making a batch and I think it was exactly 27 minutes when I decided to take them out, but that was by looking at them and deciding whether they were as brown as I would like them to be.
Okay, I have about one more time. You can take more times in this. I’m just kind of quickly showing you how to do it, and you don’t have to get every little bit of margarine. However, if that were more melted at the end, I might pour that over the top. So one last shake here and then we’ll place this over here in our baking dish. I’m getting a little bit less topping on as I get toward the end. That’s alright because there’s still some loose topping in that Ziploc bag. I think I’ve gotten all the chicken, so what I can do is take that loose topping and maybe a cover a little more generously places that might not have gotten quite as much. That’s probably enough, so I’m just going put it right there. This is kind of messy and when you get to this point, you’ll want to wash your hands to get this mixture off because you’re going to be putting some ground pepper on that and then placing it in the oven. You can’t do it with slippery hands. Just a second here and I’ll be back with you with my hands washed.
Alright. I have some fresh ground pepper, so these peppercorns are getting ground as I turn this, and that makes some nice flavor and it goes on to the chicken. Just go around, try to cover all of the top but not extremely thickly because you don’t want it to be too hot and spicy so that people don’t like it. Alright, it’s ready to go in the oven. Remember, it’s a 450 degree oven and it bakes 25 to 30 minutes.
Now, let me show you the one that I did a few minutes ago. It’s piping hot because it just came out of the oven right before I started making this video. Let me get this out of the way and we’ll see what it looks like. I have a serving spoon here and we’ll just dig in here at the corner and put a few nuggets on my plate. You can see, there are extra crumbs in here. If you like the crumbs, get a bit of those and then let’s take a bite. These nuggets are large enough that you probably will need to use your fork to divide them into parts. And as I said, these are very hot. They’re very good. I think you’ll enjoy this recipe. I hope so.