23 July, 2012

Chicken Nuggets Your Kids Will Love

This recipe has become an all time favorite in our household.  My kids beg for them, and tell me they are better than any other nuggets they've had.  I hope yours feel the same way!

Preheat oven to 350F


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
seasoned bread crumbs
butter (for 4 breasts I use about 2-3 Tbs)
milk...room temp.
Parmesano Reggiano

1.  Cut your chicken into good size pieces or strips...however your kids will eat them.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together equal parts seasoned bread crumbs, panko and Parmesano Reggiano...enough to coat your chicken.
3.  Melt butter, then add 1/4 C. milk.
4. Throw a bunch of chicken in the butter/milk bowl, swish it around, then dump into the bread crumb mixture.  Get your hands nice a dirty...cover them completely, and place on a cookie sheet.  Continue with the remaining chicken.
5.  Bake for 10-15 min...depending on the size of your chicken bites, flip, and continue baking for another 10-15 min.


Pumpkin Apple Soup

It may be the middle of July, and it may be hovering around 117F here in the UAE, but that doesn't stop my six year old from asking for pumpkin soup.  I've been reading different recipes, loving parts of each, but no one recipe really grabbed my attention.  So, once again, I have combined them until coming up with something we all loved.  Here it is.


4 C. Pumpkin Puree (pure, not flavored)
2 apples, peeled and chopped
3 Tbs butter
1/2 large onion
4 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6-8 C. chicken stock
1-2 C. white wine or sherry
3-4 C. heavy cream (this will also add some sweetness at the end)
1-2 tsp cinnamon (to suit your taste)
1-2 tsp nutmeg (to suit your taste)
salt & pepper (gradually add throughout the simmer process to your liking)

1.  In a pot, saute the butter, garlic and onion just slightly.  Add the chopped apples with 1/2 C. water, cover and simmer until apples are tender enough to mash.
2.  With a potato masher, gently mash the apples and onions together.
3.  Add the pumpkin puree, 6-8 C. chicken stock, bay leaves, wine, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and salt.  (Slowly add the stock to get the consistency you desire.  This will simmer for 30 minutes uncovered, so you can add as you go to reach what you desire.)
4.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer on low for 30 minutes.  Watch your consistency, if you want a thicker soup, don't add too much water...you'll be adding cream later.  Taste your soup as it simmers...if you need more seasoning, this is the time to add it.  Everyone has a different tolerance for cinnamon and nutmeg...so I always say add as you go.
5.  Take the soup off the heat, add the cream, again, getting it to your desired consistency.
6.  Garnish with a bay leaf on top or with chopped apples.  Serve with a good dipping bread.