Easy Chicken Nuggets

Sometimes you just have to have fried chicken. It’s just one of those things that is oh so good. I like to fry up a batch of nuggets that can either be eaten by itself then used in a wrap the second day.  This recipe is easy and tasty too.

A bottle of peanut oil.

A bottle of peanut oil.

Easy Chicken Nuggets

3  cups peanut oil (or sunflower oil or lard)
1  egg
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
2-1/2 tablespoons  powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoons  pepper
2 tablespoons salt
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2″ pieces

Mix together the egg and milk. Place the nuggets in this mixture, and let  sit for at least an hour.  While the breasts are sitting, mix together the flour, sugar, pepper, and salt.

Once the sitting is done, dredge in the flour mixture.

Place the peanut oil in a deep fat fryer, and bring up to a high heat.  Once up to 375 F., gently drop into the oil, and let cook until golden  brown.



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Leftovers Again?

I have a confession to make.

For the past several years Save Mart ran a special, during the months of November and December, where if a customer spends $99, they receive a free turkey (up to 19 pounds). I looked forward to their special each year and would make sure I stocked up on groceries during this period of time. On any given year we would earn 3 or even 4 free turkeys.

To tell you the truth, I can’t remember the last time I actually bought a whole bird. I have always filled the freezer during the holidays. Which brings me to my confession. I’m so glad I saved this turkey, I picked it up one-year ago at Save Mart, during their Free turkey deal. That turkey was my personal best. I had baked it in a brown paper bag as usual but this year, it was an incredible bird.

I’ll bet you didn’t think a  turkey that had been frozen for over a year would still be good. Did you?

Speaking of turkey… How’s that turkey disappearing? Are you sick of eating cold turkey sandwiches, grilled turkey sandwiches and such? I found the solution to tired old turkey.

Determined not to waste one morsel of this lucious bird, I cut the breast meat off first, pulled apart the carcass and boiled the pieces for several hours to get all the meat off the bone. After allowing it to cool briefly, I picked out the large bones and tossed them in the trash.  A pair of kitchen shears is a huge help during this process.

Using the juices from the bird as a base, add your meat back into the pot (along with the giblet juice, if you saved it) add one packet of brown gravy mix (add per package directions). Mix well and continue simmering.   (Note: I started with a 19 pound turkey, I used only the dark meat and loose pieces of white, not the breast meat, which I set aside.)

Then I add the following ingredients to the pot:

  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbs. Onion powder (or add some grilled, saute’d or raw diced onions if you prefer)
  • 1 package of mixed vegetables (corn, peas, carrots, green beans)
  • 1 Tbs. Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-cans Dennison Chili

I started this on the stove and when it outgrew the pot, I transfered the stew to my large crock pot. Then simmer all day, serving up dishes as needed. My turkey stew simply flew out of the pot.   🙂

Serve this up with some fresh sour dough bread and you’ve got a winner for a cold winters day.

Hey, Save Mart! If you are listening… I spent a lot of money in your store over the holidays because of your free turkeys. I believe a lot of people had a better meal and you had loyal customers. Please consider bringing back your free turkey deal in the future. (If you can afford it) — it’s great for the community — great for your store and it’s healthy eating!

Happy New Year!

What’s on your menu?

Searching for the right Pot…

Tonight I’m preparing a pot roast, with potatoes and carrots. Nothing makes the house smell better than a nice roast cooking in the oven — the smells just make it feel so comfortable and familiar. It sort of reminds me of Sunday dinners at Grandma’s house. Grandma always went to church on Sunday, while Grandpa stayed home and cooked — usually a pot roast. It was always cooked to perfection.

Five days ago, on an impulse we decided to purchase a new Breadman TR2700 Breadmaker. I immediately came home and made the sourdough starter recipe that came with my Breadman Breadmaker. Tonight, I’m using the starter for the first time and I’m very excited to see how it will turn out. We are all trying to eat healthier and let’s face it, I simply don’t have a lot of faith in our food supply. There have been too many recalls and too many new regulations on what we can and can not buy or eat.

I consider myself very lucky to have a husband who loves good food and enjoys buying quality kitchen tools and appliances. The trouble I’m having is getting used to all these wonderful new items. You know how it is, every cook has his or her favorite cooking tools that have become habit. When you make this dish, you use that utensil. It’s comfortable. Now, I have all these really nice commercial quality cooking tools and I forget to use them. I love these Tovolo spatulas, I just love to use them, the feel good in my hand.

I didn’t have any trouble getting used to my Vollrath Tribute pans either. When I brought them home, I threw my old teflon pans away. I was concerned for my families health. My pans were at least 10 years old, the teflon was starting to peel and I know I had overheated them many times.

In new tests conducted by a university food safety professor, a generic non-stick frying pan preheated on a conventional, electric stovetop burner reached 736 °F in three minutes and 20 seconds, with temperatures still rising when the tests were terminated. A Teflon pan reached 721 °F in just five minutes under the same test conditions… DuPont studies show that the Teflon offgases toxic particulates at 446 °F. At 680 °F Teflon pans release at least six toxic gases, including two carcinogens, two global pollutants, and MFA, a chemical lethal to humans at low doses.

It wasn’t until I began researching, cookware sets that I uncovered the details. I had no idea that teflon coated pans will begin to leech into the food, once the pan is heated past 446 °F. I knew that aluminum pans can potentially be  bad to cook in. They conduct heat really well, which is why cheaper pans were often made from aluminum, but you don’t want that stuff in your food.

I’ve gradually been switching everything in my kitchen over to commercial grade stainless steel. It cleans up well, cooks evenly and lasts forever. It’s not cheap but I don’t expect to have to replace any of it in the next 20-years. I simply love my Vollrath Tribute pans — they are even made in the U.S.A., which really pleases me.

I need a new stock pot, which is what has me on the topic of cookware again. My last pot was dropped during our last power outage, when I was heating up water and the side got smashed in.  Time for a new one. So, I was searching around on Amazon (I like to comparison shop, before I plunk my money down on any old thing.) looking for a price on a 16 qt. stockpot made by Good Housekeeping but apparently they are now a Wal-Mart brand, and are not available on Amazon. Besides, the pan was made in China.

During my search I was checking out the Vollrath pans — maybe I would just add a huge stock pot to my cupboard. I just about fell out of my chair when I found a 7-piece set of Vollrath Optio Deluxe Cookware for $99.54 on Amazon. Wait a minute — that can’t be right. You can barely buy a single  Vollrath Trubute pan for that price — let alone an entire set.

Interestingly enough, I wasn’t able to find out much about these pans. The Vollrath website say only that…

Optioâ„¢ by Vollrath is stainless steel cookware is specifically designed for the value conscious chef. Constructed of high quality stainless steel and featuring an aluminum-clad bottom for quick and even heat distribution, all Optioâ„¢ by Vollrath Cookware is Induction ready and perfect for use on any type of stove.

I can’t imagine that the quality is anywhere near the quality I’ve come to appreciate from my Vollrath Tribute pans. I haven’t settled on a pan yet — I’m still doing my homework. I even checked out the  All-Clad Cookware that everyone swears is the best,  but I just can’t see spending that kind of money on a set of cookware. What is your favorite kind of cookware or cooking equipment? How much is too much to spend on food preparation?