Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chicken Parmesan Poppers/GF Chicken Nuggets

I don't know why, but it seems like most kids obsess over chicken nuggets at some point in their lives. We eat pretty healthily at our house, but my son still begs for chicken nuggets and tells me they are his favorite food. I don't know if it is because of the fun shapes they often come in, that they can be picked up, or if it truly has to do with their flavor. Whatever it is, my kids beg for chicken nuggets and I pretty much only make them for my kids when I have a GF leftover I can heat up while I cook their wheat-filled nuggets.

I confess, sometimes I miss chicken nuggets too. Not because I miss their pre-packaged, preservative-filled-ness, but because I love what you can do with them. They are pretty versatile, really. My husband was out of town today and my son (whose comfort food is chicken nuggets) has been sick since yesterday. While he was napping, I decided to make chicken nuggets for him, but I wanted to please him and me. So, I made some "homemade chicken nuggets" and heated up some leftover pizza sauce. Voila - I was having chicken parmesan bites and he thought they were chicken nuggets. Win-win! And, for people with celiac/gluten-intolerance who cannot have cheese, these do not have any cheese. Pardon the picture...I wanted to take a picture right after I made these, but my husband had the camera and he was out of town. So, here's a picture of the leftovers!

***Chicken Parmesan Poppers
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bite-size pieces (I did two small chicken breasts from frozen)
1 1/2 cups gluten-free oats, pulsed in blender until almost like "flour"
1/2 to 3/4 cup mayo
salt and pepper as desired
Pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 425. In blender or food processor, pulse oats until they are somewhat "flour-like." You may need to move the oats around with a spoon or shake the blender gently as you pulse. The oats don't need to be ground totally fine, but you want them to be chopped smaller than they were when you put them in the blender! :)  Put the chopped oats into a medium-size bowl and add salt and pepper as desired. I used about 1/2 tsp. salt and a dash of black pepper. Put mayo into small bowl. Chop chicken into small, bite-size pieces. Working in batches, coat chicken with mayo and then cover with oat crumbs. Place prepared chicken onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake 12 minutes, then flip. Bake 12 more minutes, or until chicken is done and breading has begun to brown. Heat up pizza sauce for dipping, if desired.

These chicken bites held together surprisingly well and could be paired with any number of dipping sauces. My son ate several pieces and then said, "Mom, you can make this again sometime!"

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