I am not one to give up. Stubborn, hard-headed, strong-willed are all words that describe me.
Unfortunately they are also words that describe my daughter.
Kids are intriguing that way. You expect to pass along your eye color or your facial features, but I never dreamed my children might also inherit my exasperating personality traits. Having an argument with her is like arguing with my inner psyche—equal parts annoying and horrifying.
As determined as I am to get her to try new foods and eat a healthy diet, she is equally determined to survive on nothing but Tootsie Pops and peanut butter crackers. My husband just hopes she uses her unwavering resolve to get into Stanford.
I’m focused however on a much nearer future and like I said before, I’m not one to give up.
I’ve been trying to get her involved in the kitchen. Sometimes she’s game, most of the time not. So I consider it a semi-victory when she spills her puzzle pieces out on the kitchen floor while I’m cooking dinner. Maybe the caramelizing onions will spark a tiny bit of interest.
A lot of the time I try to appease her by asking her opinion on the evening’s menu. Usually she’ll request quesadillas or rice but occasionally she will ask for “chicken nu-nuggets”.
A couple years back our landlord gave her a McDonald’s play cash register for her birthday and when you press the buttons of the different offerings the cash register will say the name of the purchase. “Hamburger”, “Apple Pie”, “Chicken McNuggets”. But since Louisa had never been to a McDonald’s she had no reference for what the Mc prefix stood for, she assumed the friendly voice had developed an unfortunate stutter and had a hard time pronouncing the word nugget. Not wanting to embarrass the poor machine we have adapted the word nu-nugget into our vocabulary as a completely normal way to refer to crispy pieces of breaded and fried chicken chunks.
I always try to appease her chicken nu-nugget craving. They are an easy, relatively healthy way of getting some protein into that body and turns out a great way to use up a half-eaten bag of chips. I’ve also used pretzels, tortilla chips, and a panko-parmesan mixture with equally delicious results.
For the Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
For the Strips:
- 6 ounces sea salt kettle potato chips (about 1 1/2 cups crushed)
- 1/4 cup milk (any variety will do, I used rice milk)
- 20 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the Sauce:
- Combine all ingredients in a jar or small bowl and whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. The sauce will keep covered in the refrigerator for 1 week.
For the Strips:
- Heat oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the upper third.
- Place potato chips in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the chips are coarse crumbs. Alternatively you may also place the chips in a resealable plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin or some other heavy object—wine bottles, meat mallets and frying pans also work well. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of crushed chips. Pour chips into a shallow dish and set aside.
- Slice chicken breast horizontally into 1-inch long strips. Season lightly with salt and black pepper.
- Pour milk into a separate shallow dish, add chicken and turn to coat. Dredge chicken in the potato chips, turning to coat completely and arrange in a single layer on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.
- Bake in the upper third of the oven for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned and firm. Serve with dipping sauce.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 16761mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 45g