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Hushpuppy Chicken & Veggie Nuggets

with Pineapple Voodoo Sauce

Hushpuppy Chicken & Veggie Nuggets with Pineapple Voodoo Sauce ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #spicy #cajun #chicken #nugget #recipe

Chicken nuggets like you’ve never had them before! Homemade chicken nuggets are soooo much better than any store-bought nuggets. In these nuggets, I snuck in some hidden vegetables (thank you, zucchini and carrots!) to keep the chicken perfectly moist, plus a bit of corn and creole seasoning and a crunchy corn coating to mimic those amazing hushpuppies they serve in the South. Serve these yummy nuggets with the spicy pineapple voodoo sauce to add even more heat to the fire! Or you could tone down the spices and hot peppers for kid-friendly chicken nuggets.

These chicken nuggets freeze and reheat nicely too! You can freeze them on a tray, then put them in a bag and stick in your freezer for later. Reheat on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray at 425 for about 10 minutes or until the coating is nice and crunchy. (If you listen closely, you can hear it sizzle.)

You guys, I have to confess I’ve never liked chicken nuggets. But I freaking LOVE these ones! For years, I have bought the most natural chicken nuggets I could find for my kids and they gobbled them right up. They smelled good, so occasionally I’d taste them, but I never liked the flavor.  Over the years, my kids (who are not kids anymore) have become disenchanted with the taste of commercial nuggets and patties. It became harder and harder to find any breaded chicken thing at the store that they liked. My son and I decided to try making chicken patties at home so he could have chicken sandwiches anytime he liked. I was SUPER excited when we cooked them up and we BOTH liked them! My boy enjoyed them for many a meal, switching out sauces, sometimes topping the patties with BBQ sauce and cheddar cheese, sometimes he would use marinara and mozzarella. And sometimes just ketchup.

I do have the chicken patties recipe in the backlog and someday I will have time to share it with you … but after making the chicken patties, I decided to try making chicken nuggets. Since I’m doing a Soul Food cooking class on Monday and most of the people who come to my cooking classes seem to really like spicy food, I decided to spice up the chicken mixture with some creole seasoning. I threw in some veggies, because we also try to keep our cooking classes healthy (to fit with the health initiative at work). Also, I baked the nuggets, which works marvelously! I think baking makes it so much easier, healthier and easier to clean up too.

For gluten free nuggets, use gluten free breadcrumbs. (Just toast and blend up your favorite gluten free bread.)

Hushpuppy Chicken & Veggie Nuggets

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 30 - 40 nuggets

Serving Size: 4 - 6 nuggets

Hushpuppy Chicken & Veggie Nuggets

Ingredients

    For the crunchy coating:
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed corn chex
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (for gluten free, use GF breadcrumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt)
  • For the chicken mixture:
  • 2 lb. frozen chicken breast, thawed slightly and cut into chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium zucchini (6 - 8 inches long), cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled & cut into chunks
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (for gluten free, use GF breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning (salt free)
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • For the pineapple voodoo sauce:
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup canned pineapple chunks, with juices
  • 1 small onion, peeled & cut into chunks
  • 2 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 salsa or jalapeno pepper, stem removed, cut into chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped tobasco or habanero pepper (or to taste)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together the ingredients for the crunchy coating and put in a large, flat bowl.
  3. Put the ingredients for the chicken mixture except the corn into a food process and process until it's all evenly chopped and mixed together into a mush. Remove the blade and stir in the corn (or transfer to a bowl to mix the corn in).
  4. Take a large spoonful of the chicken mush and set it in the crunchy coating mixture. Sprinkle crumbs on top of the chicken, then gently lift it and turn it over to coat the little bit of chicken all over with crumbs. Set on the prepared pan. Repeat until the chicken mixture is gone or the pan is full.
  5. Spray the nuggets generously with cooking spray or cooking oil. Bake at 400 F. for 10 minutes on one side, then flip the nuggets and bake for 10 minutes on the other side.
  6. While the nuggets are baking, make the sauce. Put all the sauce ingredients into a mini food processor and process until it looks like a sauce.

Notes

Greatly educe the creole seasoning and hot peppers if you are feeding anyone that is sensitive to hot, spicy foods.

RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/

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http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/hushpuppy-chicken-veggie-nuggets/

Hushpuppy Chicken & Veggie Nuggets with Pineapple Voodoo Sauce ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #spicy #cajun #chicken #nugget #recipe

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