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Les Petits Chefs make (healthy) junk food!

I decided to treat the boys to some (healthy – sssssh!) junk food last week and you should have seen (and heard!) the reaction when I told them we were making chicken fingers…  This is one of the dishes the boys absolutely adore when it’s served at lunch (our lunch version is made with flax seeds and whole wheat breadcrumbs and it’s actually pretty good) so I figured why not teach them how easy it is to make at home with very few ingredients.

We made a couple of changes to the recipe – I forgot the garlic and lemon (teaching up until 15 minutes before club starts will do that to your memory…) and we didn’t have a food processor so the boys had to cut the parsley and crumb the crackers by hand. I used a LOT more parsley than the recipe suggested as I love the colour it gives to the finished nuggets – not to mention it’s super healthy, right?  I served them with home fries made from tiny red potatoes, quartered, par-boiled and fried….

Pretty simple instructions: we cut the chicken into bite sized nuggets..

I cut the potatoes for the boys as they needed to get boiling quickly so we would have time to fry them…

We had some fun with the parsley…

And used our hands to crumb the crackers. Yes, there was mention of the Magic Bullet but I made them work for their snack this week!

Carefully prepared the egg to dip the chicken into…

And then it was a bit of a batter-fest free-for-all. (Actually the boys were super organised and worked in a production line. Very efficient!)

They handed me the breaded nuggets to fry…

We used a large casserole dish. Even though it’s not ideal, I liked it as it meant the spattering hot oil didn’t go all over me (or the boys!).  Will remember this next time…

The boys could barely contain their excitement when they saw the fries…

And then the nuggets… oh my!!

And they waited patiently as I portioned them out…

Result?

Well I ate the few that I brought home for my dinner. And I am not a nugget fan. But these were THAT good…

The boys were extremely enthusiastic about this recipe and many of them declared they would be making these again at home. Under adult supervision, obviously as, even though they are accomplished little chefs,  cooking involving hot oil still needs an adult present.

Thanks Jamie – this was a huge hit!!!!

Disclosure: The gorgeous bamboo disposable serving dishes used for the end result was provided at no cost by RestaurantWare.com.  If you would like to order your own bamboo tableware with 10%  off, use the code eatlivetravelwrite at checkout.

In case you are wondering, yes, I made it through to Round 7 of Project Food Blog and am madly working on bringing a recipe to life through a video. Thank you all for your support and votes – look out for my video (my first! eeek!) sometime later this week!

** Did you know? Jamie Oliver is speaking in Toronto on November 18th.  Thanks to The Art of Cooking, I am able to offer a discount to you, my readers, of $10 per ticket (more if you purchase more than 5 tickets).  Click here for the special promotion code to be applied to your ticket price.  Don’t miss this event – I saw Jamie speak last year and it was inspirational to say the least. It inspired me to start Les Petits Chefs, for one…

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40 Responses to Les Petits Chefs make (healthy) junk food!

  1. penny aka jeroxie November 2, 2010 at 06:25 #

    Gosh… I don’t mind snacking on that too! Can I be your student?

  2. Mr. Neil November 2, 2010 at 08:25 #

    Thanks again, Les Petits Chefs, for an extra nibble in the canteen at lunchtime: yum!

  3. Conor @ Hold the Beef November 2, 2010 at 09:26 #

    Sometimes you need to have a little fried action.

    I’m not a nugget fan either but I think that’s mainly due to the fact that your standard nugget does not contain premium breast meat, but more the chicken equivalent of the unspeakables found in a Mrs Mac’s pie. These, on the other hand, do not. Very nice.

  4. Belinda @zomppa November 2, 2010 at 11:20 #

    Awesome creative chicken nuggets that you don’t have to feel guilty about.

  5. Andrea November 2, 2010 at 11:48 #

    Were they doing cooking clubs like this for boys when I was growing up? If so, how do I find myself one of those boys, now grown up in his early-late 30s? :) (I’ll take 40s.)

    Great program.

  6. Jamie November 2, 2010 at 13:02 #

    I love watching kids cook and the way you describe their excitement is fantastic! I HAVE to try these chicken fingers! Wow they look amazing: crunchy and so delicious. Great job!

  7. Michelle (What's Cooking) November 2, 2010 at 14:42 #

    YUM! I have often wondered if I should get a deep fryer to use with my students as a way to protect them from the hot splashes of oil. It certainly makes for special treats every now and again – especially when the kids can see that REAL ingredients go into making foods at home! Sounds like the kids had a great class :-) Now I’d like a snack.

  8. Nancy@acommunaltable November 2, 2010 at 16:18 #

    Wonderful project for “les petit chefs”!!!
    Have to admit I make a similar dish and it’s one of my husband’s favorites so I am sure the boys will be making this for years to come!!

    Looking forward to your “cinematic” debut!!!

  9. Steph November 2, 2010 at 18:27 #

    This does look delicious, but could you really describe it as healthy? Both the components of the dish are fried. It’s probably better for you than KFC, but that’s about it.

    No disrespect to you though – it’s well carried out, and I’m sure the boys enjoyed making it – I just have a few issues with it being described as healthy.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 2, 2010 at 22:42 #

      Ok, perhaps I should have highlighted the “real food” component of this dish. I meant that it’s healthy because there are identifiable pieces of meat etc.. in the nuggets. And (shallow) fried food is ok once in a while and I made sure to emphasize this to the boys as we were cooking. Moderation, in all things.

  10. Paula November 2, 2010 at 23:31 #

    Thoroughly enjoyed this post. The recipe for the nuggets is great and one I’m going to try when my grand-daughter comes for her next sleep-over with us. She’ll enjoying preparing the nuggets for me to fry. Thank you!

  11. baobabs November 3, 2010 at 00:04 #

    I LOVE FRIED CHICKEN!!!! and this healthy alternative sounds and looks fantastic! I’m going to make it this weekend! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Corinne @ Gourmantic November 3, 2010 at 00:31 #

    They can make this for me any day! Particularly the potatoes… I can never resist a good spud!

  13. Mr. Neil November 3, 2010 at 08:48 #

    Chicken nuggets made of actual chicken – what a novelty! :-)

    I hope you showed them the pink goo that makes up most fast-food nuggets, including ground up cartilidge and bone and lord knows what else…

  14. Dawn November 3, 2010 at 12:10 #

    I just love this project. It’s fantastic. Teaching them to cook will make them healthy, confident and save them money. You are awesome!

  15. rebecca November 4, 2010 at 00:05 #

    wow this is so cool I bet they loved making these

  16. Dustin Baier November 4, 2010 at 01:41 #

    These look super tasty. What a great idea to make them healthier.

  17. cat November 5, 2010 at 17:10 #

    after seeing a truly horrific video making the rounds on facebook recently showing how “chicken” nuggets served in ff rest are made, i vowed to never let the children eat them again. i will, however, totally try making these – they look so good! and while they are indeed fried, they are at least real food fried, and for any of us, that’s a great treat every once in a while. thanks for the recipe!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 5, 2010 at 18:12 #

      I think as long as you can identify all the ingredients, you are ok! And yes a once in a while treat!

  18. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction November 9, 2010 at 23:26 #

    That is one lovely meal! I’m not a big fan of frying, but that seems like it was totally worth it. I can imagine how excited the boys were!

  19. Marisa November 10, 2010 at 05:47 #

    Great looking chicken nuggets! And nice tip re the deepfrying in a taller pot – will remember that one.

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