Crispy Chicken Nuggets

It has been so long since I posted a recipe! I have a few that I want to share with you all, but when I made these for dinner last night I knew this was the winner I had to share first.

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Don’t these look yummy?! One of my favorite dinners is breaded chicken cutlets, but when I was cooking last night I decided to make things a little more bite-sized which made them a lot more delicious. Each nugget was so crispy and packed with flavor…oh my goodness I’m practically drooling right now just thinking about them. Naturally, we had no left overs. I should have made more. I want them right now!

What You Need:
Oil, for frying (choose whatever kind you’d like)
2 chicken breasts (or the equivalent amount of chicken breast tenderloins)
2 eggs
A splash of milk
Italian style breadcrumbs
Panko
Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

The How To:
1. Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a pan over medium to medium high heat. I usually start this after I’ve breaded at least half of the chicken because otherwise it always takes me too long and my oil is crazy hot by the time I start frying. No one likes being splattered by flaming hot oil, you know?
2. Cut your chicken into chunks. I made sure to filet the chicken breasts first just to make the pieces all roughly the same size.
3. Scramble the two eggs and the splash of milk to make an egg wash. If you are allergic to eggs or egg intolerant you can use some oil or some buttermilk to do this step instead. Just be aware the coating may not stick as well.
4. Create your breadcrumb mixture by mixing the breadcrumbs, panko, parmesan, and salt and pepper if you feel so inclined. It really doesn’t need it, but some people love their salt and pepper. Who am I to take that away from you? Go for it, friend.
(Also, notice that I don’t have specific measurements for these things? I have never in my life measured this out. Just eyeball it.)
5. Dredge the chicken chunks in the egg mixture first, and then generously coat them with the breadcrumbs.
6. Drop them piece by piece into the hot oil, and fry them until they are golden brown and oh so crunchy. When finished, let them drain on a paper towel so the excess oil is removed.
7. Enjoy your chicken nuggets! You can pair them with the delicious dipping sauce of your choice, or you can opt for a slightly healthier (but still just as delicious!) option and pair them with applesauce. So yummy!

Chicken Nuggets close up

Dinner plate

I hope you all enjoy these as much as we did. Between two grown ups and a one year old, there wasn’t a crumb left!

Linking up with Delicious Dish TuesdayTuesday’s Table, and Hot Momma’s Kitchen!

Mongolian Beef, Chicken, and Tofu

First, I just want to say that I know I have been pretty absent for the past week, but it probably isn’t going to get any better this week. My sister is here visiting which means we are out doing fun things! I’m just too busy this week to be able to post consistently. Next week I will (hopefully) be back to normal!

Oh also, I’ve decided I’m just going to combine my July and August favorites because I completely fell behind on that too and with how busy this week is I feel like it’s going to be way too late to play catch up.

Okay, now that all my housekeeping is done…on to Mongolian goodness!

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The first time I had P.F. Chang’s Mongolian beef I was in love. It became my new favorite dish. Eating out often is way too expensive though, so I decided to find an at-home recipe that was just as good as the real thing.

Doing my research, I realized that most of the Mongolian sauce recipes online were all the same, and to be honest I really haven’t changed it up at all. What I do like to change up is the protein. This sauce is delicious on beef, chicken, and tofu, and I’m sure it would be just as delicious on pork or even just veggies alone. This particular time I made it, I used tofu.

I love making this on a weeknight when I don’t have a lot of time to cook but when I still want a filling, delicious dinner. This recipe is quick (under 30 minutes!) and keeps well for leftovers the next day.

What You Need:
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon oil
2-3 teaspoons of garlic (to taste)
1 teaspoon ground ginger (again, to taste)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup brown sugar
3-5 scallions, green parts only

For the protein:
1 pound of your choice of protein
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons oil
salt and pepper to taste

The Sauce How To:
1. In a medium sized saucepan, heat the oil, add the ginger, and saute the garlic until lightly browned.
2. Stir in the soy sauce and water until well combined.
3. Add the brown sugar, mix until dissolved, and allow it to come to a boil for about three minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

The Protein How To:
1. If using beef or chicken slice into strips. I recommend flank steak for the beef (make sure to cut against the grain!) If using tofu, which is what I used here, cut it into cubes and press it to drain some of the water.
2. Salt and pepper your protein, and then toss with cornstarch so it is lightly coated. Let that sit for about 10 minutes to let the cornstarch stick. If you’re using tofu, you don’t have to wait the 10 minutes.
3. While you’re waiting, you can cut your scallions–green parts only–into inch-long strips. Set them aside.
4. Heat oil in a pan, and cook off your protein until lightly browned. For beef, this only takes a few minutes. You don’t want to overcook it! If you are using chicken, you will want to make sure it is cooked all the way through.
5. Once your protein is browned and cooked, add the sauce to the pan and stir to coat your protein. Let the sauce come back to a boil and then turn off the heat. Add the scallions and mix them in.

You’re done! I usually serve this over white rice, but brown rice is delicious too. If you’re feeling really adventurous I’m sure you could even use quinoa. I’ve also experimented with adding sauteed broccoli for some extra veggie goodness, but that’s totally up to you.

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Note: A lot of recipes I found say to saute your protein in a lot more oil (almost a cup) and then once it is mostly finished cooking, they say to drain the oil and return the protein to the pan. I usually just use less oil to begin with and skip this step.

I hope you enjoy this! Sorry I don’t have step by step pictures (again!). This was kind of a last minute idea for a post after I made dinner last night because I realized I hadn’t posted in a while. Again, I’m aiming to be more diligent with the blog next week. Right now though, I’m off to go hiking!

Linking up with Delicious Dish Tuesday and Tuesday’s Table!

Roasted Broccoli with BBQ Chicken Thighs

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If y’all have been reading my blog for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve seen a trend emerge in the recipes I post. Our schedule is kind of crazy and I usually cook dinner last minute…meaning I need quick, easy meals so we can eat before midnight. This dinner couldn’t have been easier to prepare! Originally I was planning on just posting about the broccoli, but the chicken ended up being so amazing that I had to mention it as well. I don’t have step by step pictures of the chicken though…sorry! Like I said, I wasn’t planning on it. We also had rice with this meal…but it was just rice, nothing special.

For the broccoli, drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic (or garlic powder if you’re feeling lazy like I was) and parmesan cheese, and toss to coat well. Roast at 400°F for about 15 minutes. Done. Seriously…so easy, right?!

Roasted broccoli collage

The chicken was simple too! I lightly oiled the tinfoil so it wouldn’t stick, and laid the chicken skin-side down. I happened to have boneless thighs on hand which worked well because they don’t have to bake very long. After patting the chicken dry I lightly salted and peppered it, and then generously basted it with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce on both sides. I put that in the oven for 20 minutes also at 400°F. When it came out of the oven I covered it with tinfoil and let it rest for bout 5 minutes. Done and done!

Broccoli and Chicken

See? Delicious meals don’t have to be time intensive or stressful. Sometimes simple is just better.

Linking up with Delicious Dish Tuesday and Tuesday’s Table!

Chicken Fajitas

As promised, this week’s recipe is chicken fajitas! If you missed last week’s delicious homemade tortillas, make sure you head over to that post because they really made these fajitas even more amazing than they usually are!

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The key to these fajitas is the marinade. It is best to prepare the chicken far enough in advance so that it has enough time to soak in all of those delicious flavors for a few hours before you cook it. I have made it before without letting it marinade at all, but it really is better when it has time to sit for a while.

I originally saw this recipe on the Young Wife’s Guide and have adapted it to what works for me. I don’t have a grill, so I always make these in a regular pan. I also changed the marinade a bit, and our family loves it this way. Also, this recipe freezes really well! I made shredded chicken before hand, put it in a ziplock with the marinade and tossed it until it was well coated. I popped it in the freezer and when I was ready to use it, I just defrosted it and heated it in a pan and it was just as good as making it fresh. In fact, it may have been even better because it was soaking in that marinade for a few weeks!

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To make the marinade:
3 Tablespoons oil (whatever oil you prefer is fine)
1.5 Tablespoons lemon juice
1.5 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
1 Tablespoon garlic

Mix all of the above ingredients together in a plastic bag or container and add the chicken. For this recipe I usually use two chicken breasts, which you can marinate whole or already cut into strips. Because I use just a regular pan and not a grill I always cut my chicken into strips. Allow the chicken to marinate for 3-6 hours, if you have the time. The longer it sits, the yummier it will be!

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For the veggies, you’ll want to chop up an onion and several bell peppers. I had mini bell peppers on hand so I used quite a few, but if you are using medium sized peppers I would probably use two or three. Also, I didn’t realize I didn’t have an onion in the house until I was already cooking, so just pretend like I cooked an onion too.

When the chicken has marinated for long enough, heat up your pan over medium high heat and cook it off. While the chicken is cooking, saute the peppers and onions, tossing every now and then to make sure they cook evenly. Don’t forget to season them with salt and pepper!

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We like our veggies tender-crisp, so we don’t cook them too long. If you prefer them softer, cook them longer! Just watch them to make sure you don’t forget about them and let them burn. I didn’t time any of this…sorry! I just watch everything and test it as I’m cooking. Both the chicken and the veggies shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes though!

Once everything is cooked as you like it, it’s time to assemble! Take one of your homemade tortillas as a base, add the chicken, and top with the peppers and onions. This dish is delicious served with rice, but if you want to keep it a low carb meal, you can pair it with my fiesta bean salad for a fresh, healthy option!

Assembling fajitas

Fajitas

Now go make some for yourself! Yum!

Linking up with Delicious Dish Tuesday and Tuesday’s Table!

Zesty Chicken Mini-Tacos

Y’all, my husband is amazing. A few nights ago I royally screwed up dinner. I followed an online recipe for lemon pepper chicken word for word, but either the recipe was really awful or I missed something somewhere because it was so salty that it was barely edible. Not wanting to waste food, we saved the leftovers (which was almost all of it) and decided to try and figure out some way to save it the next night. Enter amazing husband and the most delicious mini-tacos ever.

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These were so simple to make and pretty quick too! For the taco shells, we used gyoza or pot-sticker wrappers and baked them for about 6 minutes at 400° F until they were crispy. To make sure the shells were wide enough I draped them over two chopsticks, but if you have a pan with wide enough edges you can use that too. Lightly spray them with the oil of your choice so they crisp up instead of just getting dried out.

Wonton Shells

This is the before picture…I forgot to take an after picture of the delicious crispiness!

Next I sauteed half an onion (diced) until it became slightly translucent (1), and added about a third of a cup of frozen corn (2). Once that was heated up nicely, I added the sliced lemon pepper chicken and sauteed until it was heated through (3). When that was all up to temperature I turned off the pan and mixed in about two small to medium sized tomatoes, also diced (4). I added absolutely no seasonings because I knew my disaster chicken would take care of that for me, but if you are making this without having ruined a dinner the night before (haha), you can season your chicken with some lemon pepper and garlic. Just make sure it is already cooked through before you add it to the pan!

Step by Step Collage

Taco filling

That’s it! Load it up and top them with a little bit of green onion. Delish!

Mini-Tacos 2Seriously these were so good. I might just have to mess up dinner more often 😉

Also, sorry for the somewhat poor picture quality. These photos were all taken with my phone because our camera was in my bag in the bedroom…and I wasn’t about to risk waking the baby just for some better quality photos. Know what I mean?

Anyway, make these! And then let me know how they turned out for you. I’d love to hear about it!

First time linking up with Mary for Delicious Dish Tuesday!