Do you remember what you used to like about chicken nuggets or fish sticks? Cross that with eggplant parmesan…mmmm… that breaded, warm, crispy, yet moist mouthfeel. This recipe steps those memories up to high level breaded and baked health food realities. This recipe does not require the chicken and veggies to be fried. Instead, they are coated lightly with olive oil and baked. This breaded chicken nugget and veggie recipe is also friendly for gluten-free fans. I use the broken bits of gluten-free bread. Food For Life “Rice and Millet Bread” and “White Rice” varieties are good but the corners often break off. Then, I save these in the freezer and then make a big batch of breadcrumbs by adding a little oat flour and blending them.
I recommend using high quality chicken either local, organic or free-range. Conventional chickens are probably the worst of all the meat products in terms of their impact on the environment, and the impact on your health.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires that organic livestock:
- that animals have year-round access to the outdoors except in extreme weather.
- that they are not without antibiotics (except in cases of sickness)
- can not have added growth hormones
- their feed is prohibited from having animal byproducts, urea, and arsenic compounds
- must be raised on certified organic land
- all animals feed needs to be 100 percent certified organic.
- cattle, sheep, and goats must need to have access to organic pasture for 30 percent of their diet
In contrast, the difference between conventional and free-range chicken is only that free-range chickens are required to have some access to the outdoors. Although this access is not specified in size or time and is not regulated by periodic instructions.
Servings: about 4
Equipment: blender, oven, optional oil sprayer
- sliced chicken breast (4 breast), eggplant (2 small or one large), zucchini (2 medium)
- 1 tablespoon or less olive oil (for the baking pan)
- about ¾ cup gluten-free flour
- 3 eggs (plus a little (<1/4 cup water)
- 2-3 cups homemade breadcrumbs (see recipe below)
- ½ – 1 cup shredded, hard cheese for adding to bread crumbs (manchego, parmesan, romano, etc.)
Steps/ingredients for bread crumbs:
- About 8 slices worth of left over bread (I freeze the ends of gluten-free bread my hunny doesn’t eat, and break them into pieces for the blender) and ½ cup oats or other gluten-free flour.
- Plenty (a handful or two) of fresh herbs (any variety of oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Mix bread and flour in high speed blender or other chopper
- Place in deep dish with shredded hard cheese like manchego or parmesan.
How to coat the goods:
1) Coat the sliced chicken, eggplant or zucchini in flour. For eggplants, it is good to salt them after cutting and before dipping in flour to draw out their water.
2) Dip the veggies and chicken in egg and let them drip a moment.
3) Then, coat in the chicken and veggies in prepared breadcrumbs
4) Place on an oiled pan and bake at 375° F for an initial 10-15 minutes (depending on what and how thick it is) until golden on top and browning on the bottom.
5) Flip and bake another 10-15 minutes