I made it…I’m home.
Summertime Melissa arrived home on Friday night…exhausted but ready for a great summer! We have lots planned and I have some (hopefully) exciting projects that I want to tackle…plus lots of trips to Bulk Barn to sample all their tasty treats.
School ended on a strangely calm note this year…right up until the very end, it just kind of felt like a normal week. (minus all the desks piled in the corner of the room and the chairs all stacked) We did some fun wrap-up activities, but my favorite every year is when we make our bookmarks.
Each child gets a bookmark with their name on it and then all the other kids get to go around writing a word (we talk ad nauseam about appropriate words to use and even make a list on the board before we start) that best describes the student. The kids love it and take it very seriously. I even do one for myself, which is really fun to read.
I sent them out the door at 3:22 looking forward to the next few months of relaxation and freedom…but knowing that another crop of kids will be bounding in September 8th. No work for now though! Just fun! And lots of experimenting in the kitchen.
So that’s why I decided to try these meat-free chicken nuggets.
Why? you may ask.
Why not? would be my response!
I was skeptical, at first, that these would not live up to the beautiful pictures I saw, but I figured, if they worked….well it could be a game changer!
I started by processing a can of chickpeas in my food processor (it was at this point that a resigned myself to the fact that the MINI food processor may not be cutting it anymore…I had to process in batches which made me a little frustrated)
You want it to be completely smooth with no chunks left. I ended up using a potato masher in the end to help me because the food processor was not working nearly as well as I would have liked it to.
I mixed in an egg and 1/2 a cup of flour. (next time I would even try chickpea flour) I also seasoned the chickpeas with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder.
The dough is going to be sticky…but if it is too hard to work with, just add a bit more flour.
I shaped the chickpea dough into (somewhat) chicken nugget shapes and placed them on a parchment lined baking dish. I put them in the fridge to firm up.
While that was happening, I toasted up some panko bread crumbs and set up a breading station: flour with lots of poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, a beaten egg and then the bread crumbs.
I breaded all the nuggets and popped them in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes flipping half way until they were golden brown and crispy.
The verdict- These have LOTS of potential. Mine were not as smooth as I would have liked them to be, and I think I would add way more spices to the chickpeas. (more of the one mentioned and some cayenne for a little heat) That being said, they were crispy and dip-able and had a pretty good flavor. I will totally try these again, with a few modifications to make them even better next time!