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Whoa there: Mennonite Girls Can Cook Chicken Nuggets!

March 19, 2016

Did I expect to find chicken nuggets in the exquisitely beautiful Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations cookbook?

Can you see chicken nuggets on the menu at a White House dinner? At a state dinner in Ottawa? Or 10 Downing Street?

That’s how surprised I was to find this simple and savory recipe in the second volume of the Mennonite-cooks-with-a-flair-for-the-fancy “girls” cookbook, Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations.

Our MennoMedia monthly office potluck with zany themes for March was “fingerfoods.” Where else to go but to my copy of Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations offering lots of finger foods and party fare. Of course. My oldest daughter even proofread that particular volume for Herald Press (my only technical connection to the book) so I happened to still have on my computer desktop a copy she’d saved there as she worked on proofing it one weekend while home back in 2012. (Which reminds me, did you know that “Mennonite Girls” have a new devotional volume coming out late this summer in honor of a comedy play named for them premiering at Blue Gate Theater for “Amish country tourists” in Shipshewana Ind. and Ohio Star Theater in Sugarcreek Ohio, “MENNONITE GIRLS CAN COOK!”? How cool—and lighthearted—is that? Storyline: a small town cable TV cooking show, hosted by two Mennonite women, attracts the attention of a Hollywood producer.)

At any rate, there on p. 49 in Celebrations is Betty Reimer’s stab at turning fast food into “slow” homemade Mennonite food—and still turn out amazingly fast and yummy! Baked, not fried, so there’s that. And at this potluck at least, I only heard raves and positive comments.

OfficePotluck2

Cindy Miller, Barbara Finnegan, Merrill Miller, Neal Weaver
and Reuben Graham line up for fingerfood potluck.

When I made more a few days later at home, my husband also ate them with relish. Well not literally, but you know. And he’s not that big of fan of the processed chicken nuggets—unless they’re the less-processed kind at the chain whose logo lady cow tries to get you to eat more chicken. I think the Italian seasoning/Parmesan cheese gives these nuggets a nice twist and difference.

OfficePotluck1

So here goes, straight from Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations, perhaps for an Easter brunch or get together next weekend? (My tips in brackets)

ChickenNuggest2

Yield: 30 nuggets

3 chicken breasts [skinless, boneless]
¾ cup / 175 ml dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup / 75 ml Parmesan cheese, grated
¼ teaspoon salt / 1 ml salt
½ teaspoon / 2 ml Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon / 1 ml pepper
1/3 cup / 75 ml butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F / 205 degrees C.
  2. Cut chicken into pieces the size of small nuggets [aim for some rough uniformity of size as it helps them get done at the same time]
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl to make crumbs.
  4. Dip nuggets into butter and then into crumb mixture.
  5. Place in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. [No need to turn these little suckers]

Serve with or without a dip of your choice.

Another “Girls” variation: Chicken Tenders. Or this variation: Garlic Chicken. Also reminds me of my sister-in-law’s Barbara’s Cheesy Chicken.

***

What’s your favorite “finger food” that doesn’t take forever to make?

Do have an Easter brunch at your church? What’s sure to be on the menu?

ChickenNuggestHome

Nuggets, broccoli and oven fried potatoes make an easy meal.

***

Buy Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations here!

1MennoniteGirlsCanCookCelebrations

My book, Whatever Happened to Dinner? has some family favorites in it, but also recipes from a wider group of families from my office. 

WhateverHappenedToDinnerNewCover

 

 

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From → Family Life, Food, Recipes

10 Comments
  1. I love this book, aesthetically beautiful and filled with the yummy too. It’s nice to see the recipe “in action” here too. Like you, I go for baked or grilled not fried.

    We have Christmas brunch at our house but an Easter dinner. My guess we’ll have ham and turkey, not finger foods. Thanks for bringing us into this special season menu-wise.

    • Athanasia permalink

      I have somewhat of an aversion to fried foods which I might have mentioned before. I’ve never made chicken nuggets baked, but we do make baked cheese curd/cheese sticks.

  2. Thanks for checking in even from your writer retreat! I thought about you already having–and cooking from–this book.

    We only have Easter brunch at church (won’t stay for that this year). At home we’ll go more traditional. My daughter requested turkey in addition to ham this year, so I bought a turkey breast to roast as well. It’s about time I get my pickled eggs going too! I’m sure your mother made those too. Enjoy your weekend!

    • Athanasia permalink

      We have Easter breakfast at church, always a fundraiser for the youth missions trip. Not sure of the whole menu, only that my oldest girl signed me up to bring coffeecake. She and her husband are leaders. It will be before church. We’re actually having lunch with one of my brothers and his family after church at their house. I am to bring deviled eggs and pistachio fluff and a pie. I’m still thinking on what kind of pie.

      My favorite finger food is always relishes (crudites as some call them) and dip.

      I will be making pickled eggs too. I save all my pickled beet juice for that purpose.

      • I would love to know what you add to your pickled beet juice for pickled eggs. I don’t have a recipe, just throw things in: vinegar, sugar. Any tips?

  3. Athanasia permalink

    Melodie, it’s just the pickling juice that I used when made the beets..made from sugar, cinnamon sticks,whole allspice, salt, vinegar and water. So when the beets are gone I just save the jar in the fridge until I want pickled eggs. They are very pretty for Easter halved on a plate along with some deviled eggs. I put the hard boiled peeled eggs into the brine for about 3 days. Color does not get all the way to the center so nice and variegated.

    • I never can beets but I bet using a little pickling juice off of some of my sweet pickles would work too. The vinegar keeps the juice good a long time, eh? Thanks!

      • Athanasia permalink

        Pickle juice would work I guess, sweet or dill. There won’t be any color I’d guess. I’ve also made them with a mix of malt vinegar, black peppercorns and sugar but those come out a pale tan. So I stick with the beet colored ones for Easter.

  4. Oh yes, I would mix the pickle juice with my purchased pickled red beet juice. 🙂 Sorry I didn’t explain that. I do keep purchased red beets on hand because my husband enjoys eating them slivered onto salads, and I enjoy a slice now and then. Yes, they’ve got to be pretty & pinkish purple! Thanks for letting me explain.

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