The Chicken Nugget Experiment


When the kids were younger, there was a time when all they wanted was chicken nuggets. (I know we have ALL been there!) “Pasta and meatballs?” “NO! Chicken nuggets!” “Hamburgers?” “NO! Chicken nuggets!” “Fish sticks? Chili? Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing?” “NO! NO! NO! Chicken nuggets!” Ugh!

It was at this point of frustration that an idea started forming in my head. I wondered how many ways I could use chicken nuggets as the base of a meal before anyone in the family noticed. Now, I admit, I have never actually done this, but it makes me giggle to think that maybe I could have pulled it off, at least for a few days. Maybe this is a way to serve plain chicken nuggets to the kids, while also providing a “grown-up” meal for the adults, without having to make two completely different meals (which is often the case in households with little ones. I see you nodding your head in agreement!). Maybe it is a way to introduce kids to foods beyond chicken nuggets. “I want chicken nuggets!” “Yes, dear. These are chicken nuggets. They are just put on spaghetti and covered in pasta sauce and cheese. We adults call it chicken parmesan,” but you can call it chicken nuggets. You are definitely eating chicken nuggets, just like you asked for!”

So, here are some meal ideas:

Chicken Nugget Parmesan: Put chicken nuggets on spaghetti, cover in sauce, and top with cheese.

Chicken Nugget Asian Salad: Cut chicken nuggets into strips, place on a bed of greens with cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh peppers, dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, and topped with chow mein noodles.

Chicken Nugget Teriyaki: Toss nuggets in teriyaki sauce, top with toasted sesame seeds, and serve over rice.

Caesar Chicken Nugget Wrap: Toss slices of chicken nuggets with Caesar salad, and roll it up in a wrap.

Chicken Nugget BBQ Skewers: Toss chicken nuggets in BBQ sauce, then skewer the nuggets, alternating with fresh pepper pieces and pineapple chunks.

Chicken Nugget Fried Rice: Cut chicken nuggets into pieces and combine with a bag of vegetable fried rice.

Chicken Nugget Salad: Cut up chicken nuggets and your favorite chicken salad add-in (I usually go for grapes or dried apricots), mix with mayonnaise, and serve on nice bread as a sandwich or on top of a fresh salad.

Chicken Nugget Parmesan Sandwich: Cover nuggets in pasta sauce, place in a sub roll, and top with melted cheese

Chicken Nugget Marsala/Francese/Picatta: Use chicken nuggets as the base of many “adult food” chicken recipes!

So, let me know if you try my Chicken Nugget Experiment, and, if you do, how it went!