Healthy twist to old favourite

Otago Polytechnic bachelor of culinary arts students (from left) Jessica Alicia, Sophie James and Euan Fraser. Food styling and photography: Sophie James
Otago Polytechnic bachelor of culinary arts students (from left) Jessica Alicia, Sophie James and Euan Fraser. Food styling and photography: Sophie James
The humble chicken nugget is always a favourite with children, but it's not the healthiest treat.

In today's Cooking 101 by Otago Polytechnic bachelor of culinary arts students Euan Fraser and Jessica Alicia, we revisit the chicken nugget and give it a healthy twist.

Succulent pieces of chicken breast are marinated in tarragon and lime before being coated in a crunchy quinoa coating.

Instead of being fried in oil, these chicken bites are baked in the oven, which provides a cleaner taste.

 

Quinoa-crumbed chicken bites

These bites are super easy to make and are a great recipe to get the kids to help with.

Ingredients
500g chicken breast sliced into strips

Marinade
juice/zest of two limes
1½ Tbsp olive oil
1½ garlic cloves crushed
½ tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dried tarragon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Crumb
1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp of water
1½ cups of flour lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
1½ cups of cooked quinoa

Quinoa
½ cup quinoa
1 cup water

How to cook quinoa
1. Rinse quinoa under water.

2. Place in a pot with water and bring to the boil.

3. Simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Allow to stand for 5 minutes

5. Fluff with a fork.

Method
1. Heat the oven to 180degC. Combine the marinade ingredients in a zip-lock bag and add the chicken breast. (Marinate for 1 hour minimum; overnight is better.)

2. Slice the chicken breast into 1cm cubed pieces roughly.

3. Toss the chicken in the seasoned flour. Then toss in the egg wash.

4. Crumb with the cooked quinoa then place on a greased/lined baking tray.

5. Bake at 180degC for 10 minutes, turn over and bake for a further 10 minutes.

6. Serve with sweet chili dipping sauce.

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