Whenever I make this recipe for gluten-free chicken nuggets, I don’t make enough. Not because there isn’t enough food. Because there isn’t enough of these particular gluten-free chicken nuggets go around. Get it? They’re that good. And I can prep them ahead of time, then just throw the raw, crusted chicken pieces in the refrigerator on a baking sheet. Time for dinner? Turn on the oven, pop ’em in right from the refrig and chicken dinner is served!
Remember the movie When A Man Loves A Woman, with Meg Ryan & Andy Garcia? Meg Ryan’s character, Alice, is a total mess since she’s an alcoholic still in denial, and Andy Garcia’s character, Michael, still gets a rush out of her getting messy and his cleaning her up. He’s scheduling playdates for their girls the morning after a particularly messy night for her, and Alice tries to weigh in. She’s drinking coffee. Michael shuts Alice down. He says to her:
“I think we have all we can handle right now with our coffee and our little spoon.”
I may have all I can handle right now with my coffee and my little spoon. I do so love my coffee and my little spoon. And Andy Garcia is like a dream come true, even if he were treating me like a child. I have no need to schedule the playdates. I’ll just drink my coffee, Andy.
But even if I’m not scheduling the playdates (which, by the way, I am), and no matter what else I’m doing that day, one thing’s for darn sure. My children are going to insist on eating dinner. And Andy Garcia is nowhere nearby to treat me like a child who can’t make dinner. So I’m gonna have to do it myself. Sometimes I need to be able to prep dinner long ahead of time, and then just throw it in the oven when we come home from my son’s karate (sad fact about karate: they don’t say “haiYA!”). Maybe you need to get dinner on the table fast when you come home from work and the kids are STARving-mom-when’s-dinner-gonna-be-ready.
That is most likely why these chicken nuggets are dinner in my house at least once a week.
Semi-Pro Tip: Grind up the plain gluten-free cornflakes (I really like Erewhon brand, since it’s just corn and salt, and very flaky) super duper fine. That way, the whole shebang bakes very fast, and the nuggets will actually stay fresh longer if you ever want to bake them ahead of time. When you bake with bits of cereal that are not finely ground, they grow stale very quickly. So grind a few boxes of cereal in a blender or food processor ahead of time, and keep it in a canister at the ready. Always buy some skinless boneless chicken at the market, and you’ll be a few minutes away from a super easy dinner at all times.
Hey, someone should totally write a gluten-free cookbook with all sorts of quick & easy gluten-free recipes. Oh wait …