You know those ‘duh’ moments? The ones where you think, “Why have I not done this all along?”
I had one last week.
I’m a sucker for a spicy chicken wing, and Buffalo wings* are near the top of the heap for me. Sometimes, though, my inner finicky, tactile-defensive, high-maintenance child** rears its head, though, and I don’t want to deal with the messy, greasy bones. Yeah. I hardly know myself those days.
*I feel silly calling them Buffalo wings because Buffalo is my neighbor geographically and people can smell a non-local a mile away if they call ‘em Buffalo wings. There. Travel advice from Foodie with Family. When in Buffalo, just order hot wings. And napkins.
**Why yes, my mother is a psych nurse. Why do you ask?
In those cases, I’m always tempted to buy those packages of frozen boneless ‘wingz’. Really? Can we please indicate they’re not actual ‘wings’ from a chicken in another way? My kids call this ‘trendy illiteracy’. I love my kids. Every time I cave and buy a package I’m always disappointed. The wingz (GAH) are either mushy piece meat or the breading is too soft or they taste of preservatives or the sauce is off-tasting.
I told you I was high maintenance. But wait! There’s more!
I have always wanted to like chicken nuggets. I love chicken. I love breaded things. Why wouldn’t I love nuggets? It’s like this. As a child, I desperately clung to the idea that chicken nuggets were what I wanted to eat at McDonald’s. I ordered it every time. (And people, we didn’t go out to eat a whole lot, so that was commitment on my part.) And every last time I ordered the nuggets (with hot mustard, thankyouverymuch) I would bite into a nugget and come away with a mouthful of gristle. That was the point where I gagged. Every cotton-pickin’ time. Sometimes it was the first nugget and my meal was finished then. Sometimes it was the last one and I was lulled into a false sense of security by all the other nuggets then WHAMMO. One thing was certain, though; it was inevitable. Frozen chicken nuggets and more chi-chi restaurant chicken fingers were slightly more reliably not gristly, but meh; Who wants to order chicken fingers at a grown-up restaurant?
So where does my duh moment come in? I figured I could make them myself. Big, fat, hairy lightbulb. I opted against frying them because I reasoned that in doing so, I could eat more pizza at other times. (Nutritional math, people. It’s how I roll.) Besides this, baking them in the oven means a delicious product that is slightly healthier AND creates less overall mess.
And healthier yet is the fact that in lieu of using egg and milk to stick bread crumbs to the chicken, I chose Greek yogurt with crunchy whole wheat panko crumbs. The variety of Greek yogurt I use is a lower fat one without funky fillers and additives; it simply starts with a lower content milkfat than other yogurts. One lovely bonus of using Greek yogurt here is that it keeps the chicken moist without making the breading soggy. Hooray for Greek yogurt!
After parking the chicken in yogurt with spices…
…then dredging them through panko you’ve seasoned with more spices, and baking them on a foil lined tray ’til golden brown and crispy and cooked through, you can stop right there and eat away til you’re chicken nuggeted out, content in the knowledge that you’ve trimmed those chicken breasts of all gristle.
~OR~ you can go just one step further and toss it in a lightning-speed, two-ingredient (because that’s all authentic wing sauce ever needs!) Buffalo wing sauce for Boneless Buffalo WingS. You better believe I intended to capitalize that ‘s’. I feel I’m striking a blow for people everywhere whose eyeballs throb when they read deliberate misspelling on packaging. One recipe, two possible results, both delicious. And gristle free. Hooray!
Can you say tidy fingers and no grease stains on the couch pillows on game day? Can I get an air fist-bump here?
Is anyone else weirded out by certain foods?