Like all parents, we are on the countdown for the start of the school year (1 more week!!). it will be the start of Primary school for our oldest so my focus has mainly been on back to school lunches and snacks that can be frozen and taken out to either defrost or cook quickly in the morning. Our son prefers fish over chicken (not complaining!) so to make sure he has a balanced diet I need to present chicken in different ways. Hiding vegetables in chicken nuggets (or Bites as we also call them) seems to work! Miss 18 months also likes them so they are a great toddler food, and for adults too. It is such an easy recipe to make and can be easily adjusted to whatever you are trying to smuggle into the kids food have in the fridge. They also go well with my homemade Tomato Sauce and BBQ sauce too which I will post another day. For now – let the back to school prep begin!
Servings 30 | Prep Time 10 mins | Total Time 30 mins
- 500g Chicken mince
- 1 small zucchini
- ½ Capsicum (or 1 small carrot)
- 1 button mushroom finely diced
- ½ tsp thyme leaves (fresh or dried)
- ¾ cups breadcrumbs (or quinoa flakes)
- 1 egg
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- ¾ cups additional breadcrumbs (or crushed corn flakes)
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Grate the zucchini (and carrot if using) and finely dice the capsicum and mushroom. Mix the vegetables together and place in a Kitchen Strainer placed over a bowl and leave for ½ -1 hour so the liquid drains off. Alternatively, you could squeeze the liquid out with your hands.
3. Place the chicken, zucchini, capsicum (or carrot), thyme, ¾ cup of the breadcrumbs (or quinoa flakes) and egg in a large bowl and mix to combine
4. Place the remaining breadcrumbs (or corn flakes) and parmesan cheese in a shallow bowl and stir to combine.
5. Table teaspoons of the mixture and roll into balls. Roll the Chicken Bites in the breadcrumb mixture and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper*. Bake the Chicken Bites for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway, or until golden and cooked through
* At this stage you can ‘flash freeze’ the uncooked Chicken Bites by placing the tray in the freezer for a few hours. Then transfer the Chicken Bites to a storage container. They can be stored in the freezer for 1-2 months.
- The leftover cooked Chicken Bites can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months.
- You can use any variation of vegetables. Just remember to drain the liquid from them before adding them to the mixture.
- You can use different herbs too, fresh or dried. We have quite a few varieties in our garden (thanks to Grant’s green thumb!). We have also used Oregano, Sage and Rosemary.
- You can make your own gluten free (or gluten if you can tolerate it) breadcrumbs and it is MUCH cheaper than buying from the shops. We use the crusts and ends of bread loaves and then just blitz them in a food processor or Thermomix.
- Turkey mince also works well!
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