According to my wife, the search is over. This is THE best recipe for chicken nuggets she has ever tasted, and who am I to argue with she Who Pays The Bills?
I found a version of this recipe for KFC-style chicken on the WikiHow website and modified it for my purposes.
The relevation in the Wiki version is the use of powdered tomato soup (seriously); the innovation in mine is to use double cream instead of buttermilk, and to leave out the eggs. Mixed with minced garlic it gives an astonishing flavour.
Make up a big batch of the KFC Spice Base and I guarantee you will be cooking this time and time again.
FOR THE SPICE BASE
This quantity is enough to make several batches. Once you made it up, store in an air-tight container. It will keep in the cupboard for ages.
180g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp garlic salt
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp dried parsley
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp celery salt
1 envelope of powdered tomato soup mix (I used Batchelor’s Cup-a-Soup)
1. Put all the ingredients, except the flour and baking powder, in a spice grinder or coffee grinder and blitz to a powder.
2. Stir through the flour and baking powder and store.
TO MAKE THE CHICKEN NUGGETS (for 2-4 people: makes about 20 nuggets)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, chopped into rough chunks
100ml double cream
3 garlic cloves, grated
4 tbsp plain flour
3-4 tbsp KFC Spice Base powder
1 litre sunflower or vegetable oil
1. In a non-metallic bow, mix the chicken chunks with the cream and garlic. Cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge for an hour to marinate.
2. When you’re ready to cook, heat the oil in a large deep pan (I use a chip pan with basket, but you could use a deep-fat fryer, or large saucepan and a slotted spoon to scoop out the nuggets).
3. While the oil is heating, remove the chicken from the bowl. There won’t be much excess marinate as it will have absorbed into the chicken.
4. Mix the flour and spice base on a large plate and, piece by piece, toss each chicken chunk into the flour and roll around so that it is completely coated. Repeat with the rest of the chicken. Take care to keep each covered nugget separate, You don’t want a big squidgy mess.
5. Once the oil starts to shimmer, test it by dipping a chicken nugget into the oil (using tongs, of course). If it sizzles straight away, the oil is hot enough to cook.
6. Using tongs, drop the chicken nuggets into the oil, one at a time. Cook for around 5 mins. Don’t overcrowd the pan as this will lower the temperature of the oil and make the nuggets soggy. Cook in batches of between 8-10 nuggets. Toss regularly taking care not to burn the nuggets. Test the nuggets are cooked through by removing one with tongs and slicing through it with a knife. If there’s no pink, the nuggets are ready.
7. Drain each batch on kitchen paper.
8. Serve with a squeeze of lemon, skinny fries, salad and coleslaw.