Crunchy Asiago Chicken Nuggets.

Cheese is totally a food group.

Like, it’s own food group.

It’s inexplicably a salty, savory, melt-in-your-mouth group of food.

 

Remember those big fenced in sections of brightly colored balls you used to play in as a little kid? Or as a teenager? Or… last week as a 28 year old freak who wears too much eye makeup? They are smack dab in the center of amusement parks and I think, even… McDonalds? Hmmm. Ew.

Yeah, first… I think those are pretty gross right? Tons of fun and a kid’s dream come true. I used to love the things. But then some grown ups told me they are filled with disease. Germ city. Right? I know you know and you know that I know and we still want to ignore it and play in them anyway. And then I heard on the news or something that they are usually filled with snakes? Okay. Deal breaker. For real, legit snakes slithering through those ball pens. That may seriously be the best dream come true turned into terrible, horrible nightmare. Ugh. The news ruins everything. So do grown ups.

 

But whatever… just imagine if those things were filled with cheese. It would be cheese up to your knees. Unless you’re really tall. Then it would be up to your ankles. You’d have to bend down more to eat your cheese. Thank goodness I’m short and have tree trunks for legs.

If I had to pick a favorite cheese I would cry. Because I could never, ever do it. I’d throw a full out tantrum. Without going in to too much detail, it’s in the realm of the asiago-sharp cheddar-gorgonzola-gruyere-brie family. Something like that.

Which explains these chicken nuggets! This is definitely a meal that helps marriage communication over here. I love cheese. He loves chicken. He also loves cheese, but would probably eat the square slices of goo wrapped in plastic if I didn’t pluck a Benjamin off of our money tree out back and come home with five different bricks of coagulated milk.

I also make chicken nuggets to make up for my misdoings like that. It works. You should try it. Chicken nuggets with super powers. I like.

Crunchy Asiago Chicken Nuggets

serves 2-4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3 cups low-fat buttermilk

2 cups panko bread crumbs

1 cup seasoned regular bread crumbs

1/3 cup flour (any is fine, I used whole wheat)

1/2 cup freshly grated asiago cheese

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup dijon mustard

1/4 cup honey

2-24 hours before serving, cut chicken breasts into nugget-like chunks. Season with the salt and pepper then add to a bowl and pour buttermilk over top. Let soak for at least 2 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, heat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then lay a wire rack on top and spray with non-stick spray. Add honey and mustard to a bowl and mix, then set aside. Add bread crumbs, flour, cheese, garlic powder and paprika to a bowl and mix thoroughly. Remove each nugget directly from the buttermilk to the bread crumb mixture and coat, then set on the wire rack. Repeat with the rest, then spritz each nugget with olive oil or non-stick spray. I usually just use Pam because I like the “spritz” it gives.

Bake for 7 minutes, then remove pan from oven and gently flip each nugget with kitchen tongs and spritz again with oil or spray. Bake for 7 minutes more, then serve hot with honey mustard. 

Off to water that tree… it’s gonna be hot today!