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Old 02-14-2012, 11:26 AM   #1
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ISO ideas processing & freezing homemade chicken nuggets...

My daughter loves chicken nuggets. I don't like her eating the processed ones so I am going to make up a ton of them and freeze them so she can just take a few out and do them up in the toaster oven when she feels like it. I have a pretty basic recipe using white breast meat and a bit of seasoning, egg, etc. I plan on flouring, eggwash and breading. Now, after this step is where I wonder what the best thing to do is. I am thinking of frying them for three minutes to set the breading and then freeze them separately on cookie sheets. I am concerned about how they will be when they are reheated, bascically cooked twice. Hopefully they won't be little dry morsels. Or, should I just freeze them before cooking? Not sure the breading will stick to the nuggets during cooking from frozen with handling and flipping etc. I wonder how long these processing companies fry their processed chicken products before freezing? I know the insides are already cooked through and they rely on added fat to keep the insides moist and juicey. But, I am using all breast meat with no added fats, other than egg for a binder. hmmmmm....

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Old 02-14-2012, 11:42 AM   #2
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I recommend freezing them cooked. If you cook them, they must be fully cooked so they will be safe to eat just heated through. I would cook and cool them, then freeze them spread out on a wire rack, then bag them for storage.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I recommend freezing them cooked. If you cook them, they must be fully cooked so they will be safe to eat just heated through. I would cook and cool them, then freeze them spread out on a wire rack, then bag them for storage.
Yeah. this is what I was thinking I should do. I wonder how long they would take to cook through, not one minute longer, to assure a moist product upon reheating? Probably 4 minutes? I figured they would be about two ounces each.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocklobster View Post
Yeah. this is what I was thinking I should do. I wonder how long they would take to cook through, not one minute longer, to assure a moist product upon reheating? Probably 4 minutes? I figured they would be about two ounces each.
I've never made nuggets so can't say. You could experiment to determine a safe cooking time.

Don't forget a little garlic and onion powders in the seasoning mix.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:53 AM   #5
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Definitely garlic powder. From my experience, I would say 4 or 5 minutes. They will be reheated in an oven and not refried, so that should make a bit of difference in the quality of the breading after reheating.
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:16 PM   #6
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I'd bake them (oven fry)

I make chicken fingers for my nephew by the hundred that way.

And yes, absolutely cook them through before freezing.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:49 PM   #7
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Are you going to make a dipping sauce for her also? And make sure you warn her not to use the micro to heat them. Breaded products do very badly in the micro. You end up with a piece of rubber. Toaster oven only!
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:20 PM   #8
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If worried about cooking twice, you might want to switch to thigh meat, which would hold it's flavor and moisture a little better perhaps. When you fry them, I would do so in a batter that seals the meat as well (a wet coating of some kind between two dry coatings --- I like and recommend a little mayo thinned with milk or some buttermilk). With a good seal on the coating, the storage and reheating will take less of a toll, I think.
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