When I see a good recipe for chicken nuggets, I don’t like to let the fact that they’re made of chicken stop me.
So when I came across the recipe in Real Simple’s February issue for “Kickin’ Chicken Nuggets,” featuring a breading made of pita chips, I knew there had to be a way to lose the chicken and keep the pita breading.
I ended up using well-drained extra firm tofu in place of the chicken, and I was pretty happy with the results. But if you’re not already on board with tofu, this dish probably won’t win you over.
These nuggets are incredibly versatile – any spice can be added to the pita mixture to create new flavors.
This recipe calls for cumin in the pita breading and recommends tamarind date sauce and coriander chutney for dipping. It was inspired by a paneer appetizer I’ve enjoyed at parties – look for the sauces at a grocery store that specializes in Indian food.
They could also be made by using basil and oregano and dipping the tofu nuggets in tomato sauce (think mozzarella sticks), or seasoning the breading with smoked paprika and ground mustard and dipping them in ketchup and honey dijon mustard (more like classic nuggets).
Contact Liz Kohman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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3 ounces pita chips (I used one-half of a 6-ounce bag of Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
12 ounces firm tofu, drained
tamarind sauce, for dipping
cilantro chutney, for dipping
Wrap tofu in a towel, and press between two plates, placing something heavy (like a 28-ounce can of tomatoes) on the top plate. Press tofu for at least 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the pita chips and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until coarsely ground. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the cumin. In another bowl, beat the egg with 1 teaspoon of water.
Unwrap the tofu and cut into bite-sized chunks. Dip the tofu in the egg and let the excess egg drip off before rolling the tofu in the pita mixture.
Place the tofu pieces onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the tofu nuggets are crisp and slightly browned.
Serve with tamarind sauce and cilantro chutney for dipping.