It’s a fact; everyone loves chicken nuggets. Even though they are a classic loved by children and adults alike, not all nuggets are made the same – Olly’s chicken nuggets being a testament to that. Crispy, flavourful and genuine, these are the nuggets to beat and to eat.
We all know that the chicken nugget game is not complete without some quality fries, so I decided to make a healthier version by making my own home-made baked fries. I believe that it’s so important to understand that healthy eating isn’t about cutting out your favourite foods, but rather eating a balanced diet and learning new, healthier ways to prepare classics. Your children will love these crunchy, home-baked fries and you’ll feel all the more satisfied knowing exactly what they’re eating. Since Olly’s chicken nuggets don’t need to be defrosted before cooking, you can prep the fries while the oven is pre-heating and cook up the fries and nuggets in one go, making for a quick fix! As I’ve said before, the golden rule for these fries is high heat and SPACE. If your fries touch one another on the tray, no amount of baking time will save them. In order for these fries to get crispy, they need a bit of space between them to develop a nice crust and prevent steaming. The reason I recommend adding the minced garlic to the fries 5 minutes before the end of cook time is because of how quickly garlic burns. Since the garlic is minced to ensure a lovely flavour throughout the batch of fries, it cooks up in minutes, and can go from a lovely golden-brown to a bitter burnt in seconds. Finally, tossing your fries in salt and pepper when they’ve just come out of the oven will give them a punch of flavour and make them taste just like your favourite fast-food fries, only better.
As for the sauce, which is a must wherever nuggets and fries are involved, I decided to create a BBQ sauce recipe so easy that even the little ones can get their hands dirty in the kitchen and help out. Teaching children to be active in the kitchen at an early age will make them feel more comfortable, and really help them later on in life, not to mention giving them something productive to do while you’re busy whipping up the more dangerous stuff! As the recipe is aimed at children, I tried to keep the flavours as basic as possible, but for those who have kids with more adventurous taste-buds, I would recommend adding Worcestershire sauce, onion powder and some lemon pepper to the mix. If your family gravitates more towards the mayo camp, making a lovely honey-sriracha mayo dipping sauce would be just as good.
- 1 packet Olly’s chicken nuggets
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 6 potatoes, cut into matchsticks
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- handful parsley, chopped
- 1 cup ketchup
- 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- pinch garlic powder
- Pre-heat oven to 210 C. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
- On one lined baking tray, lay down your matchstick fries and cover with olive oil. Arrange fries to ensure that they are not touching and bake for 15-20 minutes, until crispy. In the last 5 minutes of baking time, add in the minced garlic. On the other baking tray, lay down chicken nuggets and bake alongside the fries for 18-20 minutes, until crispy.
- When the fries are still hot, toss with some salt and pepper and finish with parsley.
- While the nuggets and fries are cooking, in a bowl mix together ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic powder and smoked paprika and set aside until ready to serve.
Finally, I just want to point out that these nuggets cook up like a dream. Even when you pop them in the oven straight out of the freezer, in 20 or so minutes they develop a nice crispy crust and stay tender on the inside. My only tip for these would be that for an extra crispy crunch, in the last 3 minutes of cook time turn the grill of your oven on until a deep golden-brown crust forms.