Noah’s Nuggets: Healthy Chicken Patties

Music Pairing: Ed Sheeran, Shape of You

Story

Our eldest son Noah has one of the most sensitive palettes (he takes after Aaron).  When he was a child, we loved to experiment with various foods and always encouraged him to try everything at least once. With varying degrees of success, one thing that we found consistently challenging (as with all kids) was instilling a love of vegetables, and especially, any leafy greens.  Braised, sautéed, lightly fried, roasted: no luck.  One day, inspired by Afa’s mom’s Russian kotlets (more often made with ground beef, but ground chicken as a backup), we decided to try a recipe with some unmeasured, slightly timid amounts of greens grouped up with the chicken (the first green of choice was spinach, later substituting with cilantro, kale and arugula). When Noah asked what it was, we offered a generic fail-safe, “chicken nuggets.”  His reaction… “these are so good!” led Afa to increase the ratio of greens to overpower the chicken.  Later, the boys modified it to “chick patties”, since visually, these are shaped closer to a patty and since the amount of chicken is so insignificant.  To this day, the recipe is a Dworkin household classic, having garnered a steady fan club founded by the Dworkin boys (Noah, Aaron and our youngest Amani) and now including our extended family and friends.  We serve them with macaroni and cheese, capellini pesto, or Noah’s favorite, home fries.  Add a side of the Russian mustard, ketchup or sriracha, and all will be right with the worldJ.  Our musical pairing reflects a time in our lives when both Noah and Amani were loving Ed Sheeran’s new song, “Shape of You” which we find reflects the joy and passion all of the boys have for “chick patties” and their unique shape and flavor.

Recipe

  • 1/2 lb. ground white meat chicken
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 5 oz of baby arugula
  • ½ small onion
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 thin slice of whole wheat or sprouted grain bread (no crust).  We tend to use Ezekiel toast.
  • 2 t salt
  • ½ t of 2% milk
  • 1 t Adobo seasoning
  • Bread crumbs (1 C)
  • 5 T vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken and add all the dry ingredients
  2. In a food processor, grind the greens, then add the onion and garlic and combine together
  3. Remove the crusts from the toast, baste lightly with milk (do not soak) and add to the food processor, giving everything another generous round of grind
  4. Bring the greens mixture to the ground chicken, combining everything with your hands into a wholesome emerald colored mass: the greens will be more prevalent than the ground chicken, in ration and color.  Divide the mixture into thin leaf-shaped patties, dust each side with the bread crumbs and set aside for 5-7 mins, allowing them to take and hold their shape (you will likely end up with approximately 10, using these measurements)
  5. On a non-stick flat pan, heat the oil (only adding 2 T at first) on medium heat.  Make sure it evenly coats the surface of your pan.
  6. Gently place the patties on the pan, spaced in such a way as to make the switching of the sides simple.
  7. You will likely need to add the remaining 3 T to the pan incrementally, to keep the right absorption rate while completing the frying process
  8. Fry each patty until golden and crispy (about 5 mins on each side), using your wooden or another flat non-metal spatula to press them down and keep them nice and thin. Set aside to cool.

Serving

Serve with pasta, couscous or rice dishes.  Also fantastic with home fries (a great alternative to nuggets with fries).  The patties are especially good accompanied by a spicy Russian mustard (Mother-in-Laws revenge is the one we love).

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