Friday, July 20, 2012

Fast Food chicken nuggets vs homemade

My fried chicken

I love the taste of McDonald's Chicken McNugget's but I feel guilty every time I eat them because I know that they aren't good for me but somehow how I succumb to their tasty crispy little nuggets.  Also because I am lazy and don't always feel like spending the time to make a batch of the fried chicken as in the picture above.   
My fried chicken was made by soaking chicken breasts in buttermilk overnight.  I then pulled out the chicken and dipped it into flour with a tiny bit of cornmeal and Cayenne, Paprika, garlic powder salt, pepper, thyme and sometimes I experiment with other seasonings.   Then they are fried in a cast iron skillet for about 15-20 min per side.  So it's a lot more labour intensive than walking across the street and grabbing a bag in a few minutes and wolfing down a six pack of nuggets.   And don't forget the time it took to go to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for my chicken and then the clean up afterwards.  So no wonder people opt out for the drive thru when they need a fried chicken fix.   What would really be nice is if you could get Fried Chicken like your mama made it at a drive through, but this is what you get instead:   
This is the Full ingredient list for a Chicken McNugget (from McDonald’s website):
White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning (autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid, rosemary), sodium phosphates, seasoning (canola oil, mono- and diglycerides, extractives of rosemary). Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, whey, corn starch. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.
My mom never brought us to McDonald's for dinner and would make her version of what she called Chicken Nuggets by doing this:
Cut chicken breast into chunks
She would add salt and pepper.
She would then dip them into flour, then egg and then italian flavoured bread crumbs and then she would pan fry them until they were golden brown.
She would always make them for friends grandchildren and for us as well.  Kids love them.   It's a bit easier than making my whole chicken breast fried chicken.   She used to make whole chicken pieces and then just started making chicken nuggets which were a lot faster to cook.
Either way... you have a choice.  You can do the drive thru if you can't make chicken these other ways but you aren't a slave to the McDonald's nuggets and you can make your own versions if you don't feel right about eating a whole bunch of other things than chicken, flour, egg and spices in your chicken.  Also if you make them at home you have a choice to buy Organic Chickens and cut a whole chicken and know exactly what's in your fried chicken.
But it's up to you.   I know I will still waiver and eat some McDonald's because of the taste and convenience but I will also continue to feel like they are a guilty pleasure.


  1. Oh God! That long list of ingredients with chemical names makes me ill. What's TBHQ and that last word.."anti-foaming agent"...Really a chicken foams? haha!

  2. sounds really gross...but too bad it doesn't stop me from craving them sometimes.


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