chicken_nuggets 003

I recently started to use Siri on my iPhone.  I’m not sure why it took me so long to start using it. I’m not opposed to the technology like some, secretly believing that machines are taking over the world.   In my favorite picture of Rodney, he’s disguised as a cyborg, so I’m actually very machine-human friendly.

The actual reason is that I finally got myself an iPhone 5. And all the rumors are true.  Siri really is life-changing.  I can now command orders like “Siri, send my husband an email!” or “Set reminder: need to buy vinegar!” Siri makes the mundane so thrilling, like I’m living in my own Bourne Identity movie. A shaky camera follows me as I brush my teeth and get dressed for the day.  “Siri, call Rodney!”

But one of Siri’s most useful applications is that she helps decode my nearly 2-year old’s language.

For any of you with young children, I’m sure you know the drill.  When Emma and I “talk” it generally involves me scrunching my face, looking at her puzzled, laughing in recognition at what she just said, and then turning to Rodney and whispering “I have no idea what she just said.”

To an innocuous question such as “Emma, where are your shoes?” the response is generally “Mini-man”.

“What would you like for dinner?”

“Mini-man”.

“What color is the block?”

“A-bud-ta-day”.

“Where is Emma?”

“A-bud-ta-day”.

Although she’s starting to speak in clear sentences, she still favors a few words that are indecipherable.

I decided to reach out to Siri as a last attempt to break down the language barrier.

Fortunately, Siri with her no-nonsense attitude and quick detective skills, was able to provide a window into my little one’s mind.   

“Siri, what is “a-bud-ta-day?” 

buttaday

“Siri, what is mini-man?”

minimen_censored

What on Earth is going on here? How does she know about 50 Cent anyway? And does this solve the mystery behind the emerging word “fiddy” that she’s been saying all week?

As I did in my previous loss of innocence post, I went back to the basics. Because really, when you’re dealing with a child who is growing up way too fast, the solution can almost always be found through food.

My theory is that if I keep her in a childlike bubble of chicken nuggets and applesauce, this phase will eventually pass. Maybe at some point she’ll develop more age-appropriate fixations, like The Wiggles or One Direction.

And please don’t call me out on chicken nuggets.  I did drag their name through the mud in my picky eating post.  But, generally, as a category, I don’t hate them.  That’s like saying that you don’t like people with the last name “Weiner”.  Just because Anthony is giving Weiners a bad name, it doesn’t mean that we should hate all Weiners.  I like a good Weiner. 

Get your mind out of the gutter.  I’m talking about Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn… Jennifer Weiner, the Pulitzer-quality author who’s written a series of overlooked books including “Good in Bed” and “Best Friends Forever”. There are a lot of good Weiners out there. 

To clarify, what I do crusade against are the horrible little mystery meat versions of nuggets sold in a freezer case near you. 

But my homemade nuggets, nothing to hate.  They’re salty and crispy, just like you would expect. I use a double coating of “crispy” with two dips in an egg bath, followed by a quick roll in panko breadcrumbs.

Now that I’ve solved my language issue, on to the next task. “Siri, make dinner!” 

Maybe it’ll happen one day, when cyborgs take over the world.  Although at that point I think I’ll be making her dinner, not the other way around.

Crispy organic chicken nuggets
Yields 9
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large organic chicken breast half, cut into 9-10 strips or chunks
  2. 2 eggs, mixed in a bowl
  3. 1/2 cup flour
  4. 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  5. salt to taste
  6. 4 tablespoons of canola oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Set up your breading station by putting the flour on one plate, the panko on another.
  2. Set a wide sautee pan on the stove on medium heat.
  3. Salt your chicken lightly, and dredge in the flour.
  4. Dunk the floured chicken into the egg.
  5. Repeat the flour/egg dredging and dunking one more time to make a thicker crust. The coating may look a little gloppy (for lack of a better word), but will crisp up nicely in the pan. Using two forks will help make the process easier.
  6. Roll the coated chicken pieces in the panko breadcrumbs.
  7. Heat the oil in the pan until it shimmers.
  8. Drop the chicken pieces in the oil, and cook, flipping occasionally until golden brown and cooked through (about 6-7 minutes). If the coating is browning too quickly, turn down the heat.
  9. Drain the cooked nuggets on paper towels and sprinkle with a little sea salt for extra crunch and saltiness.
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