I absolutely loathe unloading my dishwasher. I know it’s not the worst household chore, not by a long shot. I think it’s the mundanity of it, the fact that I do it every single godforsaken day. I remember when my daughter was very small, washing bottle after bottle and staring down the barrel of another long day on my own with this tiny little person. I had no idea what I was doing and no idea how to fill day after day, each one the same as the last. And each and every Groundhog Day began with the dreaded dishwasher. I could have cried (I think I probably did a few times) just with the boredom and repetition and the futility of it. Sometimes, just for a treat, I would load our dirty breakfast things on top of the clean things and put it on again, just to avoid unloading it for another few hours. What a thrill! Ah, those heady, reckless days!
Even though my days are now much more interesting than back then, and I have no qualms with how to fill time, rather with how to make more of it, the dishwasher-hatred has never quite left me. It’s one of the reasons I try to cook one pot dishes and adapt my recipes so I can make cakes in one bowl where possible. I have little interest in a recipe that’s going to mean I have to unload my dishwasher even more often.
So you can imagine my horror, then, when the husband made pesto pasta and brocolli for the children at the weekend. He used 3 pans!!! Who does that? One for the brocolli. One for the pasta. One to mix the pesto and pasta in. WTF?!!! I have gently suggested to him on several occasions, through the medium of four letter words, if making pasta, PUT THE VEG IN WITH IT!! And then when it’s cooked, stir through the sauce in the same pan. It’s not rocket science!!!
Mr Intolerant makes amazing roasts and no one can cook a better steak than he, but he does like to use rather a lot of utensils. His favourite trick is to use a slotted spoon to dish out something highly inappropriate, say, a casserole, or bolognese, and then a second serving spoon to dish up the actual sauce. Cunningly, I recently melted our plastic slotted spoon on to the hob, so that’s put an end to that! Ha! Oh yes, I’m no fool! The acrid smoke, molten plastic and gloopy hob were a small price to pay for marital harmony (well, for one less thing to argue about).
So…. these gluten-free seedy Chicken Goujons have to be something really special for me to go through the faff of using two or three plates. These went down a storm with my kids. I’m rather partial to a chicken nugget myself and have to say they were really, really good.
One of the few things that small boy is virtually guaranteed to eat is breaded chicken. It’s a shame no supermarkets seem to make organic or even free range chicken nuggets. Making my own means I know the meat is good quality and organic. The other benefit of making these is that you are upping your protein and omega content with all these seeds, rather than breadcrumbs, which are pretty void of nutrition. My kids aren’t big fish fans so I love recipes like this that increase their Omega 3 intake. It’s worth the faff, I promise. The sesame seeds, in particular, make these really tasty. Use chicken mini fillets rather than strips of chicken breast as a) it saves you chopping and b) they are so lovely and tender.
PS The first time I made these I coated half of the chicken pieces with seeds and then mixed breadcrumbs into remainder of the seeds and made the rest with a mixture of breadcrumbs and seeds, just in case my kids didn’t like 100% seeds, so that’s worth a try to avoid any potential wastage or fussiness.
RECIPE (serves 4)
1 packet organic chicken mini fillets (about 400g)
1 large egg
40g ground almonds
50g golden linseeds (approx)
60g sesame seeds (approx)
1. Whisk egg briefly with a fork in a large shallow bowl or plate. On a separate plate, mix together sesame and linseeds. Have a lightly oiled baking tray nearby to place the newly made goujons on.
2. Tip ground almonds into a large plastic bag and season with salt and pepper (omit salt if making for young children). Place mini fillets in bag, close and shake well, separating the pieces to ensure they are well coated in almonds. You may prefer to do this in two batches. Or you can do this on a plate, but that would entail more dishes to wash.
3. Next, dip the goujons, one by one, briefly into the beaten egg, allowing excess to drip off, and then into the linseed and sesame seed mixture. Roll them around and make sure they are fully coated Place on baking tray. Repeat with all goujons.
4. Fry on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, trying not to turn or move too much as you risk losing your coating! Or bake in oven at 180c for 10-12 minutes. These will keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours before cooking so you can make a big batch in one go.
5. Curse, mumble and moan whilst loading all plates into dishwasher.
Perfect with chips, peas and ketchup or my kid’s favourite “wagamama” katsu style with rice, carrot, cucumber, sweetcorn and a homemade amai sauce (honey and soy sauce mixed together) or for grown ups with a big salad…or chips 😍