Idle minds are the Devil’s playground. It’s true. I know from personal experience. Used to be that when I would get bored, I would paint stuff. Pictures, or t-shirts, my toenails, or the walls of my kitchen. Then I discovered Ebay, Amazon, and Craigslist. Boredom resulted in late night purchases of things I never knew I had to have. But really, why wouldn’t I have to have 12 wooden cigar boxes, and an assortment of strangely shaped dried gourds? That bad habit got extra interesting following the advent of two events:
- Firstly, the invention and my subsequent purchase of the Ipad…
- Secondly, the period of time I refer to as the Lost Ambien Days, when I would buy things in my sleep on the above mentioned Ipad—sometimes modern conveniences are just too convenient— I know, I know, First World Problems….Imagine how perplexed I was to arrive home from work a week later and find various mail parcels of clothing and shoes that I don’t recall ever seeing before. Luckily for me, my taste in clothes wasn’t different when I was asleep.
I decided that if I was going to be getting on my Ipad in the middle of the night, I had better find ways to entertain myself that didn’t result in next week’s delivery of Jimmy Choos. Obviously, there are many ways that my friends were dealing with boredom and procrastination. I know because I was getting constant invites to join them playing Farmville, Mafia Wars, Sorority Life, and Words With Friends (trust me, friends, you don’t want to play me in that one, unless you just like humiliating defeat). Although I never started playing those, I did briefly live in Smurfville, where I had amassed an impressive array of huts, gardens, and smurfberries.
Graduating to more mature and meaningful ways of killing time, the world of technology has brought us Pinterest for those who thought they could never clip enough pages out of magazines to save for later reference. And Facebook, where you can now catch up on the latest gossip for 1200 of your closest friends, and people you’ve never met.
The reality of what I do when I am not doing anything else though, is that I am either cooking or writing. The Devil can get you in the kitchen too, make no mistake! One day not too long ago, whilst bored around the house, and thinking what to do for dinner, I let the Devil get ahold of me. My son, Max helped him. After having tasted the Captain Crunch Fried Shrimp I made, Max had been asking me to make Captain Crunch Fried Chicken Nuggets. Have I mentioned before that all Max ever wants to eat is chicken nuggets? Yes, I have…..If you don’t remember, you weren’t paying attention. So anyway, as he was attempting to push me over to the dark side, the fried side, we started kicking around other alternatives for breading. What resulted next was a chicken nugget fry fest of Biblical, errr, Hellish proportions…Don’t read any further unless you are all prayed and blessed up—and have taken your Zantac.
The Devil and Max’s Chicken Nuggets
- 1 pound chicken breast meat, cut into 1 ½ chunks
- 1 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (such as Tony Chachere’s)
- 4 beaten eggs
- Oil, for frying
- 3 cups of either:
- Captain Crunch Cereal, crushed; or
- Andy’s Hot Fries (or Chester’s Hot Fries—Cheetoh Brand), crushed; or
- Funyuns, crushed
Mix flour and seasoning together in a large bowl. Place crushed cereal or chips into another large bowl. Toss chicken in the seasoned flour. Drop into beaten egg, and then drop into crushed cereal. Press cereal into chicken if necessary. Fry at 375* for 4 or 5 minutes, until crispy outside and cooked through. Serve with dipping sauce of choice, see below for suggestions.
We dipped the Captain Crunch Chicken into a sweet and spicy Caribbean sauce, as we did for the Captain Crunch Fried Shrimp….The texture was very crunchy, and the sweetness was very subtle. It was delicious!
The Hot Fries Chicken was dipped into Spicy Ranch Dressing, and was very good, but not as spicy as we thought it would be. Much of the heat of the chips seemed to be lost in the frying process.
The Funyuns Chicken Nuggets were my son’s favorite. The texture was crunchy, and the onion flavor of the chips was a nice flavor on the chicken, without overpowering. These were good in both of the sauces, plus in a bleu cheese and Louisiana Hot Sauce combination, like hot wings.