5th December 2009
Watermelon Salad And Chicken Nuggets
Georgina Cooking Happy Nuggets
Inspired by Nigella Lawson, I mixed up her Watermelon salad, threw in my Carrots Ricard to get Rachel's feedback in preparation for Christmas, and fried up some frozen chicken nuggets to give Georgina something she would eat.

We decided that, superbly tasty as the carrots were, they were probably a bit overpowering for a Christmas vegetable, which would have to play nicely with the other festive dishes after all. This version used black olives and some chunks of St. Agur thrown on top to slowly dissolve into the hot carrots yum! but we need to try out a less robust variety - maybe with lemon peel.

A bag of frozen chicken chunks was the basis for Georgina's nuggets - I had hoped that I could defrost and marinate them at the same time by warming them up in a pan of spiced buttermilk, but don't try that at home kids - the buttermilk curdles almost as soon as it hits the hob. You'll have to do it the old-fashioned way and defrost the chicken pieces in the microwave!

I toasted a few slices of white bread fresh out of the freezer, cut off their crusts, then whizzed them up in the blender to make breadcrumbs. We rolled the buttermilked chicken pieces in these and some seasoned flour before shallow frying them in vegetable oil. They went down quite well.
Better than the Carrots Ricard anyway.

If you want to earn extra Brownie points you could serve them with Georgina's salad

Very Georgina approved
Chicken Nuggets
main fowl
Serves 4

1lb chicken breasts, cut into nugget-sized pieces
buttermilk for marinating
6 slices stale white bread or toast
Marinate the chicken pieces in buttermilk for an hour or two.
Cut off the crusts from your stale bread or toast and process into fine breadcrumbs in a food processor. Put them in a bowl.

Sieve plain flour into another bowl and season. I used paprika, garam masala or cumin powder, salt and pepper
Drain the chicken pieces in a sieve or strainer. Set out the sieve, breadcrumbs and flour bowls next to the cooker.

Heat a generous ¼" of vegetable oil in a frying pan, then take each piece of chicken, roll it in the breadcrumbs, then the flour then pop it into the frying pan. Repeat for the remaining pieces.

Keep turning the nuggets in the pan occasionally until they are golden all over and cooked through and have stopped oozing white juices.
Set each piece to drain on kitchen roll when they are cooked and keep warm.


Watermelon, Feta and Black Olive Salad
salad raw veg
Watermelon Salad
It's quite an unusual and tasty salad, but it does get a bit wet with leaking watermelon juices. It might have worked with a hunk of bread to soak them up a little.

Serves 8

1 small red onion
2-4 limes, depending on juiciness
1.5kg sweet, ripe watermelon
250g feta cheese
bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
bunch fresh mint, chopped
3-4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
100g pitted black olives as usual, I prefer the dry-cured variety
black pepper
Peel and halve the red onion and cut into very fine half-moons and put in a small bowl to steep with the lime juice, to bring out the transparent pinkness in the onions and diminish their rasp. Two limes' worth should do it, but you can find the fruits disappointingly dried up and barren when you cut them in half, in which case add more.

Remove the rind and pips from the watermelon, and cut into approximately 4cm triangular chunks. Cut the feta into similar sized pieces and put them both into a large, wide shallow bowl. (I would probably not add the feta till later...) Tear off sprigs of parsley so that it is used like a salad leaf, rather than a garnish, and add to the bowl along with the chopped mint.

Tip the now glowingly puce onions, along with their pink juices over the salad in the bowl, add the oil and olives, then using your hands toss the salad very gently so that the feta and melon don't lose their shape. Add a good grinding of black pepper and tast to see whether the dressing needs more lime.

The herbs work better with the salad if they aren't all damp from washing and sticking together in clumps.
Perhaps if the watermelon weren't too ripe it wouldn't leak quite so much.
Try and avoid manhandling the salad too much, especially once the feta has been added.

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