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Are chicken nuggets unhealthy?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 11, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Note that I did not add the notorious "MC".

Recently, I stumbled upon this video with Jamie Oliver: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9B7im8aQjo

Up until the point where he adds the stabilizer and bread crumbs I thought that might be one very healthy conconction. Sure, grinding it to a paste might not be the best choice in terms of texture but it still contains all the stuff we (or mos of us) would eat anyway: Meat, fat, bones, offal.

Provided that we use healthy broilers to start with, what's so bad about chicken nuggets in terms of health?

I'm serious - the wonderful taste of well cooked cartilage as well as Methuselah's post on eating bones inspired me to add a food processor to the top of my wishlist.

1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

(1248)

on December 18, 2010
at 09:09 AM

Sounds amazing! I have a new recipe...thanks!

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on October 12, 2010
at 04:35 PM

Depends what you fry in? If you're frying in sat fat, it's less unhealthy. Still not the best way to cook though...

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on October 12, 2010
at 07:35 AM

Only accidentally spot on though. Most of Jamie Oliver's recipes contain stacks of bread or other such grains (he even has a chain of pseudo-italian restaurants, for goodness sake!).

Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

(13635)

on October 12, 2010
at 12:00 AM

I'm mixed about the Oliver video. There's nothing wrong with the carcass. He could have at least told the kids it's what cooks use to make stock and soup. What he said about the additives and breading was spot on, of course.

4ff24fb9a7d48305681487dfb8040a5e

(383)

on October 11, 2010
at 05:06 PM

I want to come for lunch :)

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on October 11, 2010
at 04:33 PM

Indeed, his basic message is great and his TED talk is important: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jamie_oliver.html

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on October 11, 2010
at 04:31 PM

That's my point: I don't _see_ anything wrong with that photo. Sure, it does not look as tasty as a whole piece of meat. But if it's just ground chicken - what's the problem? Washing in ammonia won't be necessary with clean chicken and clean processing. I eat liver, heart and kidneys. I don't see anything wrong with bones. Do you?

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on October 11, 2010
at 04:06 PM

I love breading and frying shrimp this way Mmmm.

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on October 11, 2010
at 01:52 PM

I never particularly liked nuggets (because of the consistency), but what you are describing is exactly what I had in mind. I guess with proper ingredients these should taste rather good. Also, grinding only the bones to a paste and leaving some meat more coarse should improve the texture.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 11, 2010
at 01:39 PM

I haven't eaten chicken nuggets in a long time, but if I were to try to do them Paleo-style, this is pretty much exactly how I'd do it.

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7 Answers

6
1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on October 11, 2010
at 01:57 PM

I remember the term 'chemically separated' being bandied about when I first learned about the way chicken nuggets were made... That doesn't sound healthy to me.

Personally, I make my chicken nuggets with free-range, naturally raised chicken mince and liver, and I use egg to hold the meat together, adding herbs and spices etc. If I'm going to coat them, I use a light dusting of almond flour and then bake them - I'm over the bother of frying these days. They're perfection when served with a finely chopped salsa of tomato, capsicum (bell peppers to y'all Stateside) and basil... Mmmmm...

4ff24fb9a7d48305681487dfb8040a5e

(383)

on October 11, 2010
at 05:06 PM

I want to come for lunch :)

1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

(1248)

on December 18, 2010
at 09:09 AM

Sounds amazing! I have a new recipe...thanks!

3
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 11, 2010
at 02:49 PM

I like to do chicken strips. Roll them in egg and then roll in a combo of coconut flour and unsweetened coconut shreds. In that mix, I also add various spices like garlic, pepper, etc. Then fry them in coconut oil. Very very tasty. Personally, I think they are much better that way than the nonpaleo method with regular flour. The paleo chicken strips are great for parties or gatherings where there may be nonpaleo eaters.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on October 11, 2010
at 04:06 PM

I love breading and frying shrimp this way Mmmm.

3
D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on October 11, 2010
at 01:13 PM

Since most chicken nuggets are notorious for their wheat breading and soy-based binders, it's hard to imagine a "healthy" one. I think the closest that you can do it is with a well-sourced chicken (as clean as possible), and if you're doing breading, do it with coconut flour (my instinct says that other nut flours likelier to go rancid while frying), and fry in butter, lard, tallow, or coconut oil so that the high temp frying has minimal oxidizing involved.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 11, 2010
at 01:39 PM

I haven't eaten chicken nuggets in a long time, but if I were to try to do them Paleo-style, this is pretty much exactly how I'd do it.

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on October 11, 2010
at 01:52 PM

I never particularly liked nuggets (because of the consistency), but what you are describing is exactly what I had in mind. I guess with proper ingredients these should taste rather good. Also, grinding only the bones to a paste and leaving some meat more coarse should improve the texture.

0
D3f26af100442c2d122c97036cf2b896

(20)

on October 12, 2010
at 02:37 AM

Frying unhealthy?

How am I supposed to get enough saturated fat, then?

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on October 12, 2010
at 04:35 PM

Depends what you fry in? If you're frying in sat fat, it's less unhealthy. Still not the best way to cook though...

0
4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on October 11, 2010
at 05:38 PM

They're fried, right? I don't think fried chicken, or fried anything for that matter, is healthy since frying itself is pretty unhealthy.

0
9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on October 11, 2010
at 04:17 PM

Our ancestors would have eaten everything on that chicken... I think that Jamie Oliver is a good voice though, over-processed food is an enemy, it is important to get this into a child's head; which is his goal. However, he certainly looks like he could get into shape himself.

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on October 11, 2010
at 04:33 PM

Indeed, his basic message is great and his TED talk is important: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jamie_oliver.html

0
80e474e59a4d98e84584ab75c16a9b5b

on October 11, 2010
at 04:02 PM

Have a look at this photo of the "meat paste" that is produced in the mechanical separation of the mystery meat that is a Chicken McNugget. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/04/mechanically-separated-meat-chicken-mcnugget-photo_n_749893.html

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on October 11, 2010
at 04:31 PM

That's my point: I don't _see_ anything wrong with that photo. Sure, it does not look as tasty as a whole piece of meat. But if it's just ground chicken - what's the problem? Washing in ammonia won't be necessary with clean chicken and clean processing. I eat liver, heart and kidneys. I don't see anything wrong with bones. Do you?

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