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You Didn't Want to Eat Chicken McNuggets, Anyway

Photo credit: Epicurious

McDonald’s probably hoped to dispel fears about the questionable, pink-slime origins of its Chicken McNuggets by releasing a video detailing just how, exactly, the bite-sized vehicles for barbecue sauce slash excuses for a free toy are made. Some might say the company’s mission was not accomplished.

Who wouldn’t rather eat this version of chicken nuggets, which are breaded in Cheez-Its? Yes, Cheez-Its. That is a very good idea. In fact, that is brilliant territory. And it’s exactly what we have a hankering for tonight.

Lest this seem too low-brow, please note the heavy hand with freshly ground black pepper, good, honest butter, and—look!—a pound of spinach. Practically healthy.

Cheddar Chicken Tenders with Spinach

from Epicurious

ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Cheez-It Cheddar crackers (3 oz)
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/4 lb chicken tenders (not coated or cooked)
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 (12- to 16-oz) bag baby spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

directions

  1. Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 475°F. Brush a large shallow baking pan with oil (2 tablespoons).
  2. Pulse crackers in a food processor until finely ground, then transfer to a wide shallow bowl and stir in 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Toss tenders with mustard in a large bowl until coated, then dredge, 2 at a time, in cracker crumbs until evenly coated. Arrange tenders in 1 layer, without crowding, in oiled pan. Bake, turning over once, until golden brown, about 15 minutes total.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, then cook spinach, covered, turning with tongs, until spinach is just wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then serve spinach with chicken.

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