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The $2 Chicken Nugget Meal | But Cheaper

The perfect chicken meal on a budget. Oh, and you get macaroni and cheese, sauce, and a lemonade too.

The perfect chicken meal on a budget. Oh, and you get macaroni and cheese, sauce, and a lemonade too.


Chicken Nugget Marinade:

  • 2 lbs(907g) boneless skinless chicken thighs, ½.” inch pieces

  • 1 cup(240ml) whole milk

  • 1 tablespoon(10g) kosher salt

  • 1.5 teaspoons(8g) MSG *optional*

  • 2 teaspoons(8g) garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon(>1g) onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon(3g) paprika

  • 1/2 cup(120ml) pickle Juice *optional, only if you have pickles*

Chicken Nuggets:

  • 1.5 cups(225g) all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons(7g) kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon(>1g) finely ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon(1g) celery powder *optional*

  • 1/2 teaspoon(>1g) onion powder

  • 2 tablespoons(15g) powdered sugar *optional*

  • 1 teaspoon(4g) MSG *Optional*

  • 1 teaspoon(4g) garlic powder

  • Frying oil

  • Marinated chicken

Mac and Cheese:

  • 1 lb(494g) macaroni

  • 1 tablespoon(14g) unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon(10g) all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup(240ml) whole milk

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1.5 cups(120g) grated cheddar cheese

  • Parmesan, fine grated *optional for topping*

  • chives, thinly sliced *optional for topping*

Earl Grey Lemonade:

  • 3 lemons, zest, and juice

  • 1/2 cup(112g) sugar

  • 1.25 cups (300ml) water - 1st measurement

  • 2 black tea bags (can substitute black tea)

  • 1.25 cups (300ml) water - 2nd measurement


Chicken Nugget Marinade:

  1. In a bowl, add all ingredients but chicken and whisk until combined, then add chicken and cover with plastic wrap. Let it marinate for 10 minutes or overnight.

Chicken Nuggets:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, add all the ingredients except the oil and marinated chicken, and mix until combined.

  2. Strain your chicken from the marinade through a large mesh strainer with a bowl underneath, and reserve the leftover marinade.

  3. In batches, toss your chicken in your dredge, coat thoroughly, and place it back in the marinade and finally back in the flour. Coat once more, put aside on a baking sheet, and dredge the rest of your chicken.

  4. Fill up a heavy bottom pot just over halfway, at least 2” inches of vegetable oil, and heat to 350F. In batches, fry your chicken and cook for 3 - 5 minutes or until golden brown, with an internal temperature of 165F. Remove and place on a wire rack, lightly season with salt immediately. Enjoy with a side of your favorite sauce or dressing.

Mac and Cheese:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and season generously with salt. Add macaroni pasta, and cook according to package directions. Drain the macaroni and reserve.

  2. In a medium size pot, add butter, heat over medium, and once melted, whisk in flour and let it cook, for 30 seconds, stirring often. Whisk in milk and mix until it begins to thick.

  3. Cut off the heat, add cheddar cheese, and continue to stir until melted and homogenous. Add your cooked macaroni, and stir until completely coated with your cheesy sauce.

Earl Grey Lemonade:

  1. In a small bowl, add sugar and lemon zest; combine, rubbing all together with your fingers tips to extract as much lemon oil as possible.

  2. Place your sugar mix in a saucepan, then add water (1st measurement) and heat over medium, stirring occasionally until all the sugar has dissolved.

  3. Cut off the heat and add 2 black tea bags. Let them steep for 5 minutes and strain through a fine mesh strain into a container with the second measurement of water. Finally, add lemon juice and stir. Pour it into a glass with ice, and garnish with a slice of lemon.

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