Let these baked chicken nuggets and tahini potato salad power your next picnic

Ann Maloney

THE WASHINGTON POST – Fried chicken and potato salad are a favourite summertime combo.

Still, to enjoy it the old-fashioned way – the way my mother made it – with bone-in, battered deep-fried chicken and potato salad mixed with lots of chopped celery, pickles and eggs takes so much time and makes a bit of a mess in the kitchen.

To round out the meal, I added boiled corn on the cob and a few salted red, ripe tomato slices – like summer on a plate.

I may still pull out the Dutch oven and make myself a batch of golden fried chicken before the fall arrives, but this is the way to go on a weeknight, when I want to scratch that summer picnic itch.

Baked Chicken nuggets and warm potato salad. PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST

Baked Chicken Nuggets With Warm Potato Salad

Four servings

Ingredients

For the potato salad

Two pounds thin-skinned small new potatoes

Kosher salt

Three tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Two tablespoons tahini

One tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Half teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste

One tablespoon roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Quarter cup sliced scallions

For the chicken

Two tablespoons canola oil or any neutral oil

One pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Half cup plain bread crumbs

Half cup panko bread crumbs

Half cup grated Parmesan cheese

One teaspoon sweet paprika

One teaspoon garlic powder

One teaspoon onion powder

Quarter teaspoon kosher salt

Quarter teaspoon cumin

Quarter teaspoon cayenne pepper

Half to quarter cup Creole mustard, or any spicy mustard

STEPS

Cook the potatoes: Put the potatoes in a pot with just enough water to cover them.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, add a large pinch of salt and boil until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a thin skewer or paring knife, about 15 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a cutting board.

Let the potatoes cool for at least five minutes, or until cool enough to the touch, then cut into bite-size pieces.

Make the chicken: While potatoes are boiling, position a baking rack in centre of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

Add about two tablespoons of oil to a large, rimmed baking sheet.

Cut the chicken into approximately one-inch to one-and-a-half-inch pieces.

In a large, shallow bowl, whisk together the plain and panko bread crumbs, cheese, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, cumin and cayenne pepper until combined.

In a small, shallow bowl, add the mustard.

Dip each of the chicken pieces in the mustard, so they are lightly coated.

Then press each piece into the bread crumb mixture, coating all sides.

Place the coated chicken on the oiled baking sheet.

Repeat with the remaining chicken, making sure none of the pieces are touching.

Roast the nuggets for 15 to 20 minutes, or until pieces are golden brown and register 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

Make the potato salad: While chicken is roasting, in a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, tahini, lemon juice and pepper until combined.

Stir in the parsley.

Add the potatoes and scallions to the bowl and gently toss with the dressing just until coated.

Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.

Serve the chicken and potato salad warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition

Total Fat: 33g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 94mg; Sodium: 1718mg; Carbohydrates: 63g; Dietary Fibre: 7g; Sugars: 3g; Protein: 42g.