Tag Archives: Garlic Powder

Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet Bake

Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet Bake (11)

Please allow me to introduce you to Magic… Magic, this is the people of the United States, Australia, England, France, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Poland, the Ukraine, etc. Sorry for those followers I didn’t list but I really dont know your all of your names so hopefully this introduction will suffice! This is a honestly one of the quickest week night dinners I have made in quite some time, and I have all the faith in the world that if your a fan of Chicken Cordon Bleu, you will love this majestical little gent!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet Bake (10)

I have to say that I think aside from dilly-dallying around my kitchen, sipping wine (surprisingly yes wine and not craft beer) it only took me about 35 minutes from skillet to plate! Who in their right mind do not like easy weeknight skillet bakes?! The devil, that’s who!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet Bake (83)

Ingredients

1 Pkg Cooked Penne

2 Cups Cream

1 Cup Cream Cheese

2 Cups Swiss Cheese; shredded

2 Cups Chicken; cooked + chopped

1 Cup Ham Cold Cuts; Chopped

3/4 Cups Bacon Crumbles

1 Tsp Garlic Powder

1 Tsp Onion Powder

1/2 Tsp Black Pepper

1 Cup Pepperidge Farms Stuffing

4 Tbsp Salted Butter

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For this recipe as well as any other pasta dishes that include bacon, I use thick sliced bacon. I do this because I feel that it adds to the crispness and well as flavor.

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What we need to do is cook the bacon nice and crisp so that we can crumble and add it in due time to our skillet bake!

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I tend to cook my bacon using the water method but tomato-tomato, so feel free to cook your bacon however you want!

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Personally, I have never over cooked bacon this way and it is always perfectly crispy and beautifully crunchy so until she proves me wrong, I will continue with this controversial cooking method! Pfffft you know I like to live life on the edge every now and then!

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[Insert honey badger narrative voice here]

Would you look at that?!

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Cook your pasta as directed on the packages instructions for al dente, then add your cream and cream cheese in a large oven safe skillet over medium heat all the while whisking to fully incorporate. Once it is all happy and combined, reduce the heat to medium-low.

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Would you look at that! Also note that those are bubbles from whisking, NOT BOILING!

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Toss in your Garlic + Onion Powder as well as black pepper… (Okay, now those are bubbles from simmering)

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Once again, whisk well to combine!

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Toss in 1 1/2 cup of your Swiss Cheese (reserving 1/2 cup for the topping) and you guessed it…. whisk well to combine… See? This is so easy, a monkey could do it!

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Continue whisking until fully melted and at this point we want to reduce the heat to low.

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Toss in your chicken and ham…

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Stir well to fully combine all the magical goodness!

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GAAAH MY GAWD THERE IS SO MUCH MAGIC HAPPENING RIGHT NOW THAT MY FEELING CAN NOT TAKE IT!!!!!

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Finally drain your pasta and add to your skillet!

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Toss well to fully combine and coat your pasta evenly, then remove from heat and set aside.

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In a small sauce pan, make Paula Dean proud and melt your butter.

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Add your Peppridge Farms Stuffing cubes and toss well to coat in the devils goodness AKA butter!

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Scatter the stuffing cubes about the skillet…

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Then sprinkle with remaining Swiss Cheese and your bacon crumbles!

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Bake at 350 F for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the cubes are slightly browned.

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[Insert honey badger voice once again]

Would you look at that! Just look at it!

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Plate and serve with fresh chopped parsley or scallions tossed about the plate!

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And most importantly, enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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After all, its been a long week and you work hard- so why not dabble a bit in the dark side?!

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CIAO!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet Bake (15)

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Venison Bacon + Pineapple Bites

Venison Bacon + Pinapple Bites (56)

This is a little something for all you hunters and ladies with hunter spouses… Its something quite majestic and something that is very easily executed. That alone is a game winner… Not only that, but I love how this can be an appetizer for the big game or easily a dinner served along side steamed rice with crispy fried scallions on top! Either way, it is not only impressive, but this method also takes away any gaminess that the venison may have! Most people who dont eat it say its because of the gamey taste the meat has… This is no longer an excuse. I dont know if its because the recipe compliments it, or just hide it so well but let me tell you, it is something magical…

Take it from me, I could never bring myself to eat venison… I dont know what happened but something either my father or one of my uncles must have said when I was a little girl at my Pepere’s house warned me off from it. And honestly it was probably something along the lines of “Surprise, your eating Bambie!” or maybe when they tricked my sister and I into eating bear stew [I still dont know if that was a joke or was really what we were eating]… All I know is that I was a very impressionable kid and the rest was history.

And this is why I had to brace myself with this little gem…

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Le Pepe Nero helps me with my case of the feels…

I will say though, once I finished making these sweet sweet little gifts from the angels above, it was as if the heavens opened up and the choir started singing me the songs of which angles weep in pure joy to. It was an epiphany of sorts really. On one hand, these little guys were the most juicy, clean, lean, fresh, and delicious form of steak that I have ever consumed! I mean, it seriously MELTED! IT FREAKING MELTED IN MY MOUTH! I couldn’t believe that I once thought Filet Mignon to be the creme de la creme of all things steak… No…. venison now hold that title for me.

But then on the other hand… I could believe that I had thought these sinful thoughts and betrayed my little deer friends from my woods here in the sticks! I mean, how dare I! They are so quiet, and majestic, and graceful… I love them with all of my being! Why must nature be so cruel! Needless to say, I am crazy for 1… and I love venison for 2… AND I am a traitor to my little majestic critters in the woods for 3!

Oh and I cried because of the pure mental anguish this has brought upon me. (Sadly I am not kidding)

[Sorry for the therapy session]

Thanks dad!

Venison Bacon + Pinapple Bites (77)

Venison Marinade

6 Oz Pineapple Juice

1 1/2 Cup Extra Version Olive Oil

1/8 Tsp Cider Vinegar

1/8 Tsp Water

1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

2 Tbsp Soy Sauce

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Tsp Garlic Powder

1 Tbsp Season Salt

1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt

Venison Bites

4 Venison Steaks; cut into 1″ cubes and marinated in the above for 3-5 hours.

1 Lb Bacon; cut in half

1/4 Cup Pineapple Juice

1 Can Pineapple Chunks

1/4 Brown Sugar

4 Scallions (green onions); sliced thinly

1/2 Cup Canola Oil

Toothpicks

 

In the case that you get the feels…. keep a nice strong drink within reach… dont judge me…

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After you have had your venison cubes marinating in its happy juice… discard the marinade and lay them out on some paper towels to absorb the excess juices. Combine 1/4 cup pineapple juice and 1/4 cup brown sugar and set aside.

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Create an assembly line of bacon, pineapple, pineapple-brown sugar glaze, venison, toothpicks, and drink!

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Next using your tried + true rusty BBQ brush, coat one side of the bacon strips before wrapping to ensure their happiness. Once that is settled, place a piece of venison and pineapple in the center of the bacon strip and wrap it up securing with a toothpick.

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Lay your little soldiers out on a greased broiling pan. Scatter any remaining pineapple chunks about the pan because, waste not – want not!

Venison Bacon + Pinapple Bites (45)

Broil them on the top rack at high for 4 minutes then flip. Broil another 4-5 minutes or until rare to medium-rare and the bacon is nice and crispy. Whichever is more to your liking. Just be careful not to over cook these little guys.. they were once majestic creatures of the forest and should not die in vain! [that should have been read with the voice of Braveheart]

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Next, heat up the canola oil in a skillet and toss in your sliced scallions. Cook for 1-2 minutes over high heat until nice and crispy. Remove from oil IMMEDIATELY to stop it from cooking and allow to drain the excess oil over some paper towels.

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[side note, if you have yet to have crispy scallions… you will now want them on just about anything]

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Plate your majestic Venison Bacon + Pineapple Bites and scatter the extra pineapples about the plate. Top with crispy scallions and enjoy!

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I want to thank Sweet Baby Jesus for allowing this deer a lovely and peaceful life filled with frolicking and majestic-ness and hopefully she went down easy… [clearly I am still struggling with this]

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CIAO!

Venison Bacon + Pinapple Bites (77)

 

Homemade Taco Seasoning

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As you all may or may not have noticed, I like to put together my own seasonings and rubs. I find that not only is it more thriftier, but it is also more convenient because you know how much you normally use within the time span of a month and make however much you need!

That being said, it came to my attention that I only have ONE crock pot/slow cooker meal on my whole blog so in a nutshell, I am slacking on my diversity once again and need to shake things up a bit! XD

I decided to make crock pot tacos and what goes hand in hand with tacos? You guessed it, TACO SEASONING!!!!! ::YAY:: I found this recipe from Rachel Cooks at http://www.rachelcooks.com/2013/03/25/homemade-taco-seasoning-large-batch/

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Ingredients

1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp Chili Powder

2 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder

2 1/2 Tsp Onion Powder

2 1/2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes

2 1/2 Tsp Oregano

2 1/2 Tsp Paprika

1/4 Cup + 1 Tbso Cumin

1/4 Cup Kosher Salt

1/4 Cup Ground Black Pepper

 

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Measure out all the seasonings then combine in a large bowl or measuring cup.

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I used my trusty electric hand blender to pulse the ingredients together, further breaking the larger pepper flakes and oregano down a bit.

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Transfer to an air tight container and store up to 6 months.

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The author suggests that when using, add 2-3 Tbsp seasoning + 1/2 Cup water to ONE pound of cooked meat. Simmer over medium heat stirring frequently until very little liquid is left in the pan.

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Enjoy!

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Smothered Pork Chops

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I must say this is my new favorite pork chop recipe to date! I was getting tired of the same old same old pork chop, so I hopped up onto my trusty Google machine a pulled up this majestical recipe!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/smothered-pork-chops-recipe/index.html

I loved everything about it, especially since they came out extremely tender juicy and savory! Who can beat that!

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Ingredients

6 Thick Pork Chops

1 1/2 Cups Flour

2 Tbsp Onion Powder

2 Tbsp Garlic Powder

1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 Tsp Kosher Salt

1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1 Cup Chicken Broth

1/2 Cup Butter Milk

Chopped Parsley for Garnish

 

*Note: Be sure to reserve 1 Tbsp of the seasoned flour after breading all the pork chops… you will need it for the gravy we will make towards the end of the recipe!

 

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Prep all the ingredients because lets face it, it makes life easier and less of a rush while trying not to burn things!

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See that there…. I made a bit of an assembly line for breading the chops…. Go me!

 

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Add the onion & garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper to the flour.

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Combine well using a fork or whisk.

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YAY! Perfectly seasoned four! Reserve 1 Tbsp of the seasoned flour for our gravy we will make later.

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Take one chop at a time and start breading!

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Firmly press into the flour…

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Scoop surrounding flour over the top and press firmly.

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Shake off any excess flour…

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That is one perfectly breaded chop! Now onto the rest!

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Just like magic!

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Now get ready to start the real magic here…

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Over medium heat, coat a large saute pan in the olive oil.

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Allow it to get hot enough that a pinch of flour will sizzle on contact.

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Once the oil is hot enough, add 3 pork chops at a time and cook for 3 minutes on each side!

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Be sure you do not over crowed the pan otherwise they will steam which will result in one tough and dry pork chop!

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Set seared pork chops on a plate and start working on the remaining three!

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Almost there!

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Tada!

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Add the reserved 1 Tbsp of seasoned flour to the remaining fat and olive oil in the skillet and whisk well the incorporate!

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Reduce heat to medium low.

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Pour in chicken stock and allow to reduce by half which should take 5 minutes.

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The gravy is getting there!

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Taking a few sprigs of parsley, start mincing them for our garnish!

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…….Don’t forget about our gravy!

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Now that it has reduced by half slowly add the butter milk while whisking to incorporate it in smoothly.

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Would you look at that….

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Whisk continuously until it is well blended and smooth.

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Perfection!

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Once again, working in batches of three, add the pork chops in with the gravy. Spoon some over the tops and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until fully cooked. Once these are done, set finished chops aside on a plate and work on the last three, once again spooning gravy on top and simmering for 5 minutes. Repetitive, I know… But so worth it!

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Once all the pork chops are done and you have them all sitting pretty on a plate…

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Spoon all the gravy on top of them…

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Then sprinkle with the parsley!

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I know I posted a million pictures of these bad boys but I couldn’t decide on which ones to eliminate so just deal with them okay? XD

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Bon Appetit!

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Best Crispy Fried Chicken Nuggets Ever

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This is a recipe that I adapted from Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman.

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/05/quickie-homemade-chicken-strips/

I know I have said it before, but I will say it again… She is one of my idols… No judging.

Anyways, while browsing BigY’s meat section, I noticed something different amongst the chicken that I had never expected… Chicken breast nuggets…. What?

All those times I have purchased chicken breast or chicken tenders and cut them into bite sized pieces… sweet baby Jesus someone up stares was listening!!!!

Anyways I turned to Ree to put them into some good use because lets face it, I had to snatch a few packages to stock the freezer with… Its the little things in life my friends! Less time cutting chicken and more time working on my wine flow!

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Ingredients

1.5 Lbs Chicken Breast Nuggets (breast or tenders cut into bite sized pieces)

2 Cups Flour

Light Cream

1/2 Tbsp Dried Oregano

1/2 Tbsp Onion Powder

1/2 Tbsp Paprika

1/2Tbsp Garlic Powder

1/2 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper

1/2 Tbsp Kosher Salt

1/2 Tbsp Ground Black Pepper

Canola Oil

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Wash chicken pieces and pat dry then set aside in a medium sized bowl.

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Pour yourself a nice and relaxing glass of wine and take a sip…. you deserve this!

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Pour enough cream over the chicken to just cover the little nuggets, and let sit in the cream bath for about a half hour.

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Awwww look at them little nuggets all happy and stuff!

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Next add 2 cups of flour into a plate or bowl for breading the nuggets.

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Add the oregano, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper.

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Whisk well to blend all the seasoning and flour evenly.

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Add about 1/3-1/2 cup of cream to the flour while stirring to form beads.

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Will you look at that….

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Yup… this is going to be epic…

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Heat a large saute pan over medium heat with about 1/2″ of canola oil and roll up your sleeves to get a bit dirty.

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Taking one nugget from its cream bath at a time and bread it well, meaning really press it good into the flour and make sure the beads of flour are adhering to the chicken.

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And its camouflaged…. XD

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Continue this process with each nugget and they should start to look like this….

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Once all the chicken is breaded check on the oil…

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Take a pinch of flour and drop it into the pan. If it sizzles then the oil is ready!

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Without crowding the pan, gently place about 5 nuggets into the hot oil.

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Cook about 5 minutes on each side or until golden and hard on the outside.

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Be weary though, if they brown too fast from the oil being too hot  they will still be undercooked in the center… with that said, be sure to test the first on you think may be done and go from there!

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Lay them out on a plate lined with paper towel and continue onto the next batch!

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I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did and feel free to play around with different spices such as cumin, season salt, creole, etc!

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Ciao!

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