If you’re on your way to Micky D’s, Don’t do it!

I am so not going back to McDonald’s for a long, long time. The truth is, I’m an addict as much as my son is. Are you kidding me? I love McDonald’s, but with age, I have to hope, that I will find some kind of self control. There are a lot of things that you might think you love, but it’s not love at all, it’s just the memory that you love.
Make your own chicken nuggets. Buy whole chicken breasts, clean them of all the bits and pieces, and then slice them into two horizontally. For nuggets, just cut them into two inch pieces, or for chicken parmesan, leave them. Pat them dry, season them with kosher salt on both sides, then dip them into flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. (Look for the ones that are Japenese, they are fantastic; otherwise, just throw some day old bread into the food processor, and whir it around until it’s fine crumbs.)
Keep one hand clean for dipping, and one hand for doing things like moving pans around. Lay each piece onto a sheet pan, and let them rest for about fifteen minutes, so that the crumbs can really stick. Get a heavy saute pan ready with a nice glaze of beautiful olive oil (why start with bad oil, when good oil is so good and is going to make such a difference right from the beginning?) and throw a whole garlic clove in there. When it’s golden, take it out, and then lay the pieces of chicken away from you, and into the pan. Your heat should be medium. Let them cook without disturbing them for until the one side is lightly browned. Turn them with a pair of tongs, and do the other side. Remove to a plate.
Make a red sauce, by heating up more olive in a clean pan, add three whole cloves of garlic, and five basil leaves. Get the garlic golden. Don’t let the basil go brown, just dark green. Add a few red pepper flakes, and turn off the heat. Crush 28 ounces of whole San Marzano tomatoes with your hands. Add to the pan, and cook for half an hour (or more if you have the time). You can use this as a dipping sauce, or for chicken parmesan, grate some fresh mozzarella and some Grana Padano. Spoon a layer of sauce into a lasagna pan. Add the chicken pieces. Spoon on another layer of sauce. Sprinkle with a little mozzarella and a little of the parmesan. Heat in a 400 degree oven until the sauce is hot. Don’t overcook the chicken–that’s the best way to get moist chicken–don’t overcook.

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