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The Humble Chicken Nugget

A Love Letter to an American Favorite

By Leslie WritesPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 3 min read
Top Story - April 2023
The Humble Chicken Nugget
Photo by Fernando Andrade on Unsplash

You are the hot dog of poultry, a breaded mystery meat concoction of dubious origins. Go ahead and keep your secrets, you crunchy little minx! I respect your modified food starch and mechanically separated je ne sais quoi. I honor your likeability and versatility. You are convenient and cheap and available everywhere. You are slowly killing us all, but I’m powerless to resist you.

I keep a huge Costco sized bag of you in the freezer for when time is short, or indecision leads to throwing you into the air fryer at the last second and eating you hunched over the sink. As convenience foods go, you are my rock. And sometimes you feel like a rock in my stomach, but I forgive you.

You can be dressed up, thrown into orange sauce, and served alongside rice and veggies as the poor man’s ‘orange chicken’. If I'm feeling Italian, I can cloak you in mozzarella, douse you in marinara and dub you ‘nug parm.’ You can even adorn my salad.

If you don’t mind my saying, your vegan and gluten free versions are also surprisingly good. You are something everyone can enjoy. Lunch, dinner, or a midnight snack, you are always appropriate. Nobody’s too good for chicken nuggets. You remind adults of their childhood, and you remind children of dinosaurs.

Photo is of Perdue Dinosaur Nuggets / Photo Source: The Wall Street Journal

I see you getting jealous of your sexier cousin the ‘chicken finger,’ but don’t fret, my stubby little pal. You are far less expensive, and in an economy like this, that’s much easier to swallow.

Culinary experts will try to embarrass you. I remember your appearance on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. He said you were made from the undesirable parts of the chicken. But we know the meaning of ‘waste not, want not’. The children were not fooled by his virtue signaling and rhetoric. Meat is meat. Keep slaying in that honey mustard, queen!

Check out this YouTube segment by Dan Olsen @foldingideas. Here's a guy who knows what I'm talking about. He does an excellent job of exposing Oliver’s classist views.

There are some real ethical concerns with the way convenience foods like you are produced. I’d get into it, but I don’t want to bum you out. Let’s just say that ethical consumption is virtually impossible in our society, especially for the middle to lower class consumer. I’m sure we’d all prefer to eat the finest whole grain fair trade organic free range grub, but most of us have to settle for the cheap stuff. And that’s where you come in.

For health reasons, you really are, as Cookie Monster would say, ‘a sometimes food.’ I wouldn’t eat you for every meal, but you are always there when I need you. You are portable and go with a variety of sauces. Picky eaters adore you for your mild flavor and consistency. Parents love you for the moments of peace you provide when their toddlers eat you without a fuss.

You are the cornerstone of this ragged American diet. Most of us are barely holding it together financially, physically, mentally, emotionally and here you are this greasy golden beacon of comfort to soothe our weary souls. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to eat my nuggets in the bathtub while I sob.

Here are some chicken nugget fun facts:

  • The chicken nugget was invented not by a chef, but by a food scientist professor at Cornell University. Yum, that's tasty science!
  • The first chicken nuggets were called ‘chicken crispies.’ That’s pretty cute. I wonder why they changed it.
  • Chicken nuggets first hit the market in the 1950’s, but it wasn’t until 1983 that McDonald’s started selling their version, the McNugget. Why did it take them 30 years?
  • U.K. Competitive eater, Leah Shutkever currently holds the world record for most chicken nuggets consumed in 60 seconds, the equivalent of 19 McDonald’s McNuggets. I’m sure Mummy and Daddy are very proud.
  • The world’s largest chicken nugget weighed 51 pounds. It was made by Empire Kosher and unveiled at Kosherfest in Secaucus, New Jersey in 2013. Mazel tov!

If you liked this article you might also enjoy….

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_nugget

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_McNuggets

https://www.foxla.com/news/woman-breaks-world-record-for-most-chicken-nuggets-eaten-in-1-minute

pop culturefact or fictioncuisine

About the Creator

Leslie Writes

Another struggling millennial. Writing is my creative outlet and stress reliever.

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Comments (33)

  • Freddie's Lost Treasuresabout a year ago

    Ahhh.....The Chicken Nugget...my natural enemy to weight loss. Chicken nuggets are delicious. You can give me the most expensive cut of chicken in the world (and I have tried many), but sometimes the good old-fashioned chicken nugget is the better option.

  • Mark Grahamabout a year ago

    Loved this. I really like McDonald's McNuggets with their Honey Mustard or spicy mustard dipping sauce, but I usually get the 20 piece and have two meals.

  • sathish Rajarathinamabout a year ago

    Chicken💥💯

  • L.C. Schäferabout a year ago

    I love making a honey and chilli glaze for them 😁 Or I pack them with garlic and herb dip and smuggle them in to the cinema 🤫

  • Adil Rasoolabout a year ago

    Good👍

  • Lynn Anderson about a year ago

    I remember when McDonald's served chicken nuggets in styrofoam containers. I'd dunk them in honey.

  • Sonia Heidi Unruhabout a year ago

    Who knew that chicken nuggets could be so interesting!? I think you could write about a toaster and I would enjoy reading it. And this is coming from a "chicken tender" snob.

  • R. J. Raniabout a year ago

    What a lovely letter to nuggets! Made me chuckle 🤭 I love the way you personified them and also didn’t want to upset them with the more unsavory facts 😂 Thank you for writing and sharing this! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • This comment has been deleted

  • Ahamed Thousifabout a year ago

    Nice Work!!!

  • wispo uganjaabout a year ago

    Wow good job kayla I love it

  • Kayla Lindleyabout a year ago

    I'd say you are lying if you as an adult could not get down on some chicken nuggets. Congrats on the Top Story!

  • Loryne Andaweyabout a year ago

    You are, hands down, my favorite food writer at this moment. You validated every Uber Eats order for 50 McDonalds nuggets I made in the past 5 years 🤣. Bless you and bless the chicken nugget ❤.

  • Caroline Cravenabout a year ago

    Ha! This is brilliant! Good job!

  • Stephanie J. Bradberryabout a year ago

    I had a feeling this would grace the Top Story section soon. Tasty facts and good mix of fun with reality. Congratulations on Top Story!

  • JBazabout a year ago

    Who doesn't love the tasty little nugget

  • Kendall Defoe about a year ago

    You are making me hungry... A rather informative and sweet tribute to chicken parts... ;)

  • Dana Crandellabout a year ago

    This was great, Leslie, and thanks for the little tidbits at the end. Congratulations!

  • Melissa Ingoldsbyabout a year ago

    Very fun writing! Congratulations on top story!

  • Heather Hublerabout a year ago

    That was so much brilliant fun!! I loved every bit. Congratulations on Top Story, Leslie!!

  • Cathy holmesabout a year ago

    This is fun. Congrats on the top story

  • Congratulations on your Top Story✨🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉😉💯😊

  • Donna Reneeabout a year ago

    Congrats, Leslie!!! This one is just so funny 🤣❤️

  • Congratulations on your Top Story for this great piece

  • Dana Stewartabout a year ago

    This made my day! And im not the only one that eats hunched over the sink! 🤣 Fun, humorous piece!

Leslie WritesWritten by Leslie Writes

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