Chicken nuggets with besciamella may come from the Spanish tapas tradition, but they are popular in Italy, where they have been adopted by many Venetian bars serving cicchetti.
Venice has a long tradition for eating cicchetti like crostini with olive pesto, liver pate or marinated anchovies. Osterie and chicchetti bars serve a range of tapas like snacks throughout the day from late morning, and with a little bit of luck these chicken nuggets will be on the menu. When served hot and fresh from the frying pan, they are absolutely irresistible.
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
150 ml milk
1 chicken breast filet
100 g breadcrumbs
Fresh rosemary, thyme, pepper corns and star aniseed
Olive oil, salt and pepper
I normally make chicken nuggets of the meat left over, when making chicken soup, but if you don’t have soup meat, a chicken breast filet can be used instead.
Cover the chicken filet in water. Add fresh herbs, aniseed and peppercorns, And let is simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove the chicken breast from the water, cut the meat fibres across and mash it lightly with a fork.
Make a thick besciamella or bechamel sauce by melting the butter in a casserole.
Add flour and stir vigorously for a few minutes.
Gradually stir in the milk until you have a thick cream with no lumps.
Add salt, pepper and grated nutmeg to the sauce.
Mix the chicken meat with the sauce and let it rest for a few minutes.
Make smal nuggets of the chicken mixture, roll the nuggets in white breadcrumbs and fry them in olive oil. You can also deep fry the chicken nuggets to give them a more uniform snack-like appearance.
Serve the chicken nuggets as part of an antipasti with vegetables, bread and grilled polenta.