If you think that purchased boned, skinned chicken breasts are the last word in time-savers, check out chicken breast nuggets and strips in the fresh poultry section of your supermarket.
Cut into bite-size chunks or slices usually no thicker than an inch, these petite breast pieces take advantage of an important principle of physics: smaller cooks faster. The payback ― even if the product is priced a little higher ― is time.
Chicken breast nuggets and strips are often available threaded on skewers, ready to broil or barbecue. Just baste with a favorite sauce.
The most important tip: Use high heat so meat cooks quickly ― and don't overcook. Pieces are done as soon as they are no longer pink in the center. Even a few minutes more on the heat makes the meat dry and tough.
MORE IDEAS FOR NUGGETS AND STRIPS
• Coat chicken pieces with blackberry jam thinned slightly with balsamic vinegar and a little chopped fresh rosemary. Broil as directed in recipe instructions.
• Brush skewered chicken pieces with honey mustard. Broil or grill.
• Mix chicken pieces with purchased jerk sauce. Stir-fry your choice of vegetables, then chicken. Spoon over rice cooked in reduced-fat coconut milk.
• Flavor apricot jam with enough mustard to give it a bite, then thin slightly with lemon juice. Brush this glaze onto skewered chicken pieces. Broil or grill.
• On skewers, alternate chicken pieces with vegetables such as cherry tomatoes and chunks of green onions and bell peppers. Broil or grill.
• Use lively seasonings to enhance flavor. Dry rubs and liquid marinades soak instantly into these small pieces.