I do not have a ton in common with children, but I hear they like chicken nuggets, and this is a feeling I can relate to. Little morsels of breaded bird are simple, delicious, and comforting, and clinging to simple comforts is something I find myself doing more and more. (It’s called regressing! Look it up!)
The only quibble I have with chicken nuggets is that they take too long to crisp up in the oven. Yes, you can do the combo nuke-in-microwave-then-crisp-in-the-oven move, but now we’re getting multiple appliances involved, which seems like too much work for what is supposed to a be a simple comfort, particularly when the waffle iron is right there (in the cabinet next to the Instant Pot).
Instead of the 10 or so minutes required to preheat the oven, plus the 12-17 minutes it takes to cook the nugs to crisp perfection, a mere five or seven minute smash in the waffle iron is all that’s needed to turn frozen chicken nuggets into hot, crunchy morsels that are more than ready for dipping. (Some might say they are over-prepared for dipping! The little waffled indentations were made for holding sweet and sour sauce!)
Like all frozen foods we’ve waffled, you have to be slightly (but not very) patient when pressing the plates together. Don’t force it. Just place the nugs in your waffle maker, leaving at least half an inch of space in between each one (the sides can get soggy if they touch). Close the waffle maker, letting the hot plate rest on top of the nugs, wait a minute, then gently press down. Repeat until the waffle maker is about half an inch from closed, then let the nuggets cook until they are golden brown and completely crispy.
Serve them to your children, serve them to your inner child, serve them to a whiney significant other. Just make sure you serve them with sauce. (I hoard McDonald’s Sweet & Sour for occasions such as these.)