McDonald's Chicken McNuggets are small pieces of chicken that have been breaded and fried. Served in boxes with either 4,6,9 or 20 pieces, they come in four varieties:

  • Round - These are circular nuggets that look like little chicken patties. They are the only nugget that is made of white meat chicken. Yes, it’s true, nuggets come in both white and dark meat varieties. The white meat is pale and spongy whereas the dark meat is fattier with dark splotches and globules. Round nuggets account for 7 of your average 20 piece.
  • Oval – These are oval on top and taper towards a point on the bottom. They are dark meat and make up 6 of 20.
  • Rectangular – These are roughly rectangular, dark meat nuggets accounting for just 3 in 20 nuggets.
  • Trapezoid – These resemble the rectangles but have one corner stretched out, Florida style. They are, of course, dark meat, and account for the remaining 4 nuggets.

Frankly, while I do enjoy eating them on occasion, the thing that Chicken McNuggets most remind me of is particle board. I envision some giant factory where they grind up chickens, add all sorts of fillers and chemicals and then injection mold them in to unnatural shapes. (Sorry, chickens don’t come with rectangular pieces).

The four sauces available are Sweet ‘N Sour, Barbeque, and Hot Mustard or just plain Honey.

The ingredients of the nuggets are: Chicken, marinated up to 8% with a solution of water, chicken seasoning (chicken, wheat starch, salt, butter oil, chicken fat, beef extract, vegetable shortening, roasted sesame seed oil, silicon dioxide (anticaking agent), thiamine hydrochloride), salt, sodium phosphates. Battered and breaded with water, enriched bleached wheat flour (niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, wheat flour, modified corn starch, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, dried whey, wheat starch, corn starch. Cooked in partially hydrogenated soybean and corn oils, TBHQ (to protect flavor), citric acid, dimethylpolysiloxane.

I recently saw a feature (20/20 or 60 minutes or some other similar show) on chicken McNuggets (as well as other nuggets). The ingredient "chicken" actually is a combination of meat by-products derived from chickens at some point. Ever wonder what they do with the skin and bones they get from the boneless skinless chicken breasts that are sold at the store? Yup, that's right. The bones are ground into a bone meal paste; the chicken skin (which contains most the fat on the bird) is also turned into a pasty type slop. Then both of these are mixed together with about 10% actual meat, pressed in to a form, frozen and shipped. When at a fast food place order chicken fingers that have an identifiable meat texture and muscle "grain" (just like wood). If you get something that is a consistent texture of particle board or pressed sawdust you are eating bone and skin, the stuff even scavengers leave behind.

Bon Appetite!

Through various experiences in working in the fast food industry(that is work falling in the category of "hello, can I take you order?") and everyday encounters, people in America tend to call everything that is of a chicken nugget appearence a Chicken McNugget. When working at a fast food restaurant, people would ask, "I'd like one order of Chiken McNuggets". I would reply, "This is Boston Market, if you want Chicken McNuggets, McDonald's is two blocks down the road", after saying this the customer would usually storm out the door, or attempt to reach over the counter and strangle me.

Even standing in line at my university's cafeteria, people have repeatedly asked for "Chicken McNuggets", when clearly the sign above the dish being served says Chicken Nuggets. Have we been McBrainwashed? Has an early exposure to McFood forced us into asking for it by name in every circumstance (like ordering a coke at any arbitrary restaurant). Perhaps that may be the McSitutation.

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