Gluten, Grain, and Garbage-Free “Chick-fil-A” Nuggets
Regardless of how you feel about Chick-fil-A’s stance on current social issues, the quality of their food alone should be enough to boycott the restaurant chain. For example, let’s take a look at the ingredients list for their nuggets: 100% natural whole breast filet, seasoning (salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, spices, paprika), seasoned coater (enriched bleached flour [bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, nonfat milk, leavening [baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate], spice, soybean oil, color [paprika]), milk wash (water, egg, nonfat milk), peanut oil (fully refined peanut oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness and Dimethylpolysiloxane an anti-foaming agent added). So I set out to recreate these chicken nuggets, and most importantly, reduce the ingredients list of this dish from 30+ ingredients down to 10 with minimal compromise on taste.
- 2 lb 2 lb 2 lb Chicken Breast, sliced into 1" chunks
- 0.25 cup 0.25 cup 0.25 cup Fermented Dill Pickles (click for recipe), (pickle juice, not actual pickles!)
- 1 whole 1 whole 1 whole Egg, beaten
- 2 Tbsp 2 Tbsp 2 Tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream, Organic, or coconut milk
- 0.25 cup 0.25 cup 0.25 cup Tapioca Starch, or potato starch or arrowroot starch
- 1 Tbsp 1 Tbsp 1 Tbsp Paprika
- 1 tsp 1 tsp 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp 1 tsp 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 0.5 tsp 0.5 tsp 0.5 tsp Garlic Powder
- 2 pinch 2 pinch 2 pinch Cayenne Pepper
- 0.5 cup 0.5 cup 0.5 cup Lard, or coconut oil for frying
Note, these instructions are written assuming the standard serving size, since you have modified the number of servings, these steps may need to be modified for best results
- Place the chicken chunks in a resealable plastic bag and add the pickle juice; marinate in the fridge for an hour, but up to 4 hours.
- Open the bag and pour out any excess pickle juice. It doesnu2019t have to be perfectly drained, just not totally juicy. Add the beaten egg and the buttermilk/cream, and mix together, then let sit for five minutes. Again, open the bag and pour out the excess liquid, if there is any. Texture is important at this point u2013 the pieces should be wet but not swimming in a soup of pickle/egg/creamy goodness.
- Prep your dry ingredients by stirring them all together. Add the dry ingredients and mix them together in the bag, by a combination of shaking, rubbing, and pleading. Itu2019ll take a few minutes, so this is a good time to warm up your skillet of lard/oil on medium heat.
- Fry your chicken pieces, flipping every few minutes, until nice and golden brown. It should take about six to eight minutes per batch. Donu2019t overcrowd the skillet; it took me four batches to cook all two pounds of chicken. Use a splatter screen if you have one. Drain the chicken pieces on paper towels as you cook the others, and keep them warm in the oven at 170 degrees.
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