I Made Copycat Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets
A few days ago, I was really craving Chick-Fil-A’s chicken nuggets. So I thought, why not try to make them?
I was originally going to follow the recipe from the TikTok, until I realized that the recipe is fake — as you can see, it was debunked here: Chick-Fil-A does NOT use pickle juice in their nuggets.
Obviously, I had to try it. So here it is, folks:
I started by gathering all of my ingredients. The recipe calls for chicken breasts, milk, peanut oil, flour, powdered sugar, bread crumbs, eggs, salt, pepper, and chili powder.
First, I blended the bread crumbs for about 20 seconds to make sure they were super fine. The recipe recommends a food processor, but a blender worked just fine.
I also cut the chicken into even, bite-sized pieces. I definitely could have cut everything a little smaller, but it did not prove to be too much of an issue.
In a separate bowl, I mixed the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and chili powder. I added the chicken pieces into the liquid mixture, and then set it in my fridge for about 20 minutes.
In another bowl, I mixed the flour, powdered sugar, and more chili powder, salt, and pepper. (Honestly, I was so freaked out about the powdered sugar. Why are we dumping sugar in chicken breading? Whatever. I still added it to the mix anyway.)
After I prepared the breading mixtures, I heated the peanut oil. I actually ended up using the ENTIRE bottle of oil, since the recipe said to pour in about 3 inches worth. So that was another moment that I realized this recipe was super healthy.
I set the heat on medium, and it took around 10 minutes to be fry-ready. You want to make sure the oil is hot enough, which is around 365 to 375 degrees. (Pro tip: make sure to open your windows and turn your kitchen fan on because my fire alarms were causing a ruckus.)
Then, it was time to get to work. After dunking the chicken pieces in the liquid mixture, I rolled them around in the dry stuff. Your hands WILL get messy for this, so be prepared.
After making sure each piece of chicken was evenly coated with batter, I fried them 3 at a time.
I left them to cook in the oil for about 5 to 6 minutes and checked that each piece was at least 165 degrees — that’s how you’ll know its done. (Had to put this piece back in and let it cook more!)
The first one turned out so great, don’t you think?
I repeated all the steps — dunking each chicken in breading, and then frying — until I cooked all of the pieces.
And, of course, to put the recipe to the ultimate test, I decided to buy actual Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets to compare them with the ones I made.
Already, just by looking at the two side by side, you can see that my pieces definitely had more breading on them. They were about the same in color, and the Chick-Fil-A nuggets were slightly smaller in size compared to mine.
The insides of the nuggets looked very similar, although I definitely noticed that the homemade ones looked healthier? (lol) If you look closely, the Chick-Fil-A nuggets had holes in the chicken, and the homemade ones didn’t. I used organic, free-range chicken breasts, so I would think that had something to do with the minimal holes? (I don’t know. Let me know if you know what this was.)
Verdict — honestly, I think my version won. And before I brag about how good my chicken turned out, I will say I definitely could have upped the seasonings on the homemade ones, because they did actually taste less flavorful than Chick-Fil-A’s. HOWEVER, with the Chick-Fil-A sauce, I liked mine way more than the fast food chain’s. My version was also way crispier. There was this crunchy yet doughy breading covering the chicken, so eating my chicken nuggets was an entire experience in itself.
So, yes, I would make this again. The only downside is that the entire cooking process takes a bit of time and commitment — around an hour’s worth. And the cleanup isn’t that fun. But these could definitely be a great weekend project and a fun meal to cook for a party or social gathering.