Like many, I am a fan of Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets. It’s one the only fast food nuggets I will allow my daughter to eat on occasion but recently I looked up the list of nugget ingredients and with all of the good qualities Chick-fil-A has, I was surprised at a few of the ingredients. This made me set out to try an make my own at home.
Looking at the ingredients, the most important factor is the peanut oil used in frying. Peanut oil has a unique flavor and while you can opt to use vegetable oil, it will definitely change the flavor of the nuggets. The remainder of the ingredients is a basic spice blend made of items you most likely already have in your pantry. Now that we can make these at home, we are going to start frying them and freezing them for quick dinners that can easily be re-heated in the oven. Paired with our Polynesian Sauce — my daughter says these are the best chicken nuggets ever.
It’s really hard to get away from monosodium glutamate (MSG) and it’s something I work hard to avoid because I have a MSG sensitivity. MSG sensitivity can cause symptoms in some people which include a headache (migraines), numbness, heart palpitations and even neck and chest pain. Since the FDA approved the use of MSG in foods in 1963, MSG has become one of the most common food additives used to intensify the flavor of food. It’s everywhere. It does occur naturally in many foods, like soy, but it’s added to most every pre-packaged or prepared food. It’s really hard to avoid but by cooking our foods at home and by making our own spice blends, we can significantly reduce the amount of MSG we consume. This is a good thing.
Copycat Chic-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets
- 2 cups peanut oil, for frying
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour or gluten free flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon fine Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, more or less to taste
- Heat peanut oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat to 350°F - about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together milk and egg for dredging. Add chicken and stir to coat.
- In a gallon size zip top bag or large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, paprika, confectioners' sugar, salt and pepper. Add chicken to the bag and shake to coat. Let the chicken stand in the flour mixture for 1 to 2 minutes - or until you are ready to fry.
- Add the chicken pieces into the skillet in batches being mindful not to over-crowd the pan. Cook until golden brown and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
To freeze, toss the fried chicken pieces onto a sheet pan and individually freeze so they do not stick together. Then transfer the frozen nuggets into a zip top storage bag. Re-heat in the oven at 350°F for 15 minutes or until hot in the center. Serve immediately.