The Best Ever Chicken Nuggets

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This is my Chick-Fil-A ® Copy Cat Recipe, better known as the best ever chicken nuggets! They are crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. You will never have to go get take out again with this easy recipe. I think every kid on the planet loves chicken nuggets, right? Give the Best Ever Chicken Nuggets a try!

When I was frying these chicken nuggets, I was snacking on them as they cooled down. I have to laugh, by the time I was finished cooking them I couldn’t eat dinner. Yes, they are that yummy! I have heard that Chick-Fil-A ® now sells its dipping sauces which are awesome.

The Best Ever Chicken Nuggets

Do your kids and grandkids love dipping them in a sauce? It doesn’t matter what sauce as long as we have something for them to dip in, right? I remember I had a granddaughter who went through a phase where she had to have sour cream to dip everything she ate in it. In case you missed this post, The Best BBQ Chicken Legs Recipe

Kitchen Items You May Need

While making these Chicken Nuggets aren’t as simple as driving up to the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru, they taste great and can save you some time and money. Most of these kitchen items, you likely already have in your kitchen. Grab these kitchen items you may need and let’s get to work making the most homemade chicken nuggets you’ll ever make in your own home:

The Best Ever Chicken Nuggets

(Chick-Fil-A ® Copy Cat Recipe)

Chick-Fil-A ® Copy Cat Recipe

Step One

I wash my chicken before I cook it, it’s how I roll. It’s easier if you use a colander to drain the pieces. Please note, I bleach my sink after rinsing them.

Rinse the Chicken Pieces

Step Two

Assemble the ingredients for the marinate, the milk, egg, and pickle juice. Cut the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Please note, I used chicken tenderloins today because I didn’t have any chicken breasts.

You can eye-ball the amount needed. It doesn’t have to be exactly two chicken breasts.

Chicken Ingredients

Step Three

Combine the milk, egg, and dill pickle juice in a bowl.

Combine the Ingredients

Step Four

Now whisk the milk, the egg, and pickle juice together.

Use a hand mixer to whip the mixture

Step Five

Place the chicken pieces in the milk mixture, cover, and let it marinate for 2-4 hours in the refrigerator.

Marinate the Chicken

Step Six

Next, grab a gallon size baggie and mix the dry ingredients, flour, powdered sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.

Mixing the Dry Ingredients

Step Seven

After the allotted marinate time, place the chicken pieces (drained) in the baggie with the flour mixture, seal, and shake until completely coated.

Dredge the Chicken

Step Eight

Heat the oil in a frying pan until it reaches 375 degrees. Place about 10-12 chicken nuggets in the hot oil, I used Canola oil today. Cook until golden brown, turning the pieces halfway through the cooking time.

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The chicken pieces will start to turn white. When cooked the chicken pieces should register 165 degrees to be safe for eating. I always use a meat thermometer to make sure the meat I cook is safe to consume. Meat Thermometer

Frying Chicken Nuggets

Finished Product

Drain the cooked chicken nuggets on some paper towels in a baking sheet as shown below. Serve with your favorite chicken dipping sauce.

Cooked Chicken Nuggets

Chicken Nuggets Recipe

5 from 5 votes
Cooked Chicken Nuggets
Chicken Nuggets (Chick-Fil-A ® Copy Cat Recipe)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Marinate Chicken Chunks
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 20 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Author: Linda Loosli
Ingredients
  • 2 Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless (cubed in bite-size pieces) I used Chicken Tenderloins today.
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup dill pickle juice (optional, but I used it)
  • 1-1/4 cups white flour (I use bread flour, that's what I stock)
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • Canola or Peanut Oil about 1 inch deep in a frying pan (I've used vegetable oil as well).
Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Honey
  • Lemon to taste
Instructions
  1. Grab a medium-size bowl and whisk the milk, the egg, and pickle juice together. Cut the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Place the chicken pieces in the milk mixture, cover, and let it marinate for 2-4 hours in the refrigerator. Next, grab a gallon size baggie and mix the dry ingredients, flour, powdered sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. After the allotted marinate time, place the chicken pieces in the baggie with the flour mixture, seal, and shake until completely coated.

    Heat the oil in a frying pan until it reaches 375 degrees. Place about 10-12 chicken nuggets in the hot oil. Cook until golden brown, turning the pieces halfway through. The chicken pieces will start to turn white. When cooked the chicken pieces should register 165 degrees to be safe for eating. Drain them on paper towels. Serve with your favorite chicken dipping sauce.

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
  1. Combine the ingredients and whisk until smooth.

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What Can I Serve With These?

Is it Bad to Wash Chicken Before Cooking It?

There is a potential for getting campylobacter bacteria if you wash your chicken before you cook it. The idea is that the campylobacter cells can splash up from rinsing the raw chicken under your tap water.

It doesn’t take much to spread the bacteria via hands, countertop, or cooking utensils to cause food poisoning. Whatever you do, make sure you wash anything you think that the chicken bacteria has touched.

How Long Can I Keep the Raw Chicken in the Refrigerator?

Here again, according to the USDA, raw poultry, whether it’s a whole chicken, breast, thigh, leg pieces, or ground chicken, keep the chicken in the refrigerator only 1-2 days maximum to be safe.

Most of the time, when I cook this meal, it doesn’t even last on the kitchen table. It gets eaten up so quickly, which is why I don’t have to worry too much about how long it will stay in the fridge.

How Long Will Cooked Chicken Stay Good in the Fridge?

According to the USDA, cooked chicken is safe to store in your refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container. If you plan on keeping it for a longer time, you will want to put it in the freezer.

Even when stored in the fridge, the cooked chicken needs to be properly covered. You don’t want to leave chicken uncovered in the fridge because it can easily dry out.

Can I Freeze These?

Yes, you can freeze the cooked chicken. I store mine in quart size baggies and thaw them in the refrigerator for lunch the next day. It will keep for about three months.

Keep in mind that the key to freezing anything is to make sure they are in proper airtight containers. If the air reaches the food, then it can easily become freezer burnt.

Final Word

Please let me know if you try making the Best Ever Chicken Nuggets. There is something awesome about making meals from scratch and serving them to family and friends. This recipe is a keeper and I can’t wait to make it for my grandkids when they come to visit.

It’s critical we teach our kids and grandkids to cook from scratch, it’s a skill they need for life. Please keep prepping, we must. May God Bless this world, Linda

17 thoughts on “The Best Ever Chicken Nuggets

  • February 2, 2021 at 7:16 am
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    5 stars
    I can’t wait to make these!!! They look so delicious

    Reply
  • February 2, 2021 at 7:36 am
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    5 stars
    Oh my goodness! These look so yummy!

    Reply
    • February 2, 2021 at 9:12 am
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      Hi Tiffany, these are actually really easy to make and so much cheaper! Linda

      Reply
  • February 2, 2021 at 8:55 am
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    Good Morning, Linda. It’s the “Picky” eater. I AM going to try this recipe, but I’m leaving out the powder sugar. That’s probably why I don’t like Chick-Fil-A. Just don’t care for meat that is sweet. But, that’s me. Who would have thought of using pickle juice. I’ve done a saltwater brine before on chicken, guess it does the same thing. I love chicken nuggets, just haven’t found a recipe that I’ve liked so far. Thanks for the recipe. Looking forward to trying this out.

    Reply
    • February 2, 2021 at 9:14 am
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      Hi Pam, LOL! The picky eater. As I was making these I realized that maybe the pickle juice “makes” the milk “buttermilk” in a sense. Anyway, the recipe is my mom’s fried chicken recipe I was raised on. I just cut up the chicken pieces. BAM! No pickle juice back then in her fried chicken! Have fun, Linda

      Reply
      • February 2, 2021 at 9:18 am
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        Hi Linda. I bet you’re correct on the pickle juice. I think I’ll try 1 1/2 C buttermilk and see what happens. I’ll let you know. Thanks for the idea! Pam

        Reply
  • February 2, 2021 at 9:26 am
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    5 stars
    Omg! These look sooo good! I can’t wait to try them! I have some chicken in my fridge right now. I know what I’m making for dinner! Thank you sooo much for sharing! My mouth is watering!❤️

    Reply
    • February 2, 2021 at 9:40 am
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      Hi Camille, these cost about $7.00 to make including the oil for about 50-60 nuggets! Have fun! Linda

      Reply
  • February 2, 2021 at 9:44 am
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    5 stars
    I love chicken and these sound so yummy! Can’t wait to try them. But . . . It’ll have to be this week end. We’re having leftover (Encore) roast with potatoes and carrots today, and then I’m making pulled pork tomorrow. I try to make enough for two to three days.

    Reply
    • February 2, 2021 at 9:57 am
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      Hi Deborah, oh I love pulled pork. What is Encore roast beef? I love these little chicken nuggets. Have fun! Linda

      Reply
      • February 2, 2021 at 11:11 am
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        Left overs. Just a new name for them. Encore just sounds better. LOL
        I made a roast with potatoes and carrots yesterday in the crockpot. There was enough left for tonight.
        That makes it an Encore meal.

        Reply
        • February 2, 2021 at 1:09 pm
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          Hi Deborah, duh, oh my gosh, I thought it was a fancy recipe!! LOL! Mark and I have many Encore meals!!! Now I have the giggles, life is good! Linda

          Reply
      • February 2, 2021 at 11:19 am
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        I love Chic-FIL-A. I’ve gotta try these. When I make chicken strips, I use a flour, then buttermilk and flour batter and deep fry them. We have two deep fryers. One is dedicated for potatoes, the other for chicken. Linda, have you ever tried baked fried chicken? It’s pretty good. You spray the peaking pan with cooking spray. Batter your chicken (or cube steak), place on the baking tray. Spray the top of the chicken. And bake at 350 until chicken is done. The cube steak makes chicken fried steak in the oven. I’ve made both. Not as greasy or as high in grease as deep or pan fried. But good if you need to watch your fat intake.

        Reply
        • February 2, 2021 at 1:10 pm
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          Hi Deborah, I for sure need to watch my fat intake and calories. LOL! I love this I will try it for sure! Linda

          Reply
  • February 3, 2021 at 8:32 pm
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    5 stars
    I am totally making these, maybe tomorrow! We bought a huge pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts – this recipe sounds like the perfect way to use some of them. And we LOVE Chick Fil A! 🙂

    Reply
    • February 4, 2021 at 7:00 am
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      Hi Amy, oh my gosh, they are good the next day too! They are as close to Chick Fil A as I could get them. I made like 50+ nuggets for $7.00 including the container of oil. I live about 12 miles from a Chick Fil A and rarely eat out so this is why I had to figure out how to make them. Have fun!!! Linda

      Reply

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