Chick-fil-A, it’s the cheat food that many real food bloggers confess to eating, me being one of them. There is something about their juicy chicken inclosed in a savory and crunchy batter. Yum, I get hungry just thinking about it. If you hadn’t already guessed, I love Chick-fil-A! They have great customer service, it’s clean, I admire their reasoning for closing on Sundays, my cousins worked there and the chicken is just plain tasty.
Even though I indulge in it here and there when I’m out with my family I know that it’s not what my body needs to be eating. Since I only have it a handful of times a year I don’t feel too guilty about it. That being said, still not healthy.
The thing is I want to indulge far too often. Thankfully for me my budget rarely allows me too. Until this summer I lived over two hours (plus and country and a border wait) away from the closest Chick-fil-A. Even now I am about 30 minutes away so it isn’t really an issue. The issue is that I love the flavor and crave it. How did I solve that problem? By making my own of course, what else would I do? 😉
Making your own Chick-fil-A inspired treats isn’t as hard as you would think. You most likely have everything you need in your own kitchen just waiting to tantalize your taste buds! It’s rumored that Chick-fil-A uses pickle juice into brine their chicken. I don’t know if it’s actually true but I went for it. Why not? After making my old-fashioned dill pickles I have brine to spare plus I think it helps the chicken retain its natural juice. If you decide to leave it out increase the milk by 1/2 cup and add 1 tsp of salt when brining.
It took quite a few attempts to get the flavors I was looking for but now I am quite happy with the results. Does it taste 100% the same? No, but I am very happy with the results. Don’t forget to come back on Wednesday for my version of their “sauce”.
Okay, I’ll stop dragging it out and share the recipe. That’s why you’re here after all, right?
Nourishing Homemade Chick-fil-A Strips and Nuggets
- 2 lbs chicken
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup pickle juice
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups sprouted hard white wheat flour (or unbleached white flour)
- 2 TBS sucanat
- 4 tsp unrefined salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 4 cups of unrefined (flavorless) coconut oil, lard or palm shortening
- Cut the chicken into thin strips, about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide.
- Whisk the milk, pickle juice and eggs in a medium sized glass container.
- Place the chicken in the brine.
- Cover and place in the fridge for 1 to -5 hours.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a shallow flat dish about inch thick.
- Dip each chicken strip or nugget into the flour mixture. Be sure to completely cover the chicken.
- Heat the fat in a medium size cast iron skillet (or another heavy pan) on medium.
- Place up to 8 strips (20 nuggets) in the oil at a time. Cook the strips for about 3 minutes on each side. For the nuggets cook for 1 or 2 minutes on each side.
- You want the chicken to be golden brown.
- Remove the heat and place on a plate/tray that is lined with an old flour sack towel or paper towels.
- Repeat the process until all the chicken is fried.