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Pinned & prepped: Copycat Chick-fil-A nuggets

2012 March 13
by Emily Hill

Oh, how we love Chick-fil-A. Best. Chicken. Ever. And waffle fries. And peppermint chocolate chip milkshakes, which I REALLY wish would stick around all year. (Of course, the “my pleasure” they offer while refilling my Diet Coke almost makes up for it.)

With my kids being such huge fans of Chick-fil-A nuggets, I was super excited when my friend Sari sent me the link to this copycat recipe. I immediately pinned it and couldn’t wait to prep it.


One thing to note, this recipe requires marinating the chicken pieces for 2 to 4 hours, so plan ahead. But it’s totally worth it. Though not as perfect as the original Chick-fil-A nuggets, this copycat recipe comes pretty darn close. We made them last night and inhaled them.


copycat chick fil a nugget recipe

I agree with Iowa Girl Eats—the secret is totally in the pickle juice. Who knew?

The post also includes a recipe for honey mustard dipping sauce, but who wants that old standby when you can make a copycat recipe for the truly inspired Chick-fil-A Sauce? I swear I could bathe in that stuff.

Don’t tell, but I may hide extra packets in my purse to use at home. Sometimes I even bring a couple with me when I eat at other fast food restaurants so I can dip my French fries in it. Of course, if you share my secret, I’ll turn you in for all those extra Chick-fil-A mints you snagged during our last CFA play date. You know who you are…

But back to the Chick-fil-A Sauce recipe. If you want to make your own version at home (for dipping, not bathing), you need only two ingredients: Ken’s Honey Mustard dressing (no substitutes and BBQ sauce, smoky flavor. Serve this sauce with a side of copycat Chick-fil-A nuggets and you’ll be one step closer to Mother of the Year.

And it’s only March.

Printable recipe for copycat Chick-fil-A nuggets with Chick-fil-A sauce below.

Copycat Chick-fil-A Nuggets & Chick-fil-A Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Main dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Not as good as the real thing but pretty dang close. Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.
Ingredients
Chick-fil-A nuggets
  • 2 large chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Salt & pepper
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup dill pickle juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1¼ cups flour
  • 2 T powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ½ cup peanut oil, divided (or canola or vegetable oil)
Chick-fil-A sauce
  • 1 cup Ken’s Honey Mustard dressing (no substitutes)
  • 2 tsp BBQ sauce, smoky flavor
Instructions
Chick-fil-A nuggets
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Whisk together egg, milk and pickle juice and pour into a large resealable plastic bag or bowl. Add chicken pieces and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.
  3. Combine flour, powdered sugar, salt and pepper in a large resealable bag. Shake to combine.
  4. Remove chicken from the marinade and place in the bag. Shake to coat completely.
  5. Heat half the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Test the oil by dropping in a bit of the flour mixture. If it sizzles, it's ready. If it pops, it's too hot.
  6. Gently place chicken pieces into the oil. Do this in two batches so you don't crowd the chicken nuggets. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown on one side. Turn and cook an additional 3 to 4 more minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up any residual oil. Heat the remaining oil and continue with the other half of the chicken pieces.
Chick-fil-A sauce
  1. Combine dressing and barbecue sauce. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

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ps post script

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30 Responses Post a comment
  1. March 13, 2012

    Oh yum! Good thing I just bought some chicken … the kids will love this!
    Allison´s latest ~ Rainbow Colored Birthday Bash!My Profile

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    Emily Reply:

    I hope so! Mine thought they were pretty yummy. :)
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  2. March 13, 2012

    Now I want chicken for breakfast this morning….
    von´s latest ~ vangs is what the cool kids call ’em.My Profile

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    Emily Reply:

    We need to do a CFA morning play date sometime. I love their breakfast menu!
    Emily´s latest ~ Sneak peek: Chocolate Toffee Almond CookiesMy Profile

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  3. March 13, 2012

    Too funny! When I saw this in my Reader, all I kept thinking was how I wished there was a recipe for the little crack sauce in a plastic container. That stuff is heaven!

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    I’ve checked a few of the CFA Sauce recipes online and they all seem to be the same (Ken’s dressing plus smoky BBQ sauce), so you should be safe! ;)
    Emily´s latest ~ Backyard sledding hazardsMy Profile

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  4. March 13, 2012

    Seriously, pickle juice? Who knew?! I totally want to try these now. :)

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    You totally should! I’d love to try them again but bake them next time. Maybe just a light spray of Pam cooking spray to crisp them?
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  5. March 13, 2012

    Emily, where have you been all my life? My kids are going to be so excited over these.
    Gerb´s latest ~ 500 Things ProjectMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Yay!!! So glad!

    [Reply]

  6. March 14, 2012

    I have never eaten at Chick-Fil-A. Not sure why. There is not one very close around my home. But these look yummmmm.
    Karen Burton´s latest ~ Twitterpated, by Melanie JacobsonMy Profile

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    Emily Reply:

    Okay, we need to have a Chick-fil-A intervention. Next time you’re anywhere where there’s a location, promise me you’ll give it a try. And don’t forget the CFA Sauce!
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  7. March 15, 2012

    My husband is going to love me for this post. thank you sweet Emily, you are brilliant!

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Hopefully he’ll enjoy them. They’re not as heavenly as the real thing, of course, but they come cloes!
    Emily´s latest ~ Pinned & prepped: Copycat Chick-fil-A nuggetsMy Profile

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  8. H.F. permalink
    December 4, 2012

    I actually work there and the pickle juice is a rumor! Just to clear it up :)

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    It may be a rumor but I have to tell you, it makes them delicious! :)

    [Reply]

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