We LOVE. I mean REALLY LOVE Chick-Fil-A® around here. Somehow the craving hits hardest on Sundays though! And as we all know, Mr. Cathy has made it company policy from the very beginning that the stores would be closed on Sunday, so that his staff can enjoy worship at their personal houses of worship and with their families. Wonderful policy if you ask me, but I digress.
I’ve always been one to taste all the subtleties of my food and when I’ve found a meal in a restaurant particularly appetizing, I’ve set out to figure out the components so that I could reproduce the same meal at home. Sometimes with less than success and sometimes.. like this one, EUREKA! I’ve become a copy-cow!
Mind you, I have NO connection with the Chick-Fil-A® company, nor do I know their secret recipe (but I think I’ve gotten darned close) Give these ‘nuggets’ a try! The recipe can be used for strips or boneless chicken breasts as well, with equally good results. I usually fry them up and toss them into a fresh garden salad and serve up with our favorite ranch or honey mustard dressing. Makes a great week-end meal or a quick and simple week day dinner.
- Buttermilk (enough to cover and soak chicken pieces)
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized nuggets
- ¾ cup bread crumbs made from dry, toasted bread
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon Lawry’s® season salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk (if needed to throroughly cover chicken)
- 2 eggs, whisked thoroughly
- vegetable oil, for frying
- In a large bowl, add chicken pieces and buttermilk.
- Allow chicken to soak in the buttermilk as long as you can (at least one hour, but preferably overnight).
- Place dried bread into a food processor and process until fine.
- Pulse in the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, sugar, seasoning salt, pepper and paprika.
- In a large dutch oven (or deep fryer if you have one), heat 2 inches of vegetable [or peanut] oil to 350 degrees over medium-high heat.
- Transfer flour mixture to a bowl.
- Whisk eggs in a separate bowl.
- Piece by piece, remove chicken from buttermilk and dredge in bread crumb/flour mixture, then egg wash, then back into bread crumb/flour mixture.
- Once all pieces have been coated, you can start putting them into the hot oil.( Be careful not to overload your fryer basket or place too many pieces into your oil, the chicken won’t cook evenly and will take longer to cook)
- Cook for about 1½ minutes, then turn chicken pieces over, if necessary, and cook for another 1½- 2 minutes.(look for a golden brown crust, don’t over cook)
- Transfer chicken pieces to a paper towel lined plate to absorb any excess oil.
- OR place on metal rack with paper toweling below for a crisper nugget.
- Repeat with remaining chicken.