Sunday, October 21, 2012

Take that S. Truett Cathay!

I think it's wrong to tease people.  I've never been a fan of dangling a carrot in front of someone, knowing that they're never going to be able to reach it.  Frankly, it's just plain rude.  Much like Chick Fil A advertising during Sunday football games.  I get it, your a company that embraces Christian values and wants to give your employees Sundays off as "family" time.  Heck, I even respect it (despite the fact that the only time I really crave your food is on Sunday), but if you're going to be closed, don't air your commercials during halftime on Sunday afternoon.  It just isn't nice.

Fast forward through several weeks of torment to this Sunday.  I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands and with a little research, managed to pretty closely replicate the amazing wondrousness that is the Chick Fil A chicken nugget in my own kitchen.  Yes, you read right, you too can make your own knock off Chick Fil A with just a little help from my recipe.

Start by cutting 1 lb. of chicken breast (or tenders) to bite size chunks (about 1 inch square).  Put them into a ziplock bag with 2 cups of pickle juice and roll out as much of the air as possible .  Yes, pickle juice.  This brines the chicken and keeps it moist during the cooking process.  It's best if you can let this sit for around 12 hours.

Drain off the pickle juice and add 3/4 cup milk and 1 egg to the bag.  Combine well to coat all the pieces of chicken.  Again, squeeze the air out and let this sit for about 3 hours.

In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups all purpose whole wheat flour, 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon white pepper, and 1 tablespoon granulated garlic.  Mix well and set aside.  This is going to be the breading for your nuggets.

In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of peanut oil to around 350 degrees fahrenheit.  Ideally, you'll want to use a candy thermometer to monitor the temp of the oil as your cooking.  If your oil gets too hot, it'll start to smoke, if it gets too cold, you'll end up with oily chicken.

Taking about 4 pieces of chicken at a time, coat them thoroughly with the flour mixture and place them in the oil.  Don't try to cook too many pieces at once or you'll drop your oil temp too quickly.  Each batch takes about 6-8 minutes - cook until golden brown (I use a meat thermometer to check random pieces periodically and make sure they're cooked to 165 degrees).

I made two dipping sauces to accompany them - a healthy buffalo ranch and a knock off Chick Fil A sauce.

To create the ranch, combine 1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons lowfat milk, 1 tablespoon Penzey's Buttermilk Ranch seasoning mix, 1 teaspoon toasted minced onion, salt, pepper and tabasco sauce to taste.  If you eat the entire batch, you're looking at about 70 calories - no too bad compared to Hidden Valley.

The Chick Fil A sauce is a combination of 3 tablespoons BBQ sauce, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon light mayonaise, 1 tablespoon honey and salt and pepper to taste.


  1. why do you pick on chick-fil-a .there are hundreds of businesses that advertise on Sunday!!!! They are one of the most wonderful companies ever. I wish every business gave there employees Sundays off,dont you?

  2. I must agree, it's very tacky for you to pick on a company and post it on here. I get that the internet is where anyone can post their views but I feel that was unnecessary and just rude.

  3. I apologize that you both feel I was picking on Chick Fil A. I'm actually a proponent of the company and enjoy their food - hence the desire to recreate it myself. This was not written as an attack on the company, merely voicing the frustrations my boyfriend and I have experienced while watching a football game and not being able to do so while enjoying a Chick Fil A sandwich coupled with my solution to the problem.

  4. You did not specify if it is sweet pickle or dill pickle juice for the brine?

  5. Apologies, you want to use dill or sour pickle juice, not sweet or bread and butter.

  6. I think Bama and Anonymous maybe didn't read the entire article otherwise I feel like it would've been quite obvious you were going for laughs instead of actually putting the company down. Lighten up people. It's a food blog. Found this recipe on Pinterest and it's exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the lovely recipe and witty post as the Hubsters and I both seem to always crave Chick Fil A on Sundays as well. Heck, I even worked at one in Downtown ATL for over a year and I still get sad on Sundays when I can't buy it. lol.