My family and I loved Chick-Fil-A. Growing up in a Methodist Church, Chick-Fil-A was a usual staple for Youth meals and snacks.
However nowadays, we don’t partake in Chick-Fil-A for two reasons, one is the CEO’s stance on LBGTQ+ rights, and the other is my family’s celiac. Sure they have grilled chicken there as well, which isn’t bad, and they also offer gf buns if you get the grilled chicken sandwich, but the fam’s love of their fried chicken really hits home for us. So of course, I need to find a decent gluten free alternative.
Thank you Google & YouTube! As simple as substituting wheat flour for gluten free, I gathered my ingredients, got a large package of chicken breasts and started dinner.
You know I’m a fan of brining, so I was happy when I saw part of the preparation included their own brine with pickle juice. And since we’re doing nugget pieces instead of breasts, there was more surface area of the chicken to penetrate the meat.
After 3 hours, I drained the chicken in a colander and made my milk/egg mixture and placed the chicken back in the bowl as I prepped the flour breading and started heating up the deep fryer to 325 F.
Since I had so much chicken, and the smaller pieces meant more surface area, which means more flour to coat, I doubled the video’s recipe for this. Plus since they were small pieces I put it in a gallon ziplock bag to sort of ‘shake n bake’ the chicken to coat the pieces evenly.
Afterwards, I dumped the chicken & flour mixture back into the colander to shake off excess flour mix and prep for frying.
Lately, whenever I fry something, I use my cast iron skillet. It’s just deep enough for cuts of meat like chicken breast, fish fillets or making chicken fried steak. But with dozens of tiny nuggets I’d have to cook, then flip and cook some more, it was time to pull out the big guns: my deep fryer. And once it hit 325, I fried the chicken in 4 batches to keep from crowding.
Now, in the video, she says to fry for 8 minutes but this was for whole breasts. The nuggets took less time, about 6 minutes. So, here’s something about gluten free flour: it doesn’t brown as quickly as wheat, so to get that golden-brown & delicious, you’d have to cook it longer. Longer cook time can mean dryer meats. Fortunately, with brining, this gives me a cushion to keep its moisture when cooking longer. If you’re using regular flour, or don’t care for it to be GBD, I’d say about 4 minutes is enough then.
So, once all fried up, it was time to plate and consume. And the family was happy! I think everyone went back for seconds and we still had a ton left over. Overall a great success!
One bonus for extra nuggets is I can also make another Chick-Fil-A foods I’m addicted to, which they no longer make. Chicken Salad.
Fortunately, Chick-Fil-A posted their recipe since they deprecated this from their menu. So, a quick chop of the nuggets and mixing of the other ingredients, I had chicken salad to boot. And I may have fixed a sandwich shortly after eating my share of nuggets and tots.