Copycat Chick-fil-A Nuggets
Copycat Chick-fil-A Nuggets taste just like the real thing. I am in love with this easy recipe for dinner! We love to eat at Chick-fil-A but now we won’t have to spend as much money because now we can just eat at home instead.
Chick-fil-A uses Peanut Oil to fry their nuggets. It is worth the investment if you want them to taste just like the real thing or you can use another oil of choice 🙂
Some readers say that Chick-fil-A brines their nuggets in pickle juice (dill) and some don’t agree. You can always give it a try both ways and see what you think. We do not brine our nuggets and they taste amazing! We have also asked our local Chick-fil-A and they do not brine their nuggets.
When I make these for lunch or dinner, I also make this copycat Chick-fil-A Sauce and Chick-fil-A Lemonade Recipe.
This copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets Recipe tastes just like the real thing! This recipe will save you time and money!
Copycat Chick-fil-A Nuggets
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup milk
- 1 lb. skinless and boneless chicken breasts
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- peanut or canola oil for frying
- In a large bowl whisk milk and egg together.
- Place chicken on cutting board and cut into cubed bite size pieces; trim any fat that you may see.
- Place the chicken in the milk mixture and toss so that all is coated and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to soak.
- In another large bowl combine the dry ingredients listed above and stir
- In cast iron skillet or sauce pan (dutch oven) pour in oil so that its at least an inch deep on med/high heat.
- Remove the chicken from refrigerator and place about 8 pieces from the milk mixture into the flour mixture.
- Make sure all the chicken is coated with the flour and then place into the hot oil.
- Cook each side for at least 2-3 minutes or until golden brown (You want to make sure that chicken is no longer pink so you can cut one piece to test it out).
- Place the chicken on some paper towels to soak up any oil.
- Repeat the same steps with the rest of the chicken and serve.
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Shelley is a boy mom, marine wife, and is blessed with an amazing family. She loves sharing recipes, travel reviews and tips that focus on helping busy families make memories.
This recipe is going to make me so popular with the kiddos! pinned!
Corey from tinysidekick.com
Shingles to me…Peanut oil is out..and allergic.
You can use any oil that you want. 🙂
actually highly refined peanut oil has none of the peanut proteins remaining in it and will not affect you. Our son is severely allergic to peanuts and eats chick-fil-a with no problems, and winchell’s doughnuts too even though they cook in peanut oil.
Yummm! I love chicken nuggets but I’ve never tried a recipe like this before. Pinning and can’t wait to give it a go! I’d be thrilled if you’d come on over to Pink Recipe Box and link up at Creative Wednesdays: http://pinkrecipebox.com/creative-wednesdays-with-pink-recipe-box-2/
Who doen’t love a Chick Fil A Chicken Nugget, these look delicious. Thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope you are having a great weekend!
My husband and boys can’t get enough of Chick Fil A! I can’t wait to try these!
I was excited to make these for dinner tonight but ran out of time. Could you add the 30 minutes in the fridge to the prep time at the top please? Looks like mine will be waiting a full day!
Can I offer a variation? My husband worked at a chickfila in college and told me peanut oil was used for the chicken… Not canola. They had canola for the fries tho.
These were very tasty. Will make again for sure.
We are Chick-fil-A Fanatics and this is a must pin recipe! Love it!
I worked at CFA and they do use peanut oil to fry the chicken.
I made these tonight and they were great! I used the peanut oil like Chic-Fil-A does. With the CFA sauce, they tasted just like the real thing. Thanks for posting!
Chick fil a brines their chicken in pickle juice, also. May want to try that in addition.
the pickle brine is the most important part!
Great tip! Will update the post with that!
Chick-Fil-A does not use pickle juice. I don’t know why everyone thinks this. I was a kitchen manager there for 10 years.
Agreed Amy. I made chicken nuggets at Chick Fil A for several years. Chicken went from milk wash (where it didn’t marinate more than a few minutes) directly into the breading mixture. No pickle juice involved.
where does the chicken come from before it goes into the milk wash? i’ve done the pickle brine and it’s spot on with the chicken flavor from CFA
When I worked there, many years ago, there was pickle juice in the brine for the strips, not the nuggets. It definitely wasn’t the only ingredient, and I don’t remember anything else that was in the strip brine. The nuggets, however, are chunks of breast meat cut into bite sized pieces, dunked in the milkwash, then the flour mixture, then into a pressure fryer with peanut oil. This was 18 years ago though, so the pickle juice for the strips may have changed. I will definitely try this recipe at home, Chik-Fil-A always had the best nuggets!
I made these and they taste nothing like chic fila… They were good but bland… When I researched it it’s kissing marinating in pickle juice
Some say they use a pickle brine and some say not – however these taste just like the real thing to me!
I made these tonight. I was bummed that the didn’t turn out like yours. They were not as crispy as yours. I did everything you did but I used Vegetable oil. Maybe if I used peanut oil they would have been crispier. I will say they tasted wonderful. My kids, husband and I scarfed them down.
You should use peanut or canola oil – did you make sure to drain them well on paper towels? Another idea is to put them in the oven after they fry for a couple of minutes.
yes I did drain them well on paper towels. I don’t think putting them in the oven would have made them crispier. I think I will try the oil change and see if that helps. I noticed others pins had the same result so maybe it was the temp of the oil. The meat was very juicy and the crust was very tasty. Thanks for replying.
Putting them on a paper towel makes then soggy
I use vegetable oil to make chicken nuggets all the time. As well as canola and peanut. I’ve never had any issues with them not being crispy. Maybe your oil wasn’t quite hot enough. I dip a wooden spoon in the heated oil and if it doesn’t bubble a lot immediately it’s not ready.
I worked at Chickfila for awhile. They do not brine their chicken in pickle juice. The chicken is placed in a milk wash then dry mix before being pressure cooked in peanut oil. I can’t tell you everything that goes into the milk wash and dry mix because the recipe isn’t listed in the containers for these items. But the key to Chickfila’s taste is the pressure cooking and the peanut oil.
Made these the other night & tasted just like the real thing (besides the one I burned)! Boyfriend loved them as well! Planning to cook it again.
You will get a closure texture if you use breadcrumbs instead of flour. Otherwise you are very close in nailing it. I have come as close as I am going to get and changing to breadcrumbs made quite a difference. Even a blend of breadcrumbs and flour is better.
Yes! There’s no way you get the same crumbly breading that chick fil a has with regular flour. I see tutorial after tutorial after tutorial use flour and I know they’re not getting the crumbly consistency as chick fil a. Breadcrumbs are KEY!
Any chance anyone’s tried this with a gluten free flour ???
I would like to know the same thing. Anyone tried this with a GF flour ?
Planning on it for next week’s dinner.
Tomorrow we are having a “bad” food day – fried chicken fingers and butter-fried potatoes. I am going to use your recipe for the chicken – thanks!
Sounds like a great day 🙂
I was wandering if you have ever tried “deep frying” these? They look delicious, and can’t wait to make these and the sauce. Love that sauce and I agree with you I could bathe in this also 🙂 :). Thanks so much for posting both recipes (sauce and nuggets).
Making these tonight!
When I worked a CFA, years ago, the grilled chicken and the chicken strips were brined in a mixture of pickle juice, water, and seasoning.
Hubby loves Chick Fil-A nuggets. This will be a must to make for him.
These look good and like my kids would all eat them. thx
Do this freeze good?
We have not tried freezing.
I am confused by Step 3. Am I supposed to remove the chicken from the milk mixture and then put it in the fridge or am I marinating the chicken in milk mixture? Thanks!
You are soaking in the milk mixture in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
I, too, find this confusing. Step 6 says ‘Remove the chicken from refrigerator and place about 8 pieces in milk mixture and then into the flour mixture.’ Should this say instead to add those pieces to the flour?
I updated the recipe to make it easier to follow. Thanks!
Can these be deep fried?
We haven’t deep fried them. They are not deep fried at CFA they are pressure-cooked in 100% refined peanut oil.
I worked at Chick-fil-A 20 years ago. The grilled chicken and the strips were marinated in pickel juice! The filets and nuggets were soaked in milk wash and then put into flour mixture!
I made this for dinner tonight and it was well received. It tasted good, but didn’t bring back memories of CFA for me. I didn’t use peanut oil, so maybe this was part of the reason. I believe my oil was too hot and the first batch darkened quickly. The rest of the batches didn’t have the nice golden brown color as yours, although I allowed the oil to cool. Thank you for the recipe. I will try it again in the future with peanut oil and a lower frying temperature.
Another suggestion is to put all the dry ingredients in a ziploc baggy and shake them together then you can drop your chicken pieces in and shake away again. Easy clean up after you’re done! 🙂
I made these last night and they turned out AMAZING!!! I copied this recipe but added a couple things,
1) 1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt
2) 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
3) 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
4) double coated the chicken by tossing in flour mixture, back in egg wash, then back in flour mixture for the extra crunch
I’ve tried other copycat recipes but this has been the closest taste to the actual nuggets. The first time I did pickle juice. Skip that!!! They do not use pickle juice for nuggets, only for the grilled chicken and chicken tenders I believe! Enjoy!!!!
This was a HUGE hit with my family! My little girl said I should work at Chic-Fil-A!!! LOL
I’m trying this tonight! ! Quick question. ..can you freeze them after cooking & if so, how long will they keep in the freezer & how would you reheat from frozen
We have never tried that but I am sure they can be frozen. Just reheated in the oven on a low temp would be my guess since they are already cooked 🙂
I’m excited to try this. Can you bake these?
We haven’t tried that but I bet you can.
I should have read all the comments before making them with CANOLA oil….. They definitely do NOT taste like CFA however they were edible lol
Tried this and the sauce!!!!! Family loved it!!!!! Couldn’t believe how close it was to the actual thing!!!!!!! The sauce was dead on…..Will make this for company very soon!!!!
Hi! Could these be frozen and just popped in the over to heat up??
Yes, I think so.
They were good. A tad bland but that may be because I made 5 pounds of nuggets (to freeze). Sometimes recipes just don’t multiply well. I got a hint of the flavor so I think if I had doubled the seasonings it would have been AMAZING. My suggestion try a small batch first.
Tips for those that didn’t get them crispy. It is how you cook. Your oil should start at 350-375. It cools as you add chicken. Don’t overcrowd and don’t cook ant lower than 325. At those temps expect to cook for 3-4 mins. Also CLEAN oil is a must. If you are making a lot or wanting to reuse oil…stay away from that dark brown sludge look.
Best way to get that crisp non grease taste….drain on LOTS of paper towel over a cooling rack. Once nuggets are cool pop them in a paper bag (if needed sprinkle some of your fave seasoning or just a pinch of salt over them.) Shake gently until the whole bag looks covered in grease. Voila! You will have crisp nuggets that reheat from fridge or freezer o problems.
Taste like the original!!
Hello! I came across this CFA recipe and I’m trying to make these for my customers for my personal business. I bought canola oil instead of peanut oil. We have lactose milk by lactade, is that still okay to use for the brine?? I also have buttermilk as well! could either of those work?? and plus, with the pickle juice, does that do anything for the chicken overall?? thank you for your time 🙂