Gluten free Chick-Fil-A style nuggets

One thing I’ve learned, after six months of eating gluten free, largely avoiding restaurants and eating absolutely nothing deep fried? I WANT TO EAT SOMETHING DEEP FRIED.

A play:
Me: Vegetables again!
My face: looks sad, chews listlessly.
– Fin –

Chick-Fil-A was my very, very favorite thing to eat before I went gluten free. I may or may not have made the drive to the mall in Racine, Wisconsin, more than once, because that was the closest location to my house. I may or may not have eaten there more than three times when I was in Orlando last summer. I may or may not have had an order of chicken nuggets with waffle fries and their delicious lemonade as my last gluteny meal. I’m just saying, I have an unholy love for Chick-Fil-A. A love that cannot be sated.

Except now it can!

Gluten free Chick-Fil-A-style chicken nuggets.

I adapted this recipe from one I found here.

1 egg
1 cup of milk
1 cup of gluten free all purpose flour (I used Better Batter.)
3 tablespoons powdered sugar (Make sure this is gluten free. Most are, but double check to be safe.)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon garlic salt
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Cooking oil. Peanut is most authentic.

Dice the chicken into roughly one-inch pieces. They don’t have to be identical. This will make your food have character. Mix the cup of milk and the egg in a large-ish bowl, then marinate the chicken in the mixture for an hour or so in the fridge. You can go longer, no big deal. Just don’t go, like, a day. If you eat some sort of mutant chicken-milk-Mothra hybrid, that’s not on me.

When you’re ready to cook, heat up your oil. I do not have a deep fryer and in fact am a total chicken when it comes to frying things. I think it goes back to the time I was at my sister’s apartment and there was a grease fire and I just kept yelling, “Grease fire! Grease fire!” Therefore we just used a large stainless-steel skillet filled about an inch and a half deep with peanut oil. Heat the oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the oil is heating, mix flour, powdered sugar, garlic salt and pepper. Dredge the marinated chicken in the flour mixture, then repeat — flour, egg, flour. Once the oil is at the proper temperature, fry chicken in small-ish batches — I was able to handle maybe ten pieces without the oil really losing its heat. Cook until chicken is deep golden brown on each side.

Remove from oil and allow to drain on paper towels. I got a skimmer from Amazon for maybe $8 for this step and I’m really glad that I did.

Be aware — this makes a LOT of food. We used three chicken breasts because that’s what was in the package. It took forever. Bonus leftovers, though. This is also kind of a two-person job, if you can swing it.

I was really, really happy when we were able to finally eat! This might not be identical to the Chick-Fil-A recipe — I hear tell that they use pressure cookers for their deep frying, which sounds like some sort of sorcery or madness to me. I’m terrified enough of my pressure cooker. Adding gallons of boiling hot oil sounds like it would end up like that Canadian kitchen safety PSA that you can totally look up on your own because I am not going to do that to myself. Not again. The promise of vegetables all week is bad enough.


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I cannot wait to try this. My grandmother started my Chick-Fil-A obsession when I was a little girl. And then! When I got my first real job out of college and I realized that it was three minutes away from a C-F-A? I think I may have called home to share the joy. I’m looking at those crispy bits in the photo and it’s way too early for my mouth to be watering this way.

First, what a sad, sad little play. The vegetables and I cry for you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Next, OMG that chicken looks luscious and yummy–JUST LIKE CHICK-FIL-A!! I would really like to not have to mortgage my house to fund a CFA habit, but I’m steering in that direction. BUT, I’m very glad that you’ve found a delicious substitute to the crack, like methadone right?

Thank you for this~ This looks fab!
(It is a sad little play. One I’ve done myself. ;))
I printed this out.
Did you use a deep fryer or a skillet?
cheers~ Nance

Kim, I think if I ever lived three minutes away from a CFA my wallet would be the saddest wallet in Sadtown.

Pam, it is like methadone! I won’t suggest that you make the drive down to Aurora on a Saturday afternoon to sate your CFA needs. I definitely won’t tell you that you should get there before 6p or the drive through line will be out of the parking lot.

Nancy, I hope you like them! I used a deep skillet. I don’t have the counter space for a deep fryer, unfortunately. Also, the frying left a lot of schmutz in the pan, which I think would be a pain to strain out.

[quote]Pam, it is like methadone! I wonโ€™t suggest that you make the drive down to Aurora on a Saturday afternoon to sate your CFA needs. I definitely wonโ€™t tell you that you should get there before 6p or the drive through line will be out of the parking lot.

Good to NOT know these things. Um…do you think the 88 might be the best way to NOT take to get to Aurora from my house? Not that I need to know…

Can’t wait to try this.

Just wanted to let you know that all the chicken fast food places use pressure cookers with oil to cook their chicken. And yes, the thought is very scary, esp. in a home with children.

but chick-fil-a doesn’t use peanut oil, at least not for their fries. We have a friend with a severe peanut allergy and chick-fil-a is one of the few places they can eat the fries.

Carla, you’ll have to let me know how the recipe turns out for you. I thought it was pretty good without the pressure cooker, after all.

Good to know about the peanut oil. I do believe CFA has dedicated fryers for their fries, so it makes sense that there would be a different type of oil used.

[…] written before about how eating gluten free has put a damper on my deep fried snacking habit. Well, not anymore! A […]

This recipe looks great!!

We still eat at Chick-fil-A. They will grill the chicken strips on the grill that they use for the chargrilled chicken, so my kids can still enjoy the kids meals. ๐Ÿ™‚ Not quite as good as fried, but still quite tasty.

Also, I used to work at Chick-fil-A, and they do use peanut oil for all of their frying.

I can’t wait to try this recipe!

Stephanie, that’s good to know! A location will be opening soon near my house, so that sounds like an option for me.

Be sure to let me know how you like the nuggets!


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