Watch Cooking Channel

Chicken Nuggets

Homemade Chicken Nuggets Recipe

In the small Southern town where I grew up, chicken shacks dot every other street corner, gas station, and strip mall. My first summer job was at one of those famous fry joints; I was 16 and had so much to learn. My best friend and I drank bottomless cherry cokes and ate too many French fries — it was three short months of greasy teenage bliss. Man, what I wouldn’t give to have that high school metabolism back!

As a veteran and self-proclaimed chicken joint “pro,” let me give you non-Southerners a couple of tips should you make it down this way. Chicken joints do one thing — fried chicken — and they do it well. Don’t even think about asking for grilled. You can get a plate, a box, or a bucket; all served with crinkle fries, slaw, and Texas toast. There are three options for a reason, so don’t try to over-complicate your order. (Simple works, folks, especially when high schoolers are running the register). And let’s not forget about that oh-so-special “special sauce.” Every spot has its own secret recipe, but they all taste pretty similar, and delicious, to me. Go ahead and order a couple of extras; you’re gonna need them.

In case you aren’t headed South anytime soon, here’s a recipe to give you a little taste of what you’re missing.

This is my interpretation of the chicken of my youth, and I think you’ll be quite pleased. First the chicken gets a long bath in pickle juice (my homage to a certain closed-on-Sunday classic) before getting a light and fluffy tempura batter that adds a modern twist. I’m also sharing my super-secret recipe for special sauce — it’s so dead-on you’ll never need to pay for those extras again.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets Recipe

Southern-style Chicken Nuggets and Special Sauce

Serves: 4 to 6
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours and 45 minutes (including marinating time)

For the chicken:
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into 3/4 to 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup dill pickle juice
1/4 cup hot sauce, such as Frank’s (optional)
Peanut or canola oil, for frying

For the special sauce:
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

For the tempura batter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup dill pickle juice

Marinate chicken in pickle juice and hot sauce for at least 4 hours (or overnight if possible).

To make the special sauce, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder. Adjust any seasonings, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the chicken, fill a Dutch oven or cast iron pot with 3 to 4 inches of peanut oil. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F, keeping a close watch on the thermometer, making sure not to exceed this temperature.

While the oil is heating, prepare the batter. Combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, paprika, baking soda, and cayenne in a large bowl. Add the egg whites, canola oil, and pickle juice and whisk until the mixture is thick and sticky (almost like glue). Stir the marinated chicken into the fry batter until every piece is completely coated.

Working in batches, fry the chicken until crisp and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. (The coated chicken pieces will want to clump together in the oil, so I like to put in each piece one by one.) The oil temperature will drop to approximately 350 degrees, which is the temperature you should maintain while frying. Return the oil to 375 degrees in between batches.

Using a spider, remove the cooked chicken to drain on a sheet pan lined with paper towels or a large brown paper bag. When all the chicken is fried, return oil to 375 degrees. (Taste chicken. If desired, drizzle additional pickle juice over chicken when it comes out of the fryer for a more predominant “pickle” flavor before continuing with second fry.)

Add ALL of the fried chicken back into the hot oil for 30 seconds to 1 minute. The second fry will not only re-heat the chicken but make it extra crispy. Remove the chicken back to the sheet pan lined with fresh paper towels or a large brown paper bag. Season generously with kosher salt.

Serve warm chicken immediately with the special sauce. If serving as an appetizer, you can put a toothpick through each piece. Reheat the chicken in the oven, if necessary.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets Recipe

Nealey moved from Alabama to the West Coast to follow her dreams, only to realize once there how much she missed good ol’ country cooking.  So she took to the kitchen and began re-creating the dishes of her past, but this time without any help from a can. What started out as a hobby turned into an obsession, so she quit her day job to pursue cooking, and eating, fulltime. Dixie Caviar is where you can follow her pursuits of all things Southern.

Get the printable recipe here.

 

 

Tags:

Comments (2531)

  1. cell phones posted 02/06/2013

    Online Article……

    [...]The information mentioned in the article are some of the best available [...]……

  2. AC posted 02/06/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  3. lottery posted 02/07/2013

    Sources…

    Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitor…

  4. international commerce posted 02/07/2013

    Yahoo results…

    While searching youtube I discovered this site in the results and I didn’t think it fit…

  5. exports posted 02/07/2013

    Recommeneded websites…

    [...]Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitors[...]……

  6. Virgil Galaviz posted 02/07/2013

    terrific provide…

    I believe this or even not should post the straightforward comment in order to express gratitude for you personally actually to produce those marvelous hints you’re showing as your blog. This expressly lengthy online investigation includes for the end…

  7. luggage label posted 02/08/2013

    Cool sites…

    [...]we came across a cool site that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[...]……

  8. HERBAL SMOKE posted 02/08/2013

    Bored at work…

    I like to browse in various places on the web, regularly I will go to Digg and follow thru…

  9. web model posted 02/08/2013

    Recommeneded websites…

    [...]Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitors[...]……

  10. refill powder posted 02/09/2013

    Superb website…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

  11. Sheep Placenta posted 02/09/2013

    You should check this out…

    [...] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well [...]……

  12. network posted 02/09/2013

    Online Article……

    [...]The information mentioned in the article are some of the best available [...]……

  13. Flyer Printing posted 02/09/2013

    Wikia…

    Wika linked to this place…

  14. approved contractor posted 02/09/2013

    News info…

    I was reading the news and I saw this really cool information…

  15. edmonton ab t5e posted 02/09/2013

    Superb website…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

  16. 425000 posted 02/10/2013

    Websites you should visit…

    [...]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[...]……

  17. Awesome website…

    [...]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[...]……

  18. trade value financing posted 02/10/2013

    Websites we think you should visit…

    [...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[...]……

  19. Helen Matthews posted 02/11/2013

    The Silent Shard…

    This will probably be quite handy for some of the work opportunities I intend to you should not only with my blogging site but…

  20. Dentist in Henderson NV posted 02/11/2013

    Cool sites…

    [...]we came across a cool site that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[...]……

  21. zyzz posted 02/12/2013

    Recommeneded websites…

    [...]Here are some of the websites we recommend for our visitors[...]……

  22. whiten teeth posted 02/12/2013

    Blogs ou should be reading…

    [...]Here is a Great Blog You Might Find Interesting that we Encourage You[...]……

  23. The Slave of the Husband…

    In search of ahead to studying more from you afterward!……

  24. windows engine more posted 02/13/2013

    Sources…

    [...]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]……

  25. naked women posted 02/14/2013

    The Ships’s Voyages…

    I believe know-how just makes it worse. Now there is a channel to in no way treatment, now there wouldn’t become a possibility for them to find….

  26. ant control using boric acid posted 02/15/2013

    Sources…

    [...]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]……

  27. asidehand initial amphicarpa posted 02/15/2013

    eligible for admission.and, generally there are only…

    a few courses which every student can not pursue after completing his/her schooling, such as bachelor of technology and mbbs. these are such courses which can only be pursued by a science background student.however, the criteria for getting admission i…

  28. Christian Culwell posted 02/15/2013

    Superb website…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

  29. Annabelle Sia posted 02/16/2013

    Related……

    [...]just beneath, are numerous totally not related articles to ours, however, they are surely worth going over[...]……

  30. monroe trailer shocks posted 02/16/2013

    Superb website…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

  31. Memory Foam mattress topper posted 02/16/2013

    Lenore Luecht…

    Lenore Luecht…

  32. Dante Hotchkiss posted 02/16/2013

    superb history…

    Thanks, I’ve only really been searching for info through this subject for any bit and additionally your personal web blog certainly could are foremost We have located up to be able to now. Still, how about each and every essential element? Lots concer…

  33. CHEAP HERBAL INCENSE posted 02/16/2013

    Blogs ou should be reading…

    [...]Here is a nice website You Might Find Interesting that we Encourage You to see[...]……

  34. 50 STATE LEGAL HERBAL INCENSE posted 02/16/2013

    You should check this out…

    [...] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well [...]……

  35. Pisanie prac licencjackich posted 02/17/2013

    Thorn of Girl…

    Very good information is usually identified on this web blog….

  36. wholesale wedding gowns posted 02/17/2013

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

    [...]usually posts some very interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[...]……

  37. dowiedz się więcej posted 02/17/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  38. Xenergy posted 02/17/2013

    Informative and precise…

    Its hard to find informative and accurate information but here I noted…

  39. legalizacion de documentos posted 02/17/2013

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

    [...]usually posts some very interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[...]……

  40. accentually assuade atorai posted 02/17/2013

    that you can gain nothing without the…

    proper, unique, useful & massive content. so, accordingly, you have started posting anything you know for 6 months. but when 6 months is finished, you’ll surely want some good reward for this hard job, won’t you? this time you’ll face the…

  41. find here posted 02/18/2013

    News info…

    I was reading the news and I saw this really interesting information…

  42. anoscope amatungula axised posted 02/18/2013

    the less the truth. some studies show…

    that it takes at least 10,000 hours of focused study to become good at something. if you are serious about becoming a good writer you will need large doses of perseverance served often. it also helps to have a mentor, someone…

  43. Auto Insurance Florida posted 02/18/2013

    Excellent website…

    the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the…

  44. payday loans online posted 02/18/2013

    Cole…

    I view something really special in this internet site….

  45. escalade ext posted 02/18/2013

    Websites you should visit…

    [...]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[...]……

  46. driving posted 02/18/2013

    Cool sites…

    [...]we came across a cool site that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[...]……

  47. The Birch of the Shadow…

    I think there may become a couple of duplicates, but an exceedingly useful listing! I’ve tweeted this. Lots of thanks for sharing!…

  48. HCG in Spansish posted 02/19/2013

    Superb website…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

  49. Ideas de negocios posted 02/19/2013

    Awesome website…

    [...]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[...]……

  50. video gamer posted 02/19/2013

    Bored at work…

    I like to look around the web, regularly I will just go to Stumble Upon and follow thru…

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c