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. cream walet posted 08/17/2013

    Great Content…

    we like to honor many other internet pages on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out…

  2. dog training Leicester posted 08/17/2013

    dog training Leicester…

    [...]Here are a number of the web pages we recommend for our visitors[...]…

  3. hardwood flooring villa park ca…

    [...]very handful of internet websites that occur to be in depth below, from our point of view are undoubtedly properly really worth checking out[...]…

  4. garage door springs posted 08/17/2013

    Websites worth visiting…

    [...]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[...]……

  5. tappin huwde…

    polishlegal prior organizarii elektroflug forefathers bins gipameryenda….

  6. sildenafil synthesis posted 08/18/2013

    nuff piedmont…

    rufus yudis kulinarne utilizatorul overviewdata monocytes comisiei….

  7. Download android games for PC posted 08/18/2013

    Download android games for PC…

    [...]The facts talked about in the article are some of the best obtainable [...]…

  8. apartamentosbaratos en soldeu posted 08/18/2013

    apartamentosbaratos en soldeu…

    [...]always a large fan of linking to bloggers that I adore but really don’t get quite a bit of link adore from[...]…

  9. oferta puente diciembre andorra la vella 2013…

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

  10. astun villanua puente 2014 posted 08/19/2013

    astun villanua puente 2014…

    [...]although web-sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we really feel they may be in fact really worth a go by means of, so have a look[...]…

  11. Sites we like…

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

  12. Make Money Online With Blog posted 08/19/2013

    Great website…

    please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web…

  13. internet marketing strategies posted 08/19/2013

    internet marketing strategies…

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

  14. how to build wood shed posted 08/19/2013

    how to build wood shed…

    [...]the time to study or take a look at the material or sites we have linked to below the[...]…

  15. njrhjkmjnhdkmncdgkl posted 08/20/2013

    Title…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]…

  16. need help with math posted 08/20/2013

    need help with math…

    [...]here are some hyperlinks to websites that we link to for the reason that we feel they are worth visiting[...]…

  17. pumpkin faces painted posted 08/21/2013

    pumpkin faces painted…

    [...]we came across a cool web-site which you may well delight in. Take a appear when you want[...]…

  18. Greenwich CT Movers posted 08/21/2013

    Blogs you should be reading…

    please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web…

  19. nice watch posted 08/21/2013

    Great Content…

    we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out…

  20. stencils for face painting posted 08/21/2013

    stencils for face painting…

    [...]we came across a cool website which you could delight in. Take a search should you want[...]…

  21. google sniper 2 warrior forum posted 08/21/2013

    Blogs ou should be reading…

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

  22. uptrendcollege.com posted 08/21/2013

    uptrendcollege.com…

    [...]usually posts some quite intriguing stuff like this. If you are new to this site[...]…

  23. Filipino Food posted 08/21/2013

    Great website…

    [...]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[...]………

  24. 786-879-6669 posted 08/22/2013

    So cool…

    The information provided in the article are some of the best available…

  25. San antonio bail bonds posted 08/22/2013

    Websites we think you should visit…

    we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out…

  26. VPN for iPhone posted 08/22/2013

    Online Article…

    Every so often in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed above are the latest sites that we choose…

  27. San antonio bail bonds posted 08/22/2013

    Great Content…

    we like to honor many other internet pages on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out…

  28. exercise bikes posted 08/22/2013

    So cool…

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

  29. e cigarette free trial posted 08/22/2013

    Check this out…

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

  30. remedios caseros y naturales posted 08/22/2013

    Blogs you should be reading…

    please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web…

  31. Larry Weltman, Toronto posted 08/22/2013

    Larry Weltman, Toronto…

    He was a forward and guard on the basketball team, and a tailback on the football team. Weltman was known for his solid defensive skills…

  32. premature ejaculation test posted 08/22/2013

    razrabotala repossession…

    alrussafa fongto grypa steves lends largirea barque….

  33. Great website…

    [...]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[...]……

  34. Stems posted 08/22/2013

    Stems…

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

  35. home page posted 08/23/2013

    Websites worth visiting…

    [...]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[...]……

  36. page posted 08/23/2013

    Sites we Like……

    [...] Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose [...]……

  37. this web site posted 08/24/2013

    Sites we Like……

    [...] Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose [...]……

  38. Dog Agility Leicester posted 08/24/2013

    Dog Agility Leicester…

    Running dog agility in Leicester…

  39. this site posted 08/24/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

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

  40. OFERTA DE HOTELES CANCUN posted 08/25/2013

    OFERTA DE HOTELES CANCUN…

    [...]we like to honor several other world-wide-web web-sites around the web, even when they aren?t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages really worth checking out[...]…

  41. bonus kasyno bez depozytu posted 08/25/2013

    Sites we like…

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

  42. Prefabricated Metal Building posted 08/25/2013

    Excellent website…

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

  43. Steel Pole Barn posted 08/25/2013

    Websites we think you should visit…

    we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out…

  44. best hunting crossbow posted 08/25/2013

    Recommeneded websites…

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

  45. Card Processing posted 08/25/2013

    Card Processing…

    [...]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[...]…

  46. kasyno bez depozytu posted 08/25/2013

    Excellent website…

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

  47. payday loans online posted 08/26/2013

    Websites you should visit…

    Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose…

  48. craft beer posted 08/26/2013

    craft beer…

    [...]just beneath, are numerous absolutely not associated web pages to ours, even so, they are surely really worth going over[...]…

  49. yona restaurant posted 08/26/2013

    yona restaurant…

    [...]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a handful of unrelated information, nonetheless really worth taking a appear, whoa did a single master about Mid East has got more problerms too [...]…

  50. seo company posted 08/26/2013

    Recent Blogroll Additions…

    I saw this really great post today….

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c