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. Visitor recommendations…

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

  2. ashes of al'ar posted 12/07/2012

    Links…

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

  3. finance posted 12/07/2012

    Websites you should visit…

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

  4. vancouver group buy forum posted 12/07/2012

    highly considered publish…

    We won’t truly really understand earn money ended upward such, but My personal companion along with i assumed this type of submit was currently superb. We will not discover you’re usually but undoubtedly you most likely will the specific well-known d…

  5. Pittsburgh Photographers posted 12/07/2012

    Gems form the internet…

    [...]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]……

  6. Cash Advances posted 12/07/2012

    Online Article…

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

  7. window cling posted 12/07/2012

    Visitor recommendations…

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

  8. personal injury solicitors posted 12/07/2012

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

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

  9. DVD cover design posted 12/08/2012

    Links…

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

  10. Why Not Try Here posted 12/08/2012

    Sites we Like……

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

  11. Visit Here posted 12/08/2012

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

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

  12. finders for venues posted 12/08/2012

    Sources…

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

  13. Click Here To Find Out More posted 12/08/2012

    Superb website…

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

  14. locksmith in camarillo posted 12/08/2012

    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[...]……

  15. Check Out This Site posted 12/09/2012

    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[...]……

  16. jiu jitsu class posted 12/09/2012

    Sources…

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

  17. judo posted 12/09/2012

    Awesome website…

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

  18. tai chi posted 12/09/2012

    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 [...]……

  19. Have A Peek Here posted 12/09/2012

    Websites worth visiting…

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

  20. brain Coral posted 12/09/2012

    Websites you should visit…

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

  21. Payday Loans posted 12/09/2012

    Payday Loans…

    Nice article thanks…

  22. home improvement posted 12/09/2012

    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 [...]……

  23. australian online shopping posted 12/09/2012

    Awesome website…

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

  24. making money posted 12/09/2012

    Check this out…

    [...] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]……

  25. Pop Over To This Site posted 12/10/2012

    Awesome website…

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

  26. Why Not Try Here posted 12/10/2012

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

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

  27. website creation posted 12/10/2012

    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[...]……

  28. I was reading this posted 12/10/2012

    Blogs ou should be reading…

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

  29. euro millions posted 12/10/2012

    Sites we Like……

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

  30. Texte erstellen posted 12/10/2012

    Text Spinner…

    [...] Geschäftstätigkeit kümmern? Erstellen Sie Ihre Webseiteninhalte mit Hilfe geeigneter Content Creation Software. Sparen Sie so wertvolle Zeit, [...]…

  31. 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[...]……

  32. You Could Try Here posted 12/11/2012

    Cool sites…

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

  33. locksmiths simi valley posted 12/11/2012

    Recommeneded websites…

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

  34. Gems form the internet…

    [...]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]……

  35. Head Shop posted 12/11/2012

    Recommeneded websites…

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

  36. nude women posted 12/11/2012

    Souls in the Waves…

    Excellent Early morning, I just stopped in to visit your website and assumed I would say I loved myself….

  37. Herbal Smoking posted 12/11/2012

    Check this out…

    [...] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]……

  38. loans in Albuquerque posted 12/11/2012

    Blogs ou should be reading…

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

  39. albuquerque title loans posted 12/11/2012

    Superb website…

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

  40. Herbal Smoke Online posted 12/11/2012

    Online Article……

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

  41. Spice Smoke Reviews posted 12/11/2012

    Check this out…

    [...] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]……

  42. valuuttamuunnin posted 12/11/2012

    Sites we like…

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

  43. Stylish Pet Supplies posted 12/11/2012

    blogs are very easy to promote. lastly,…

    blogs are powerful influencers. given all these things, you can say that blogs are very effective marketing tools.if you are planning to use blogs in further promoting your company, you need the help of seo blog tips. these useful pieces of…

  44. bad credit car dealership posted 12/11/2012

    opportunity. and, within the process of dealing…

    with a problem creatively, one of the most useful tools available is the divergent thinking.divergent thinking is the process of finding out all possible associations and connections and to a given situation. it can be used on an artistic process, tech…

  45. Maximize your Profits posted 12/11/2012

    Blogs you should be reading…

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

  46. escola de ingles sorocaba posted 12/12/2012

    Blogs ou should be reading…

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

  47. tip top payday loans posted 12/12/2012

    Souls in the Waves…

    Superior Early morning, I just stopped in to go to your internet site and thought I’d say I loved myself….

  48. Hop Over To These Guys posted 12/12/2012

    Cool sites…

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

  49. Browse Around Here posted 12/12/2012

    Online Article……

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

  50. the best web hosting posted 12/12/2012

    Gems form the internet…

    [...]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]……

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c