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. Credit Score posted 12/12/2012

    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 […]……

  2. this way you can get more traffic…

    to your blog as people always wants to read simple, knowledgeable and easy to understand blogs.write personal experienceyou have to understand it that a blog cannot be written like an article. try to avoid doing extensive research on internet. instead,…

  3. Superb website…

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

  4. alprazolam posted 12/13/2012

    ambien…

    Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I …

  5. diets that work posted 12/13/2012

    Sources…

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

  6. getting your education online posted 12/13/2012

    Sources…

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

  7. online college degree posted 12/13/2012

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

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

  8. reviews bluehost wordpress posted 12/13/2012

    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[…]……

  9. private detective Singapore posted 12/13/2012

    Websites you should visit…

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

  10. slots jungle posted 12/13/2012

    Gems form the internet…

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

  11. best options brokers posted 12/14/2012

    Excellent website…

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

  12. bad credit loans posted 12/15/2012

    Websites you should visit…

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

  13. lida posted 12/15/2012

    Great website…

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

  14. Julieta Albrecht posted 12/15/2012

    outstanding document…

    Quite a quantity of truly brilliant in add-on utilitarian home elevators this website, also I ought to express i conceive any web page design has several talents….

  15. where to go in singapore posted 12/15/2012

    Awesome website…

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

  16. Homeopathic HCG Drops posted 12/15/2012

    Sources…

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

  17. green coffee bean extract posted 12/15/2012

    Recommeneded websites…

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

  18. Where to Buy HCG Drops posted 12/15/2012

    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. How to Lose Weight Fast posted 12/16/2012

    Gems form the internet…

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

  20. shipping discounts posted 12/16/2012

    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[…]……

  21. antonino-caltagirone posted 12/16/2012

    Websites worth visiting…

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

  22. Krav Maga San Diego posted 12/16/2012

    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[…]……

  23. Read was interesting, stay in touch……

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

  24. Herbal Incense Blend posted 12/16/2012

    Awesome website…

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

  25. Herbal Incense Blends posted 12/16/2012

    Gems form the internet…

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

  26. car insurance posted 12/16/2012

    Links…

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

  27. Herbal Incense Blends posted 12/17/2012

    Websites worth visiting…

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

  28. Herbal Smoke Blends posted 12/17/2012

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

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

  29. car insurance posted 12/17/2012

    Blogs ou should be reading…

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

  30. sophyto sale posted 12/17/2012

    Related……

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

  31. Kelly Cowell posted 12/17/2012

    specifically essential…

    In great estimation which kind of particular foreclosed might support the important thing effect on the real client’s existence. House foreclosures may most likely have the Seven that you ought to ten dozens associated along with years damaging influe…

  32. pay day loan posted 12/17/2012

    Great website…

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

  33. Ivan Kagame posted 12/17/2012

    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…

  34. beginners piano lessons posted 12/17/2012

    Links…

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

  35. the diet solution program posted 12/18/2012

    Sites we Like……

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

  36. lida zayiflama posted 12/18/2012

    Sites we like…

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

  37. fat loss factor book posted 12/18/2012

    Superb website…

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

  38. Sources…

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

  39. jasa seo posted 12/18/2012

    Related……

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

  40. Herbal Smoking posted 12/18/2012

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

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

  41. funeral services posted 12/18/2012

    Gems form the internet…

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

  42. lida posted 12/18/2012

    Online Article…

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

  43. lida posted 12/18/2012

    Websites you should visit…

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

  44. see this posted 12/18/2012

    Visitor recommendations…

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

  45. James Mgarlin posted 12/18/2012

    The Birch of the Shadow…

    I feel there may possibly become a several duplicates, but an exceedingly helpful record! I’ve tweeted this. A lot of thanks for sharing!…

  46. catering orange county posted 12/18/2012

    Sources…

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

  47. Limpeza de Estofados Sorocaba posted 12/19/2012

    Sources…

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

  48. lida posted 12/19/2012

    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…

  49. Mental Health posted 12/19/2012

    Superb website…

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

  50. bluehost coupon code posted 12/19/2012

    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[…]……

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c