Chick-fil-A Bites with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

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Let me start out by saying that I don’t eat fast food like, ever.

Ok, there was that one incident involving McDonalds and a particularly happy happy hour a few weeks ago, but as a general rule of thumb no, never.

Greasy burgers and deep fat fried onion rings and fries are totally unhealthy, and I end up feeling like crap for about 2 days afterward indulging. It’s just not even close to worth it.

However.

There are exceptions, naturally. ;) Three of them, in fact – In-N-Out Burger (monkey style, please,) Five Guys (gimme them Cajun fries,) and Chick-fil-A. Each are so delicious that it’s worth a little regret and a grumbly stomach for a few satisfying bites.

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Among the three, Chick-fil-A stands out for specializing in succulent, crispy breaded chicken that is always tender, all-white meat, and so dang juicy – plus the seasonings they use are just right.

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Imagine how tickled I was after coming across a copycat recipe I could make at home and customize to use a fraction of the oil the real restaurant uses, but still have it taste exactly like the real thing?!

Chick-fil-A Bites with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

These babies are insane!

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Start the Chick-fil-A Bites by cutting a couple large chicken breasts into bite sized pieces, seasoning the pieces with salt & pepper, and placing them in a marinade of milk, 1 egg, and pickle juice.

Yes, pickle juice! I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I once heard that the key to Chick-fil-A’s signature flavor that it’s injected with pickle juice. Ok?!

Let the chicken hang out and marinate in the mixture for 2-4 hours in the fridge. I was home today over lunch making an epic Green Monster Spinach Smoothie (I added frozen blueberries, a kiwi and Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Coconut Milk – have you tried that?! It tastes like pure suntan lotion on its own, but is so insanely yummy over cereal and in Green Monsters. :) ) so I started the marinade then.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, combine flour, powdered sugar, salt & pepper in another ziplock back, and transfer the chicken pieces over using tongs. Shake the bag to coat the chicken pieces completely with the mix.

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Next, heat 1/4 cup peanut oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large skillet. If you don’t have peanut oil, vegetable or canola oil will totally do.

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Test the oil to see if it’s hot enough by dropping a bit of the flour mixture into the pot. If it sizzles, the oil is ready. It it pops and spatters, the oil’s too hot. If it does nothing at all, it’s too cold.

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Working in two batches in order to avoid crowding the pan, place the coated chicken pieces into the oil using tongs. Cook until one side is golden brown, then flip and cook ’til the other side is golden brown. It depends on how big you cut your chicken, but my 1″ chicken pieces took about 3 minutes on each side.

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Remove the chicken to a paper-towel lined plate, and continue with the other half.

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Serve ‘em hot and fresh with a simple homemade honey mustard sauce that I kind of wanted to spoon drink – it was da bomb!

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Chick-fil-A Bites with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Print this recipe!

Serves 2

Adapted from My Name is Snickerdoodle

Directions:
2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces and seasoned with salt & pepper
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup dill pickle juice
1 egg
1-1/4 cups flour
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup peanut oil, divided (or canola or vegetable oil)

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 1/2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons honey

Directions:

  1. Whisk together egg, milk and pickle juice, and pour into a large ziplock bag or bowl. Add chicken pieces and marinate in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
  2. Combine flour, powdered sugar, salt and pepper in a large ziplock bag. Shake to combine. Remove chicken from the marinade and add into the bag. Shake to coat the chicken completely.
  3. Heat half the oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat (6 or 7 out of 10.) Test the oil by dropping in a bit of the flour mixture. If it sizzles, the oil is ready, if it pops, lower the temperature a bit.
  4. Gently place chicken pieces into the oil with tongs. Do this in 2 batches, as you don’t want to overcrowd the pan. Cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown on one side. Turn the chicken over and allow to cook for 3-4 more minutes. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate. Heat the remaining oil and continue with the other half of the chicken pieces.
  5. Stir together the honey mustard dipping sauce ingredients, and serve with the hot chicken bites.

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I want to make Chick-fil-A Bites for dinner everysinglenight – they were such a hit! The honey mustard dipping sauce gave the bites a pretty good run for their money though. Sweet, just slightly tangy, and so creamy.

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Dunked…

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and devoured!

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I hope you’ll give these a try! :D

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Comments

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  1. Dee 03.01.2012

    I have never had these as they aren’t up here in New England but I am going to make yours, they look amazing.

  2. I would never have thought to add powdered sugar to chicken?! But I trust you. ;)

  3. jennyv 03.01.2012

    My husband & I are also anti-fastfood but there is something about Chik Fil A that draws you in. Thankfully the only one here is inside the mall. That said, rumor has it that CFA is getting a stand alone store by Kohls in WDM!?

  4. nicole 03.01.2012

    Jenny a stand alone Chickfila is true! I live in Florida and we’ve got tons of the stand alone ones! Let me tell you someething, that drive thru line is so long it always wraps around the entire building.

  5. Irene 03.01.2012

    OMG! Thank you! You will make my family VERY happy!!!! I can’t wait to try this!

  6. Casey 03.01.2012

    These look awesome Kristin! One question: do you think you could marinate them for longer (like all day)? I don’t come home for lunch, so it would be hard to make them during the week if not!

    • McKenzie 03.01.2012

      I have made them before and we actually had them marinade in the milk mixture in the fridge for over a day (dinner plans changed) and they were moist and delicious!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.01.2012

      I think you could, but I would leave out the pickle juice in the marinade, as it might start to cook/pickle the chicken if you leave it in there too long. They’ll still taste great!

      • Judy 01.17.2013

        Sorry, I was a manager at Chic fil a If you leave out the pickle juice..It’s not a true copycat of their chicken..

  7. Lindsey 03.01.2012

    Yum! Perfect to try on the weekend!

  8. If I left this up and my husband found it, he would expect to have it in about ohhh I don’t know, four hours? Haha he’s obsessed with their chicken, but we don’t eat fast food anymore!

  9. Lauren 03.01.2012

    Wow girl, I am so impressed. And I thought your chipotle bowls were something….these look better than the ones at Chic-fil-A

  10. i am scared to even tell my husband you posted this recipe because he is a chick-fil-a FREAK! until they opened one in chicago, he would drive to milwaukee about once/month and get a TRAY (party platter size) of nuggets to eat over a few days. i’m not proud.

    anyways, these look delicious!! and i’m with you on those 3 fast food spots — generally it’s a no go for me, but those are super delish :) and i’m also always down for a mcd’s ice cream cone!

  11. elizabeths 03.01.2012

    Don’t eat fast food either,but am DEF making these for my lunch tomorrow…yum yum!

  12. I’ve never been to ANY of the three places you mentioned! We have two of them near us, so I guess I need to try it the next time I get fast food. Which, like you, is hardly ever! I agree – it just makes me feel so yucky afterward.

    • Kristi 07.12.2012

      Can we all bow our heads in a moment of silence, for Michelle, who has NEVER eaten Chick Fil A! … lol No, really… this makes me sad for you! lol j/k Seriously though, tomorrow…drop everything you are doing and RUN to get a Chick-fil-a original chicken sandwich AND nuggets for the side. Yes, I am suggesting you get a chicken sandwich with a side of chicken. : )Trust me! Don’t eat the next day (kidding) or exercise double if you must! Also, for dipping sauces while your there, grab a polynesian sauce and a side of their honey roasted bbw, not the regular. DO IT! ; )

  13. Mariah 03.01.2012

    So fun and delicious looking! Cheers to almost-Friday!

  14. I love Chick-fil-a nuggets but we don’t have a Chick-fil-A in NY! Probably a good thing. :) These look delish! I wonder if the pickle thing is true… hmmm!

    • Carre 03.02.2012

      The pickle thing is definitely true!

  15. Holly K. 03.01.2012

    I used to work at Chick-fil-a back in my high school days and I can fully attest to the pickle juice in the marinade! This recipe sounds spot on, can’t wait to try it! I adore honey mustard too so this is a perfect pairing!

  16. We got up to 40 degrees today! If it wasn’t so wet and slushy out I would have taken a walk too.

  17. lisa 03.01.2012

    I came home not knowing what to fix for dinner then I read your post, had all the ingredients. I only marinated 30 minutes but it still turned out great!

  18. You are the second person to post a copycat version of these this week! As someone who has to travel 2+ hours for the nearest Chick-fil-A, I’m forever grateful :)

    • Carre 03.02.2012

      We travel nearly two hours too! So sad…

  19. Emma 03.01.2012

    I’m super excited to try this! I used to love their chicken, but I can’t bring myself to eat there anymore after it came out about all their anti-marriage equality donations. This will definitely fill that void!

    • Kelley 12.09.2012

      I won’t buy from them either. It used to be easy, since we didn’t have them, but one just opened very close to my house. This recipe will help me stand by my convictions, I hope. I am not officially “boycotting” them, since it seems they have not carried their personal opinions into their hiring practices. They do have a right to their opinions, as do all of us.

  20. Ty 03.02.2012

    Those are my go-to fast foods too! Somehow they seem more ‘real’ than everything else too, although it’s probably just in my head.

    These look gooodd but I am a spicy chicken girl with pepper jack cheese. Yum.

  21. Allison 03.02.2012

    Now if only we can duplicate the waffle fries!! My favorite kind of fry is waffled and the first time I ate at Chick-fil-A I wanted more. My husband will be excited to try this recipe.

    • cait 03.08.2012

      The Ore-Ida frozen waffle fries are my fav! Just as good as Chik-Fil-A’s :)

  22. Chickfila is really the only fast food joint I go to – well besides an occasional Subway or Potbelly sandwich. Who knew about the pickle juice? Crazy!

  23. Carre 03.02.2012

    Oh my word this makes me so happy! I moved to Maine from Alabama a few years back, where Chick-fil-A was on every corner. The closest one to us now is 90 miles away in MASS (and we took our brood down there last weekend just for lunch b/c we miss it so much!!!)

    I, errr, my kids will be so excited for me to make this!

  24. Jacque 03.02.2012

    Did you mean In N Out Animal Style? Have you ever done a copy cat of that? My husband would FREAK if I made that for him!

    • Kara 08.01.2012

      Yes, Animal Style :) I worked at INO for quite a while – to make an animal style burger you squirt a swirl of mustard onto the meat patty as soon as you place it on the grill. YUM. Once you turn the patty fold your american cheese 1/5 and place on top, add grilled onions (ANOTHER YUM) and place the top bun on the burger. Once the patty is cooked you garnish the bottom bun with “spread” (secret recipe of mayo, ketchup, mustard and relish), then pickle, then add the tomato and lettuce. Top the lettuce off with another dollop of spread. Enjoy!

  25. YAYAY! I love copycat recipes of my favorite restaurant foods. These look fantastic!

  26. Lauren 03.02.2012

    Looks yummy!

  27. Katie 03.02.2012

    I just picked up the almond coconut milk and made myself almond joy oatmeal!!! 1/4 cup oats, 1/2 T chia, 1/2 cup UVACM, 1/2 a banana and a teaspoon of cocoa powder. SO SO Good!

  28. Ty 03.02.2012

    I’m gluten free so I’m considering trying these with one of my gluten free flour mixes. My husband and I both love chick-fil-a, but I can only have their grilled chicken now. It would be nice to have something similar to the real, breaded thing!

    • Jessica 08.18.2012

      I’m gluten free too. I make it with Bob’s Red Mill flour (same measurements in the recipe) and it turned out great :)

  29. coop 03.02.2012

    Yay! Love their food, hate their donations. Now I can nom without supporting anti-gay organizations!

    • Renee 08.01.2012

      Yes… you can nom for freedom to stand for your opinions.

  30. Mmm… we don’t have Chick-fil-A here in Ontario… yet! But I got to try it this past fall when I went to a conference at which one of the head honchos was speaking. They treated everyone to Chick-fil-A sandwiches. Delicious! I’m definitely going to have to try these out sometime.

  31. yummy yummy! I wonder how they’d be baked.

  32. Michelle 03.02.2012

    Holy cow my kids will die for these!!! Chick-fil-a is totally my fast food Achilles heel.

  33. I made these once at home, they were close but not exact. I didn’t have the pickle juice though – I might have to try again!

  34. I was JUST talking to a coworker about this recipe. LOVE it!

  35. Marilee Johnson 03.02.2012

    Hello, fellow Iowa girl! I grew up in Mason City but haven’t lived there for a very long time. I live in Atlanta, home of Chick-fil-A & have been to the original Dwarf House many times & other locations many, many times. Love the idea of a copy-cat version & will make it tonight! Had no idea about the pickle juice OR the powdered sugar! Will let you know how it turns out. BYW, your photos ROCK! Are you the photographer or your husband?

  36. um you’re a genius

  37. Candace 03.02.2012

    One thing that I miss about living in the south is the lack of availability of Chik-fil-a. These look sooooo good. I can’t believe that this recipe contains pickle juice and powdered sugar. I would have never guessed that.

  38. Friday Favorites 03.02.2012

    [...] the secret really in the pickle juice marinade? I can’t wait to do a taste test [...]

  39. elizabeths 03.03.2012

    I made these and they were very good and the dip? YUUUUUMMMM!!!!!

  40. Mary e 03.03.2012

    After the RAGING success of your PF Chang’s lettuce wraps I’m going to have to try these on my hubby. I don’t eat any meat, never have, and your recipes make it so easy to make something delicious when I can’t taste test due to meat content.

  41. Betsy 03.03.2012

    Does it make difference if the pickle juice is dill or bread and butter pickles? Bread and butter is what’s in the fridge.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.03.2012

      I would use dill, otherwise you could just leave it out!

    • Kris 10.29.2012

      I made them with spicy bread and butter pickle juice came out fabulous! Almost exactly the same except with a little kick! I only marinated a hour also.

  42. Meredith 03.03.2012

    I made this tonight for myself and hubby as we were having a lazy Saturday! They were amazing! Not greasy at all! Will definetly be making them again soon (which will be causing less trips to chi-fil-A!)

  43. Heidi 03.03.2012

    Literally just finished eating this… My husband and I thought it was absolutely delicious! Thanks!

  44. Micki 03.04.2012

    I just made this today, they were AWESOME!! I used the pickle juice, I saw comments about not using it, trust me USE IT! I let them sit for 2 hours in the fridge. I used about 4 pounds of chicken meat, oooooh they were SOOOO good! Thanks for the recipe!!

  45. Talar 03.05.2012

    I made these the other night for my (almost) 2 year old after reading your post and she LOVED them! The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the pan-frying process. It just takes more time than I would like (what can I say, I’m always in a hurry!). Do you think these could be placed on a sheet pan and baked in the oven? I wonder if I’d have to add any extra oil to them on the outside to crisp them up a bit? Thanks for any guidance you can give me! By the way, love your blog — it is one of the few that I actually get really excited about when I see a new posting! Keep up the great work!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.05.2012

      So glad you enjoyed! I’m not sure they’d work in the oven, but if you are willing to try, I’d spray them well with non-stick spray before baking!

  46. jesser 03.05.2012

    I will have to give these a try sometime. The look great! We made some I found on Pinterest that were tasty, but nothing like Chick-fil-A’s! Too disappointing.

  47. Mandi 03.05.2012

    I’m definitely going to try this recipe, and everything looks about right to mimic the Chick-Fil-A recipe. I used to work there years ago, and while I can say they do use pickle juice in the marinade, I have to tell you- they don’t marinate the chicken for the nuggets or fried breasts- just the grilled breasts and strips are marinated. If you’ve ever tried the strips, you will notice a taste difference, and here’s why:

    The chicken strips are marinated in pickle juice, and then tossed in the seasoned flour, shaken in a basket, and deep fried in peanut oil. The strips do not receive the milk wash. But the nuggets, they are not marinated, but they are tossed into the milk wash, then tossed into the seasoned flour, shaken in a basket, and then deep fried in peanut oil. So, not sure if you care or not, since this recipe seems to be a crowd favorite. But I thought you should know, just for authenticity’s sake. The pickle juice nuggets are becoming an urban legend. :)

    • Stacey 08.05.2012

      Actually they changed their recipe in the last year and a half and the strips are a thousand times better (they used to make me want to puke). I too worked there for about 6 years. I’m so excited for this recipe!!

  48. Tiffany 03.06.2012

    I have not seen coconut almond breeze!!! Where did you find it at? Hy-vee? TJ’s? My green monsters have been needing a little change lately.

  49. Sarah 03.06.2012

    I just made these tonight and both I and the fiance both loved them! Thanks for yet another delicious dinner!

  50. Jennifer 03.07.2012

    I would like to make the sandwhich for my husband. Do you think this will work with half a chicken breast (instead of bite sized pieces) and cook longer on the pan?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.07.2012

      I’m sure it would! Just make sure to pound your chicken breast out a bit so the crust doesn’t burn when having to cook for a longer time.

      • Jennifer 03.07.2012

        You’re awesome!

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