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

  1. Lily 07.21.2012

    Copy-Cat Chick-fil-a sauce recipe, starting from the largest amount used: mayonnaise, mustard, barbeque sauce a little bit of honey, and a touch of lemon juice. Just mix it all together. I didn’t use measurements, sorry.

  2. claire Egliht 07.21.2012

    So good!!!!! But definitely use peanut oil!!!!!

  3. Debbie 07.25.2012

    This is awesome. First time I made it I wasn’t sure but it was such a hit. I make it once a week. I change it up with fingers and chunks… either way it’s fabulous!! thank you

  4. [...] Chick-Fil-A Nuggets 2 and Honey Mustard Sauce [...]

  5. Kelly Haugland 08.02.2012

    We don’t have a Chick-Fil-a out here in Minnesota, but growing up with one in Wyoming, I can say I miss it terribly! In honor of Chick-fil-a appreciation day yesterday, we made these at home. THEY WERE A HUGE HIT! Thank you so much!!

  6. Connie 08.02.2012

    These were great..we ate them all. Can’t wait to cook them for my grand kids!

  7. We happen to live next door to the owners of our local CFA. We asked them one time if their chicken has pickle juice in it, because we had heard the same. They laughed and said no. They had never even heard that theory before!

  8. Alicia 08.04.2012

    Planning to try these tonight, but using soymilk. The copycat sauce w/ mayo, BBQ, mustard, honey, and lemon juice is very good.

    Thinking they might be good for leftover school lunches.

  9. Liz 08.04.2012

    I always thought that Chick-fil-a chicken tasted like pickle juice. I always thought that they just took the pickles out of the chicken burgers when I ordered them, and people told me they couldn’t detect it. Thanks for proving me right! ;)

  10. [...] Chick-fil-a copycat nugget recipe (aka bigoted chicken), french fries, and [...]

    • Sarah 08.07.2012

      The chicken isn’t bigoted, the company is. Yet again we have an irrelevant comment. The recipe doesn’t bring them business, it helps people make a quality nugget while avoiding the establishment. Unless someone is part ostrich, they’re very aware of the Chick-Fil-A situation… Thus, your comment is unnecessary and adds nothing of substance to the discussion.

  11. Merryl Sion 08.07.2012

    I tried this recipe tonight, and it turned out great! The nearest Chick-fil-a is about an hour away from me, so this will come in handy when I’m getting that craving :) Thanks for sharing!

  12. [...] Chick-fil-A Bites with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce Yummy Lunch Ideas – Yummy Lunch Box Gallery – Easy Lunch Boxes, Bento Lunches | SmugMug 07.29.09 – Here is the updated Monte Cristo recipe so that you too can try the "tasty southern specialty that makes an everyday sandwich into an occasion." Of all the delectable offerings served at the restaurant during the last four decades, the most popular item by far is the Blue Bayou Monte Cristo Sandwich. [...]

  13. [...] Chick-fil-A Bites with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce 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. Do you know what today is? [...]

  14. Tiffany Carroll 08.11.2012

    Does anyone know how to make the polynesian sauce? my absolute favorite! I love chick-fil-a but they dont have one where i live right now…always get it when I go home. Thanks!

  15. KDenton 08.12.2012

    any idea what the calorie count would be on these? I have a diabetic in the home and we are counting calories as well.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.14.2012

      I’m sorry, I don’t! It’s just too difficult with the oil (how much is absorbed or not) to do it at home with just the resources I can find on the internet. I apologize!

  16. Amy 08.17.2012

    I don’t particularly like Chick Fil A nuggets but my husband is obsessed with them so I thought I’d try this out. I made them last night and they are so yummy. I marinated them about 10 minutes due to time restraints and used Canola oil b/c I didn’t have peanut oil. These are so much better (to me) than Chick Fil A and my husband said to make enough every week so he can take them for lunch each day. I think it’s a keeper! Also, I didn’t have greek yogurt so he made the dip with mayo. Not as healthy but it was the best honey mustard I’ve ever had. Thanks for the recipe.

  17. [...] to be our go-to taco recipe from now on.  It’s super easy and very yummy.  We also tried a copycat CFA chicken bites recipe.  This one was a big hit, but I don’t see me doing it for dinner much.  It used a [...]

  18. Drew 08.17.2012

    I am actually allergic to something in chick-fil-a chicken that makes me really sick, but I LOVE their sandwhiches so much! I’m a vegitarian now, but I think I can sneak these in sometimes :) THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  19. Katie 08.19.2012

    Made these for a party and they were a huge hit! Awesome recipe and so easy. Thanks!!!

  20. Courtney 08.19.2012

    Would I be able to marinate the chicken over night and then cook the next evening? I was planning to make them tonight, but didn’t realize you had to marinate for 2-4 hours.

    Thanks!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.20.2012

      You could try mixing up the marinade at night, throw the chicken in in the morning, then cook them that night. The chicken *might* turn rubbery though from the pickling juice!

  21. [...] for health reasons, but mostly the challenge. I based our attempt on two separate recipes: Iowa Girl Eats Chick-Fil-A Bites and Food Network’s Almost Famous Chicken Sandwiches. What did I learn? If I can say nothing [...]

  22. Kristin 08.22.2012

    http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/480016_10151306159420101_306392817_n.jpg

    @ranunculus1927 –

    1 part Honey mustard, 1 part ranch, 1 part BBQ=Chickfila sauce :)

  23. Abbie 08.26.2012

    These sound awesome… I have a step grandmother from the Ukraine and until she was part of our family I had never heard of using anything but meat tenderizer for tenderizing meat(imagine that use) but over there they use more natural, more healthy ingredients. One of the things she taught me is that you can use vinegar as a meat tenderizer. It does the same thing as the store bought stuff but adds a little more flavor to the recipe. So the pickle juice would make total sense as to why the nuggets are so tender. Just thought I would share.

  24. brandy 08.29.2012

    I am a CA transplant currently residing in Boulder, CO – and I’m dying to know: what is Monkey Style @ In-N-Out? We’re headed to CA tomorrow and In-n-Out is for sure part of the itinerary! I am familiar with “Animal Style”, but I like the sounds of this “monkey bizness” you speak of!
    (Should I even call myself a Californian??? I feel so ashamed…)
    Love your blog!

  25. Susan B 08.30.2012

    Will have to try these. Real Chick-Fil-A uses autolyzed yeast extract (the same issues with toxicity as MSG). So we don’t eat there.. but these obviously are MSG free :- Wish Chick-Fil-A would use your recipe!!

  26. Susan B 08.30.2012

    oops – correction. I went and looked again a their website. Chick-Fil-A doesn’t use Autolyzed Yeast Extract. All their chicken recipes have Monosodium Glutamate. Yep – MSG. Read: Excitoxin’s: the Taste that Kills (Russell Blaylock MD) So sad…but we have your yummy recipe.

  27. Beverly 09.01.2012

    I tried this recipe tonight, it was delicious. I was skeptical about the pickle juice at first then my husband who is a pickle lover told me to do the recipe as it so I did. thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  28. Kayla 09.03.2012

    These were good! My pieces were a bit bigger so not quite as crunchy, paired with CFA ranch really made it taste like the real deal. I need to remember to stock up next time.

    Question, can I cook and freeze these? It would make an easy after school meal for my kids!!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 09.04.2012

      Hmmm – I have never tried. If you do, let me know how it turns out! I’m curious to see how they reheat!

  29. Audrey 09.08.2012

    Pinned this awhile back and just now getting around to making them. chicken is in the marinade now, so excited!

  30. Katrina 09.09.2012

    These were FANTASTIC! We don’t have Chick-Fil-As in Canada but I’m sure I’d love them too! Thanks for sharing :)

  31. Mary Lou 09.16.2012

    You seem to have them all so how about CFA’s cole slaw? Can’t wait to try the chicken! Thanks?

  32. JuJuBee 09.18.2012

    These were SO good! thank you for the recipe!

    • JuJuBee 09.18.2012

      I forgot to add that I made my own Honey Roasted dipping sauce. It tasted just like CFA’s!

      1 Tablespoon mayo (the real kind, no Miracle Whip…yuck!)
      1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
      1 Tablespoon honey
      2 Tablespoons bbq sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays)

      Wisk together and enjoy! :)

  33. Jaime 09.25.2012

    Have you had success freezing and reheating these? Thinking about making for a party.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 09.26.2012

      I have never tried freezing them so unfortunately I don’t know for sure! If you try, let me know how it goes. I’d love to freeze some too!

  34. Lori 09.25.2012

    I worked at chick fil a many years ago, They do not use powder sugar nor do they use pickle juice. they only baterr with an egg and milk mixture and dip in flour with seasonings.

  35. Sonya 10.01.2012

    I’m an employee at Chick-fil-A and can tell you first hand that there is absolutely NO pickle juice whatsoever injected into the chicken. The only way pickle juice gets on a sandwich is from the 2 pickles that come underneath the chicken breast.

    • Steph 12.06.2012

      You are right. I also worked for Chick-Fil-A and they used to use a pickle marinade for some of the chicken but they changed the recipe a few years ago. I remember when they changed it because my location cooked up a bunch of chicken with the new recipe (chicken strips strips) and let the employees come in on Sunday to taste it.

  36. We just cut our MSG from our diet and that meant Chick-Fil-A had to go. That’s a very big bummer. To find this is a save, even with the powdered sugar (I had heard CFA uses powdered sugar).
    THANKS!

  37. Lisa 10.10.2012

    Thank you for a great recipe. whole family inhaled them! They were like crack, could not stop eating them. Think I will try baking next time, pan frying 2lbs took a lot of time away from the family and at the stove. Delicious.

  38. Chinky 10.18.2012

    Looks good. Will be trying this recipe out. Although, Chick Fil A uses Maple Syrup in thier chicken batter.

  39. Jeremy 10.19.2012

    Just made this last night for a potluck party and it was a HIT. For the pickle juice, I used Famous Dave’s Spicy Pickle Chips. Gave it a little more dimension. Great find :)

  40. Mel 10.21.2012

    Made these last night. WOW! Soooo juicy…AMAZING! Thank you!

  41. Stephanie 10.31.2012

    I made these last night for dinner. While they were delicious and we gobbled them up (love the flavor the pickle juice adds) neither my husband or I thought they tasted like Chick-fil-a. Just my two cents for what that’s worth. Still very good though!

  42. Susanna 11.06.2012

    As a Georgia girl who was raised on Chick-Fil-A, I can vouch for this recipe’s authenticity and pure deliciousness. It’s the only way I’m making chicken nuggets or chicken fingers from now on. Thanks for posting!

  43. Lisa 11.06.2012

    this was fantastic!!! my son wiped out in minutes couldn’t stop making uuuhhmmm sounds the entire time he was chowing, awesom recipe!!!!

  44. [...] Chick-fil-a Bites (from Iowa Girl Eats) [...]

  45. Elika Mahony 11.07.2012

    Hi, I’m wondering if there is a substitute for powdered sugar? I live in China and not sure I can find it here. Thanks.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 11.07.2012

      I would maybe just add a drizzle of honey in with the egg/pickle juice mixture for some sweetness!

    • italiablu 11.11.2012

      You can also put regular sugar in a coffee grinder until it becomes powdered sugar.

  46. [...] Courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats [...]

  47. Dr.Jen 11.28.2012

    I cook for a significantly milk and egg allergic boy and I made these with almond milk instead of regular and just left out the egg altogether. They are amazing and really do taste like Chik-Fil-A even with those modifications.

  48. Kelli 12.04.2012

    I loved these! Added about another tsp of honey to the honey mustard:) Will probably try with strips sometime:)

  49. Steph 12.06.2012

    I worked at one of the top Chick-Fil-A restaurants (which was a wonderful place to work) and Chick-Fil-A doesn’t use the pickle marinade anymore. They stopped using it a few years ago because some people had digestion problems (like my boss lol). I think they made a new recipe for all of the chicken but I am not sure. Anyway, this recipe looks a little different but I am sure it is good and I will have to try it! I would also recommend using the peanut oil if you can.

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