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.
There are exceptions, naturally! Three of them, in fact – In-N-Out Burger, Five Guys, and Chick-fil-A. Each are so delicious that it’s worth a little regret and a grumbly stomach for a few satisfying bites.
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. 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 are insane!
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.
When you’re ready to cook the chicken, combine gluten-free or all-purpose 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.
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.
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 is too hot. If it does nothing at all, it’s too cold.
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 until 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.
Remove the chicken to a paper-towel lined plate, and continue with the other half.
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
Chick-fil-A Bites with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce taste even better than the real thing, and are much healthier!
- 2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces then seasoned with salt & pepper
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup dill pickle juice
- 1 egg
- 1-1/4 cups gluten-free or all-purpose flour (dish will not be GF if using all-purpose 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stir together the honey mustard dipping sauce ingredients, and serve with the hot chicken bites.
Adapted from My Name is Snickerdoodle
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
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.
Dipped, dunked, and devoured!