Welcome to another edition of learning to cook allergen-free!
We eat a lot of chicken at our house: beer can chicken, honey sesame chicken, salsa chicken, creamy swiss chicken, buffalo chicken, chicken enchiladas…the list goes on and on. Looking at these recipes, I’m noticing that I could still make beer can chicken (with gluten free beer) and salsa chicken would be an easy choice but the other recipes would either lose a key ingredient (or two…or four) or would just be downright tricky to alter the recipes to become allergen-free without compromising the integrity of the end product. Not impossible, just tricky. But I realized what my little buddy seemed to be missing the most was a simple chicken nugget. But not just any chicken nugget. The Chick Fil A chicken nugget.
Oh, Chick Fil A. How do I love your chicken…let me count the ways! I have to be honest. Chick Fil A was on a very very short list of places we would take Buddy out to eat (he’s never shown any sort of reaction to their food so we feel pretty confident allowing him to eat there) and it was often our go-to place. Needless to say, it wasn’t uncommon to look through our receipts at the end of the month and find at least 4…if not more…of those receipts were from Chick Fil A. Oops. So I started hunting…and found this recipe that claimed to be the perfect copy cat Chick Fil A nugget recipe. Kristin said she even made hers with gluten free flour and they came out divine so I figured a few other subs to make them completely allergen-free would be no problem. Well, what I came up with was not exactly the perfect Chick Fil A copy cat…but it was a DARN good chicken nugget if I do say so myself! I would be willing to bet that 9 out of 10 folks wouldn’t even know (or care) that these are allergen-free. That kind of good. Finger lickin’ good. Lick the plate good. Ok now I’m getting carried away…let’s get to the recipe. 🙂
Top 8 Allergen Free Chicken Nuggets
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut to nugget-sized chunks
1/2 c rice milk
3 Tbls olive oil (evoo)
1 1/4 c gluten free flour (I used King Arthur)
2 Tbls powdered sugar (yep…powdered sugar)
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt (reduce or omit if going low sodium)
1 tsp pepper
canola oil, for frying
Combine flour, powdered sugar, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl.
Stir well with a fork or whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, measure out rice milk and slowly whisk evoo into milk, one Tbls at a time, until emulsified. You may have to re-whisk this mixture occasionally as you go. Sorry no picture…it’s hard to pour, whisk, and take a picture at the same time. In fact, it just wasn’t possible. Anyway, while you’re getting all of this ready, heat about 2 inches of oil in a large pot. I used a candy thermometer to monitor my oil temp and aimed to keep it between 325 & 350. Dip each piece of chicken in the milk/oil mixture then coat in the flour mixture. Shake off excess. Gently drop into the oil, being careful not to crowd the pot. I usually cooked 6 nuggets at a time but it will depend on how big your pot is and how large you cut your nuggets.
These bad boys cook FAST! Just a few minutes for each batch. Again, this will depend a little on how large your nuggets are. My recommendation is pop your largest ones in first and cut one open if you’re not sure you got it cooked all the way through. Chances are if the outside is nice and golden, you’re good to go, unless your nuggets are Andre the Giant sized. Then I’m not sure…about a lot of things. Ahem. Moving on.
When they’re done, pop em out onto a plate lined with a couple paper towels to drain off any lingering grease.
Don’t they look awesome?! You can pop them in a low temp oven to keep them warm if you’re making a big batch.
Mmmm…homemade nuggets. These are better than any store-bought nugget I’ve ever had. Buddy really liked them too, which is always a plus (and a sigh of relief these days.) Always looking for a little piece of “normal” for him. Sweet little dude. *sigh* We’ve made it almost to the four week mark of his top 8 elimination diet…which means we are more than halfway there! Woohoo! Thanks for your support as we navigate our way through living allergen-free!