This one’s dedicated to my friend Ricky, a fellow CrossFit Invictus athlete and friend who’s basically like a little brother to me. Being from the south, he’s been rattling on about Chick-fil-A for SO long that I finally decided to make a Paleo version for him. It came out so tasty that I’m going to bring some to party this weekend for him to officially try. The secret’s in the pickle juice! It basically brines the chicken which makes it super moist and tender. The recipe easily doubles.
When researching this recipe (because, you know, it’s got to be somewhat true to the original), I came across loads of different versions on the Internet and tried to best tweak it to be grain- and dairy-free. A few that really inspired this one were Gluten, Grain and Garbage Free Chick-fil-A Nuggets from The Domestic Man and Copy Cat Chick-fil-A Nuggets from Chocolate, Chocolate and More and Chick-fil-A Copy Cat from Hilah Cooking.
Prep time: 20 min + marinating time Cook time: 15 min Makes: 1 pound
- 1 lb. (500 g) of chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
- 1/3 cup dill pickle juice
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 Tablespoon coconut milk
- 1 Tablespoon coconut flour
- 1 Tablespoon arrowroot flour
- 1/2 Tablespoon paprika (sweet or smoked)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Coconut oil
- Cut the chicken breast into large chunks, and put it in a ziptop plastic bag. Pour the pickle juice into the bag. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. (I kept it in overnight).
- After it’s done marinating, pour the pickle juice out of the bag.
- In a small bowl, mix the beaten egg and coconut milk. Pour that into the bag and let it sit for about 10 minutes while you prepare the spice mix.
- In another small bowl, mix the coconut flour, arrowroot flour, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, onion power and garlic powder.
- Open the bag and drain out as much egg/coconut milk as you can. It doesn’t have to be 100% dry because you want something for the spice mix to stick to.
- Pour the spice mix into the bag, close the top, and really massage it into the chicken. This may take a minute or two but you want all the pieces to be evenly coated.
- In a large skillet over medium-high, heat a few tablespoons of coconut oil until the oil is very hot. Add a single layer of chicken (being careful not to crowd it) to the pan and fry on each side for about 3 minutes or until it’s completely cooked through. It took me two batches to cook one pound of chicken.
- Serve with honey mustard or any other dipping sauce you’d like.