Gigi & Savannah's Gluten Free Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
August 01, 2020
"I began making copycat Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets, but my 5-year-old granddaughter assessed the first batch and directed me how to modify the coating mix; she's a cooking savant, it seems. Her sister and Mama approved our final recipe. If you have 2 cups of Pickle Juice left over from a jar of pickles, you won't need to make your own Pickle Juice. The coating mix is somewhat like a batter, but it did not cause any problems in my Philips basket air fryer. Cooking time includes 30 minutes for simmering the Pickle Juice, and 10 minutes for Air Fryer. The chicken should Brine for 30 minutes to 4 hours."
- Serving Size: 1 (764.1 g)
- Calories 1010.8
- Total Fat - 13.6 g
- Saturated Fat - 3.8 g
- Cholesterol - 296.9 mg
- Sodium - 6657.5 mg
- Total Carbohydrate - 73.4 g
- Dietary Fiber - 12.4 g
- Sugars - 13.8 g
- Protein - 85 g
- Calcium - 243 mg
- Iron - 8 mg
- Vitamin C - 2.6 mg
- Thiamin - 0.5 mg
Cut chicken into large chunks similar to Chick-Fil-A nuggets. Add to a sealable bag.
PICKLE JUICE (Omit these steps if you have 2 cups of Pickle Juice already. You can also buy a gallon jug on Amazon.)
Add all Pickle Juice ingredients to 1-quart pot. The dill seed, garlic and salt are crucial. If you don't have some of the other ingredients, your Pickle Juice will probably come out okay.
Bring the Pickle Juice to a boil, then allow it to simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the simmered Pickle Juice through a fine sieve into a 2-cup measuring cup, and allow to cool completely.
BRINE CHICKEN: Add slightly beaten egg to cooled Pickle Juice, and mix thoroughly. Pour liquid into the plastic bag of chicken. Seal bag. Put plastic bag into refrigerator. Allow to marinate/brine for at least 30 minutes, but preferably 4 hours, for nuggets. (If using whole chicken tenders or whole cuts of chicken, allow to marinate for 3-8 hours.)
COATING: Mix Coating ingredients, unless you want to experiment to find the perfect mix for you. I usually put them in a plastic bag for breading.
If you don't have an oil mister, or you want to experiment with coating mixes: a) Pour some olive oil or coconut oil into a shallow dish; b) Pour about 3 tablespoons of the flour of your choice into a small bowl, and add a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of whatever additional seasoning you wish to try; c) Have a third small bowl or plate for dunked nuggets; d) Roll each nugget in oil, then roll in coating mix, then roll in oil again, then place on staging plate/bowl. (The excess oil will drain off in the air fryer. My Philips AF has a cover to allow excess oil to collect at the bottom of the AF base, and keep the oil from being sprayed about the AF.)
If you have a good oil mister: a) Spray both sides of nugget all around; b) Toss in plastic bag with Coating Mix and shake to coat well; c) Spray both sides of nuggets all around.
For air frying, preheat the airfryer at 400F for 4 minutes. With tongs, place nuggets in air fryer basket, but do not crowd. Air fry at 400F for 5 minutes. With tongs, turn nuggets over, and cook for 4-5 minutes (do not overcook). (If my nuggets were on the small side, they would burn if cooked over 4 minutes on the second side.)
For baking in an oven - especially if preparing a lot of nuggets -- I recommend using a baking rack to fit inside a rimmed cookie sheet (or a Gotham or Copper Chef copper crisper set); you won't need to flip the nuggets, and the excess oil will fall off! Heat oven to 400F, bake 20 minutes. For entertaining, these pre-cooked nuggets can be crisped up in an airfryer by spraying on a mist of oil, filling eh airfryer basket, and air frying for 1-2 minutes at 400F.
Tips & Variations
- Air fryer or oven
- Plastic bags