Created by KateL on August 1, 2020
Step 1: Cut chicken into large chunks similar to Chick-Fil-A nuggets. Add to a sealable bag.
Step 2: PICKLE JUICE (Omit these steps if you have 2 cups of Pickle Juice already. You can also buy a gallon jug on Amazon.)
Step 3: 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.
Step 4: 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.
Step 5: 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.)
Step 6: 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.
Step 7: ASSEMBLE:
Step 8: 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.)
Step 9: 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.
Step 10: COOK
Step 11: 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.)
Step 12: 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.
Step 13: Serves 2-4.