I grew up eating at Chick-Fil-A. It was one of the few restaurants in our small local mall, along with a Burger King, a Pizza Hut, and a restaurant called “Hot Dogs and More” (guess what they served!). My grandmother called it “Chick-a-fil” for some reason and I recall always thinking that their logo was really bizarre (for some reason it did not compute with my young mind that it was a black and white line drawing of a chicken’s head). Guess what? Chick-Fil-A is the only one of the aforementioned restaurants that is still at said local mall.
It was one of the place that my friends and I frequented in high school, the place where I learned to love waffle fries and real lemonade. When I worked at Chuck E. Cheese’s sometimes I would go to Chick-Fil-A between school and work and eat delicious chicken in my car. People watching at the tables in the mall is always fun, so Chick-Fil-A was a perfect place to stop when shopping.
Imagine my distress when Philip announced when we were dating that he didn’t eat Chick-Fil-A, declaring it “girl food” (he said the same thing about Glen-Gene Deli). It took a long time, but he finally wore down. I still remember how shocked I was the first time that I mentioned while we were out shopping that I was hungry and Philip asked me if I wanted to go to Chick-Fil-A. What? He was a believer. Finally.
I’ve been a lover of honey mustard for a long time, but I’ve always, always despised the honey mustard at CFA. It’s weird. For a while, they had a creamy honey mustard that was a salad dressing that I really, really liked, but then they changed that too and I was stuck with eating ketchup or barbecue sauce, which just isn’t the same (by the way, I’ve always been more of a Chick-Fil-A sandwich lover because the pickles and that buttered bun rock my world, but I am a fry dipper). Die-hard, old school CFA fans love the Polynesian sauce, but it never did much for me. Then our friends told us about Chick-Fil-A sauce.
I guess it had been a long time since we’d been, or maybe we just didn’t know to ask….but when they told us we were like, “Huh?” We hurried to the nearest Chick-Fil-A (well, within a couple of weeks anyway) and asked for some. And wow. Honey mustard and barbecue saucey awesomeness. For a long time I wasn’t too sure about replicating it at home, but then one day I happened to have some homemade honey mustard and some homemade barbecue sauce in the fridge. I mixed them together a little at a a time and, well, there you go – homemade Chick-fil-a sauce.
Now, you need something to dip in your homemade Chick-fil-a sauce, so I give you chicken nuggets. My chicken nuggets are much crisper than Chick-Fil-A’s, probably because they fry their chicken in a pressure cooker. I own a pressure cooker but pressure cooker frying in a home pressure cooker is way unsafe (as in, it’s in violation of the safety guidelines set forth in the user manual). I just shallow fry. They aren’t authentic, but they’re crispy and delicious and I don’t have to leave my house to eat them. They’re delicious dipped in homemade Chick-fil-a sauce. I think they’ll do!
These homemade chicken nuggets and homemade Chick-fil-a sauce will satisfy your Chick-fil-a craving!
By the way, please remember that Chattavore is not a place to air your personal beliefs beyond food. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Chick-Fil-A in the last couple of years. If you are a “boycotter” then you can look at this as a way to have delicious Chick-Fil-A style food without having to go there. If you still eat there, then you can look at this as a way to have your Chick-Fil-A on Sunday. Please refrain from commenting on Chick-Fil-A’s views here. It’s about the food. Negative comments will be deleted (see my comments policy if you have any questions!).
Yield: 4 servings
1 hr, 15 Prep Time:
1 hr, 15 Total Time:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- dash paprika (smoked if you have it!)
- dash cayenne pepper
- 1lb chicken breasts
- 2 cups buttermilk
- dash hot sauce or sriracha (optional)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt (I used kosher)
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprkia
- canola oil
- Make the Chick-Fil-A sauce: Whisk all ingredients together until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve!
- Cut the chicken into 1-inch wide strips, then cut the strips into 1-inch chunks. Place in a bowl or storage bag and cover with the buttermilk. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Set two cooling racks over two baking sheets, placing layers of paper towels under one. Pour about an inch of oil into a medium skillet and preheat over medium.
- Whisk the flour, powdered sugar, salt, pepper, and paprika together in a large bowl. Use tongs to remove the chicken from the buttermilk, allowing the excess buttermilk to drip off, and place in the flour mixture. Toss to coat. One at a time, dip each piece of chicken back into the buttermilk, coat completely with the flour mixture, and place on a cooling rack.
- Place half of the chicken pieces into the skillet and cook until browned on the bottom, then turn and cook until browned on the top-four to five minutes on each side. Remove to the second cooling rack. Repeat with the second half of the chicken pieces.
- Serve immediately with honey mustard, barbecue sauce, ketchup, or my homemade Chick-Fil-A style sauce.