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Chick-Fil-A Clone Recipe

This Chick-Fil-A Clone Recipe comes pretty close to the “real thing” and is good any day of the week.

Chick-Fil-A indisputably makes one heckuva chicken nugget.  There isn’t anything like it.  Anywhere.  Unless you make a Chick-Fil-A Clone at home.

The following is a list of ingredients in the nuggets that you get at Chick-Fil-A (according to Chick-Fil-A’s own website):

nuggets (whole chicken breast, seasoning [salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, spices, paprika], seasoned coater [enriched bleached wheat flour {with malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid}, sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, nonfat milk, leavening {baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate}, spice, soybean oil, color {paprika}], milk wash [water, nonfat milk, egg], peanut oil [fully refined peanut oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness and dimethylpolysiloxane as an anti-foaming agent]).

Chicken nuggets on a paper towel.

This Chick-Fil-A Clone does not include some of those ingredients, such as nonfat milk or monosodium glutamate (MSG).  One thing you will find in my recipe that is not in the original is powdered sugar.  (Notice that Chick-Fil-A does list “sugar” as an ingredient.)

Paprika and powdered sugar in measuring cups.

The first couple of times that I tried to make a clone, I brined my chicken solely in pickle juice.  I really like the way that it came out.  However, one of my family members has an aversion to pickles, so I tried it with a combination of pickle juice and carbonated water.  That combination worked fine, but there is more flavor when the chicken is brined in pickle juice.

Chicken nuggets in a brine in a glass bowl.

Brine solution of 1/4 cup pickle juice + 1 cup of carbonated (seltzer) water.

I also followed another recipe that I found somewhere out in cyberland and used flour and cornstarch for the base.  It worked okay, but when I coupled it with an egg/milk wash to dip in prior to breading, the chicken would come out beautiful but the batter did not stay on the chicken after removing it from the oil.

I have been battering crappie (fish) with a mixture of dry pancake mix, salt and pepper for quite some time.  Every time I cook it I can’t help but notice how much the breading looks like that on Chick-Fil-A chicken.  I have never had a problem with that breading, so I decided to try it as the base of the breading.

It worked beautifully.  I like to double the batch of breading.  That way if I end up making a mess and need to use I don’t have to stop to make more.

Seasoned flour mixture in a jar.

Large batch of breading mixture for the Chick-Fil-A Clone.

In my research, I learned a couple of little tricks:

  1. To get those extra crunch pieces of goodness that are found on some of the nuggets, take a little bit of milk and splatter it into the dry mix before breading your nuggets.  [Serious Eats]
  2. If you don’t have a thermometer and want to check if you have your oil at the right temperature of 350 degrees, you can test it by placing a couple of popcorn kernels in your hot oil.  The popcorn will pop right around that temperature.   [Cooking Comically]
Chicken nuggets on a paper towel.

Chick-Fil-A Clone

This Chick-Fil-A Clone Recipe comes pretty close to the “real thing” and is good any day of the week.
4.63 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Additional Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 28 mins
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 483 kcal


  • 2-3 chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
  • peanut oil


  • 2 cups dry pancake mix
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp basil


  • Pickle Juice


  • Combine all dry ingredients in a large container and set aside.
  • Soak chicken in pickle juice and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

When it is time to fry:

  • Place peanut or vegetable oil in large skillet and heat to 350 degrees.
  • Drain chicken and coat each piece with dry batter.
  • Fry for approximately 4-6 minutes until golden brown and cooked thoroughly.


Serving: 1Calories: 483kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 35gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 1937mgFiber: 3gSugar: 20g
Keyword Chick-Fil-A, chicken, clone recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @SouthernKissed or tag #SouthernKissed!

Chicken nuggets stacked on a paper towel.

Which Chick-Fil-A goodie do you prefer:  the sandwich, nuggets, or chicken strips?

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