Grilled Chicken Nuggets: How To Make Chicken Kids Will Love

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Grilled chicken nuggets at home brined in pickle juice just like Chick-fil-A. Kids will love the blend of spices and easy dipping.

Grilled chicken nuggets

Looking through the menu of the restaurant there are great options. Pasta, steak and creative salads. And your child wants chicken nuggets.

It’s no surprise every kids menu has this option. Chicken nuggets, hamburger or chicken tenders.

Kids can be hard to feed but some adults are just as bad.

That’s why I combined the two in this grilled chicken nuggets recipe. You can make some fun dips and serve the pickier people in the family.

They’re super easy to make and starts with a pickle juice brine to give that Chick-fil-A vibe to them.

Let’s dive into the recipe. Keep reading because I’m giving out tips along the way.

How To Make Grilled Chicken Nuggets

Grab these ingredients first

  • Chicken breast (cut into chunks for chicken nuggets)
  • Pickle juice
  • Peppercorn
  • Bay leaf
  • Garlic
  • Paprika, black pepper, cayenne, oil and salt
Grilled chicken nuggets

Quick tips before starting

  • People complain that grilled chicken is dry. A brine will help with that and also a meat thermometer. The brine with the salt adds moisture into the chicken helping it through the cook. The thermometer helps you stop guessing whether the chicken is done or not.
  • You can skip the brine but the pickle juice adds that touch of Chick-fil-A to the recipe.
  • Something you do not see added is MSG. This is what gives that distinct flavor to the nuggets in restaurants. I am not a fan but if you want an authentic feel and flavor I suggest you add that into the seasoning and the brine. It does make a huge difference.
  • This grilled chicken recipe can be made with charcoal, gas or even an indoor grill.
Grilled chicken nuggets

Grilling the chicken nuggets

  1. First, make the brine and allow it to cool. You can cool the brine quicker by adding ice cubes. First way, in a large pot add all the ingredients except water for the brine. You’re only heating the brine to melt the salt and release the flavors of the herbs and spices. After everything is combined add a cup of ice cubes to the brine to quickly cool it. Second way, heat everything together with the water and simply wait for the brine to cool.
  2. Now, once the brine is cool toss in the whole chicken breast. Allow the chicken to brine overnight or 4-6 hours. Note, it’s best to cut the breast into chunks after it has brined.
  3. Then, once the time has been reached remove the chicken. Lightly pat the chicken dry then cut into chunks.
  4. Next, combine the oil with all the spices for the rub. Cover the chicken nuggets and allow to sit while you prep the grilled.
  5. Bring the grill temperature up to a minimum of 400ºF.
  6. When grill is up to temp add the chicken nuggets. Do not close the lid and stay close because they cook fast. Flip the grilled chicken nuggets every 3 minutes or so until they reach an internal temp of 165ºF*.
  7. Remove from grill and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

What to do with the leftovers, how to store them

Grilled chicken nuggets leftovers can be stored in the fridge or in the freezer. For the refrigerator, wrap them in aluminum foil or a sealed container. They will last almost a full week. For the freezer, be sure to seal them well from freezer burn. A vacuum sealer is great for this.

Grilled chicken nuggets

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are grilled chicken nuggets healthy?

Due to the oxidized fat in fried foods you could argue and say grilled food is a much better choice. There is always some pro and con however you choose to prepare your food, always keep that in mind. These grilled chicken nuggets are lower in sugar because there is no flour added. They also are naturally keto friendly.

What to serve with grilled chicken nuggets?

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Grilled chicken nuggets

Grilled Chicken Nuggets

Grilled chicken nuggets at home brined in pickle juice just like Chick-fil-A. Kids will love the blend of spices and easy dipping.
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Brine 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 serving

Ingredients
 

Chicken

  • 1.5 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast

Brine

  • 2 cup pickle juice
  • 2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 clove garlic

Spice Rub

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions
 

  • First, make the brine and allow it to cool. You can cool the brine quicker by adding ice cubes. First way, in a large pot add all the ingredients except water for the brine. You're only heating the brine to melt the salt and release the flavors of the herbs and spices. After everything is combined add a cup of ice cubes to the brine to quickly cool it. Second way, heat everything together with the water and simply wait for the brine to cool.
  • Now, once the brine is cool toss in the whole chicken breast. Allow the chicken to brine overnight or 4-6 hours. Note, it's best to cut the breast into chunks after it has brined.
  • Then, once the time has been reached remove the chicken. Lightly pat the chicken dry then cut into chunks.
  • Next, combine the oil with all the spices for the rub. Cover the chicken nuggets and allow to sit while you prep the grilled.
  • Bring the grill temperature up to a minimum of 400ºF.
  • When grill is up to temp add the chicken nuggets. Do not close the lid and stay close because they cook fast. Flip the grilled chicken nuggets every 3 minutes or so until they reach an internal temp of 165ºF
  • Remove from grill and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
Keyword Grilled Chicken Nuggets
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