When Eating Out Isn’t in the Budget

When Eating Out Isn’t in the Budget

Recently, I wanted to make dinner special for my kids but taking our family of 6 out to our favorite restaurant wasn’t in the budget. Being a resourceful mom and feeling adventurous (that might have been due to the numerous cups of coffee I had drank throughout the day), I decided I’d make one of my family’s favorite fast food meals at home­­—Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets! Can I get an amen!?!

I hopped on Pinterest and searched for a recipe for the nuggets. As with any recipe you search for online, there were a few variations in ingredients. So I chose ingredients that appealed to me from a couple recipes and made my own version. Here’s the recipe I came up with and that my family scarfed down:

Awesome Chick-fil-A Style Nuggets


4 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size chunks

2 C dill pickle juice

1 C whole milk

1 C peanut oil

1 egg

1 ½ C flour

2 tsp sea salt, fine

1 ½ tsp ground black pepper

½ tsp paprika

1 Tbsp powder sugar


You’ll need 3 plastic containers with lids, cast iron skillet, and a slotted spoon




  1. In a plastic container with lid, combine the chunks of chicken and dill pickle juice. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Heat peanut oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat (the oil should cover the bottom of the pan and come up about 1 inch)
  3. While the oil heats up, whisk together the milk and egg in a plastic container with lid. Set aside.
  4. In another plastic container with lid, mix together your dry ingredients. Set aside.
  5. Using a colander over the sink, drain the chicken from the pickle juice (keep the colander handy for a later step).
  6. Carefully add the drained chicken to the milk and egg mixture, replacing lid before shaking to coat the chicken.
  7. Using the colander over the sink, drain the chicken.
  8. Add drained chicken to the container containing the flour mixture. Attach lid and shake to coat the chicken.
  9. To test the oil for readiness, toss in a pinch of flour. If it sizzles, then the oil is ready.
  10. Carefully, place a handful of chicken into the oil.
  11. Fry chicken in the oil for approximately 4 minutes or until the chicken is lightly crisp on the outside.
  12. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cooked chicken and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the oil.
  13. Continue the process with the rest of the chicken until all is cooked.
  14. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

This recipe yielded approximately 50 nuggets. Because I decided to make this recipe a few hours before dinner time, I had to substitute waffle fries for tator tots that I had on hand.

If my husband and I had taken our 4 children out to eat nuggets at Chick-fil-A we would have spent at least $25 for all 6 of us to eat. The total meal cost approximately $10 to make at home. Depending on the region of the country you live, your cost of ingredients might vary from mine.

So the next time you’re going through a tight financial time and wishing you could take a family outing to your local Chick-fil-A, don’t despair, with a few minute of preparation you can have an excellent meal. Pair this delicious meal with a family game night and you won’t even remember you weren’t able to afford a night out.


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About The Author

Amy Dunn

Amy is a busy wife, and mother of 4 beautiful children. When she is not homeschooling, homemaking, or running around, she serves as an editor at 1776TV.