Paleo Chick-fil-A is so tasty, and the secret is in the pickle juice!
Why pickle juice? It basically brines the chicken, making it super moist and tender.
In this Paleo Chick-fil-A knock off, you’ll marinate the chicken in the pickle juice so it gets super tender. Don’t have pickle juice or like the flavor? Check the Notes section in the recipe for an easy brine alternative.
Then, you’ll dredge the brined chicken in a mixture of gluten-free flour and spices. Finally, you’ll pan-fry the Paleo Chick-fil-A in a healthy oil for a crispy finish.
When researching this recipe (because, you know, it’s got to be somewhat true to the original), I came across loads of different versions and tried to best tweak it to be grain- and dairy-free.
You can also bake the seasoned chicken in the oven instead of pan-frying. Start with 375°F for 12 minutes and go up from there. It’ll vary depending on how big your chicken pieces are.
Serve this Paleo Chick-fil-A with your favorite dipping sauce.
Here’s a few recipes to inspire you:
- Paleo Ranch Dressing
- Chimichurri Sauce
- Chipotle Lime Mayo
- …or just create a quick mixture of brown or whole-grain mustard with raw local honey like I did for these photos.
As for sides, Paleo Chick-fil-A goes perfectly with a nice green side salad, steamed greens, sweet potato fries (check out Will’s Yam Fries), or simple roasted veggies.
- 1 lb chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
- 1/3 cup dill pickle juice
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tbsp coconut milk
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tbsp arrowroot flour
- 1/2 tbsp paprika (sweet or smoked)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Coconut oil or avocado oil for frying
Cut the chicken breast into large chunks, and put it in a ziptop plastic bag. Pour the pickle juice into the bag. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. (I kept it in overnight).
After it’s done marinating, pour the pickle juice out of the bag.
In a small bowl, mix the beaten egg and coconut milk. Pour that into the bag and let it sit for about 10 minutes while you prepare the spice mix.
Open the bag and drain out as much egg / coconut milk as you can. It doesn’t have to be completely dry because you want something for the spice mix to stick to.
Pour the spice mix into the bag, close the top, and really massage it into the chicken. This may take a minute or two but you want all the pieces to be evenly coated.
In a large skillet over medium-high, heat a few tablespoons of coconut oil until the oil is very hot. Add a single layer of chicken (being careful not to crowd it) to the pan and fry on each side for about 3 minutes or until it’s completely cooked through. It took me two batches to cook one pound of chicken.
Use a basic salt water brine solution instead of pickle juice: 1 teaspoon salt to 1/3 cup water.
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