brined popcorn chicken

paleo chicken nuggets

Do we really need another Paleo Chicken nuggets recipe you may be saying in your mind or even out loud! We hear you out there! Here’s the deal, we wanted one on our blog too. With our spin on one of the most beloved finger foods.

RANT ALERT! Make no mistake, we will give no name recognition to the “eat more beef” restaurant that has so many copy cat recipes for chicken nuggets. For several reasons important to us, which may be a post for another day, but not this one. There is some folk lore out there that their nuggets taste so good because they are brined in pickle juice, they are NOT. We hear it’s from MSG (monosodium glutamate) which gets a “no thanks” from our bellies. Another reason we don’t eat there.

paleo chicken nuggets

So, back to our recipe! Rather than use flavor enhancers how about we use REAL FOOD! We began using Farmhouse Culture gut shots recently and LOVE them. Their gut shots are made from their saurkraut brine and are so flavorful. Why not use them to brine our Paleo chicken nuggets? It was a no brainer moment and your taste buds will not be dissappointed.

Brining the chicken ahead of time adds flavor and also tenderizes the chicken. Winner, winner chicken dinner! Maybe lunch or breakfast too, we don’t mind what meal you enjoy them with, those just don’t rhym nearly was well with “winner.” Our suggustion, DON’T SKIP the brining step!

This is another air fryer recipe, but you can also bake them in the oven. We are truly loving our air fryer if you can’t tell. It’s such a great kitchen gadget! We have the Cuisinart Multi Function Air Fryer model and LOVE it!

A few of our other favorite recipes:

Our favorite ingredients used in this recipe!

brined popcorn chicken

Recipe by Michelle


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 lb chicken breasts/thighs, cut up into 1½” pieces

  • ¾ cup Farmhouse Culture Garlic Dill gut shots

  • ⅓ cup Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour

  • 1½ tsp Redmond Real Salt

  • ½ tsp pepper

  • ½ tsp ground sumac

  • ½ tsp paprika

  • ½ tsp dried dill

  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

  • 1 egg yolk

  • Avocado oil spray

  • Date Ranch Dipping Sauce
  • 4 dates, pitted and soaked in hot water for 5 mins.

  • 1 egg yolk

  • ¾ cup avocado oil

  • 2 tblsp mustard

  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk

  • 1¼ tsp Redmond Real Salt

  • 1 tsp dried dill

  • ½ tsp garlic powder


  • Place chicken in a glass container (that has a lid) and pour gut shots over to cover. Stir to make sure all pieces are in contact with liquid. Place the lid on the container and brine overnight in the fridge for optimal flavor and tenderness.
  • When ready to prepare, remove the container from the fridge and allow chicken to come to room temperature. Drain chicken and dry completely by laying on a paper towel.
  • While chicken comes to room temperature, prepare the coating by placing the cassava flour, salt, pepper, sumac, paprika, dill and garlic powder in a small bowl. Toss together with a fork and set aside.
  • Place dried chicken pieces in a medium sized bowl and add egg yolk, tossing with a small rubber spatula to coat. Sprinkle about ¾ of the coating mix onto chicken and toss again to make sure all pieces are coated. If you like a thicker coating add the remaining coating mix and toss.
  • Prepare your air fryer according to the manufacturer’s directions. We spray our air fryer basket with a little avocado oil since it is stainless steel. Arrange chicken pieces so they’re not touching each other and give them a little spritz of avocado oil.
  • Air fry at 350° for 5 minutes. Remove, flip and give them another quick spritz of avocado spray. Continue baking for another 5-7 minutes or until crispy and chicken is done. If baking in the oven, bake at 400° for 20-24 minutes on a baking tray. Serve family style with Date Ranch Dipping Sauce. Sprinkle with additional paprika and fresh chives. (opt) Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in your air fryer for optimal enjoyment.
  • Dipping sauce: place all ingredients in a tall mason jar and using an immersion blender, begin with the tip in the bottom, blend, working your way up until dates are fully pureed and all ingredients are well combined. Store leftover in the fridge for up to a week.


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  4. This recipe is so easy and SO delicious! My husband and I really enjoyed it. Thank you!

    • Hi Jessi – thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a nice comment & we’re so happy you enjoy this recipe, it’s one of our favs too! Enjoy!! ~Michelle

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