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The $2 Chicken Nugget Meal | But Cheaper

The perfect chicken meal on a budget. Oh, and you get macaroni and cheese, sauce, and a lemonade too.

The perfect chicken meal on a budget. Oh, and you get macaroni and cheese, sauce, and a lemonade too.

Chicken Nuggets

*For best results, marinate the chicken the day before serving*

Prep Time: 25 minutes plus overnight

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 6



  • 2 pounds (900g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into ½- inch pieces

  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk

  • 1 tablespoon (10g) Kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (8g) MSG, (optional)

  • 2 teaspoons (8g) garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon (0.5g) onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon (3g) paprika

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) dill pickle juice, (optional)


  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons (7g) Kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon (0.5g) finely ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon (1g) celery powder, (optional)

  • 1/2 teaspoon (0.5g) onion powder

  • 2 tablespoons (15g) powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon (4g) MSG, (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon (4g) garlic powder


  • 14 cups (3.3L) vegetable oil

  • Marinated chicken

  • Dredge

  • Salt, to taste

  • Sauce of choice, to serve (optional)


For The Marinade

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, salt, MSG, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and pickle juice (if you have) until combined.

  2. Add in the chicken and toss to evenly coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes but ideally overnight.

For The Dredge

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together all of the ingredients and set aside until ready to fry.

To Assemble

  1. Fill up a 7-8 quart, heavy bottomed pot just over halfway with vegetable oil, and heat to 350℉ / 177℃. Have a sheet pan lined with a wire rack near the hot oil.

  2. Strain the chicken from the marinade through a large mesh strainer with a bowl underneath, and reserve the leftover marinade.

  3. In batches, toss the chicken into the dredge, pressing firmly into the flour to coat every piece, and place the chicken back into the marinade. Add the chicken pieces one last time into the dredge, again pressing firmly to adhere as much as possible. Place on a sheet pan and repeat with the remaining chicken.

  4. In batches, fry the chicken for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown, crispy and with an internal temperature of 165℉ / 74℃. Remove to the wire rack, lightly season with salt and repeat with the remaining batches of chicken.

  5. Enjoy with a side of your favorite sauce.

Mac and Cheese

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4-6


  • 1 pound (464g) macaroni

  • 1 tablespoon (14g) unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon (10g) all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1 1/2 cups (120g) cheddar cheese, grated


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt. Add the macaroni, and cook according to package directions or until al dente. Drain the macaroni and set aside.

  2. In a medium pot over medium heat melt the butter.

  3. Once melted, whisk in the flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring continuously, or until pale yellow. Whisk in the milk and cook until the sauce begins to thicken.

  4. Cut off the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese. Continue to stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

  5. Add the cooked macaroni, and stir until completely coated with your cheesy sauce.

  6. Add to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

Black Tea Lemonade

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Makes 3 cups


  • 1/2 cup (112g) granulated sugar

  • 3 lemons, zested and juiced, plus more to garnish

  • 2 1/2 cups (600ml) water

  • 2 black tea bags

  • Ice, to serve


  1. In a small bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers to extract as much lemon oil as possible.

  2. Place the sugar mixture in a saucepan, with 1 ¼ cups (300ml) water. Heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is beginning to steam.

  3. Cut off the heat and add the tea bags. Steep for 5 minutes and then strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Stir in the remaining 1 1/4 cups (300ml) water and the lemon juice until combined.

  4. Pour into glasses filled with ice, and garnish with a slice of lemon.


Feb 25, 2023

i tried, good!) thank for your videos))


Mack Flynt
Mack Flynt
Sep 07, 2022

Is this recipe for one serving? Looks very good.

terrell harris
terrell harris
Sep 10, 2022
Replying to

One and a half lbs of pasta is def multiple servings... I'd guess three to four, depending on how hungry everyone is


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