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Wilder & West Fried Nuggets

Being a Southerner means fried chicken is near and dear to my heart. However with kids and work and busy schedules I tend to stick with tenders or nuggets for ease of cooking. Here is a quick and delicious chicken nugget recipe that my kids adore. You can use Sprite, club soda or plain ice water in the tempura batter, but because I made these specifically to pair with a sparkling wine, I used that same wine in the batter. 

Let’s talk about the pairing before we get into the recipe. Fried chicken and sparkling wine is a match made in heaven. Absolutely perfect balance, the bubbles and acidity help cut through the rich batter of the chicken, while highlighting the seasonings used. 

For this recipe I am featuring West & Wilder canned wine from Oregon. Their packaging is lovely, they source grapes from all over the west coast to create these really fun and well made blends, and the wine itself is very tasty! They have a variety of options: white, rose, red, sparkling white and sparkling rose, and they are packed three cans to a box which equals a full bottle of wine. Canned wine has a lot of great uses: if you just want a glass or two you can pop one of these and you don’t have to worry about the rest of a bottle going to waste. Obviously taking them to events, boating, or at the beach and pool are natural fits also, and as you will see in the recipe below, they are great for cooking! You always want to use a decent wine in your recipes. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it. This recipe calls for a can to a can and a half of the West & Wilder Sparkling White. Feel free to enjoy the other half as you’re cooking. Cheers! 


2 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken cut into cubes 

2 Cups Flour 

2 cups Cornstarch 

1+ can of West and Wilder Sparkling White Wine (keep the rest for drinking) 1-2 Cups Pickle Juice

 2-3 Tablespoons Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning 

1 Tablespoon Powdered Sugar 

Salt and Pepper Preferred oil for frying  


Cube raw chicken, put into a bowl with the pickle juice, make sure the pieces are covered. Let that sit while you heat up your fryer oil and make your batter. In a deep bowl combine flour, Cajun Seasoning, Powdered Sugar, Salt and Pepper. Working with a whisk or fork, slowly incorporate the West and Wilder Sparkling Wine into the mixture. You are looking for a consistency that is slightly thinner than pancake batter. You can pop a second can if your batter is still too thick, or use ice water to thin it the rest of the way to the right consistency. Working in batches, drain your chicken and pat dry. Toss to coast lightly in cornstarch, then drop into the tempura batter. Fry until golden brown and cooked all the way through. Enjoy!