Leon launches GFC gluten-free chicken nuggets

Healthy fast food chain, Leon Restaurants has launched GFC – Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets.

As part of its quest to prove that fast food can be good food, the nuggets, inspired by iconic fast food outlets and numerous chicken shops, are made with 100% British chicken thigh meat and will be served with a choice of garlic aioli, chilli and Korean mayo sauces.

The nuggets took Leon more than four years to develop. First trialled at their Spitalfields restaurant in 2014, Leon’s GFC began as a chicken thigh and drumstick served on the bone with a wedge of lemon and pot of ketchup. But the coating wouldn’t stick and guest feedback told Leon that boneless nuggets were the way to go.

The next iteration was trialled in 2016 with rice flour, paprika & oregano, but in the quest to find a nuggetier nugget, the GFC 2.0 proved too nugget-y with too thick a crumb. Leon went back to the drawing board.

Finally perfecting their not-so-secret recipe has taken multiple trials, gluten-free coatings and endless requests for customer feedback to find the right combination of rice, maize and gram flours with a mix of black and white pepper. Now, in 2018, Leon feels confident its has found the golden nugget.

GFC will be available from today across all restaurants and will be supported by a Find the Golden Nugget competition, in which 50 customers can win a week’s worth of GFC by finding the Golden Nugget sticker on their GFC box.

There will be further chances to become a Winner Winner Chicken Dinner on Twitter and Facebook featuring lots of chicken-based trivia.

Leon is also trialling Can O water in four restaurants to gauge guest reaction and feedback on water in cans. Can O water’s recycled aluminium cans – a material recycled more than twice as often as plastic, glass and cartons – is a potential solution to single-use plastic bottles. Available in 330ml Still and Sparkling, the cans will be available in Leon Richmond, Southwark Street, Oxford and Manchester Piccadilly.

The trial forms part of Leon’s sustainability agenda. Having moved to paper straws and biodegradable cutlery earlier in the year, focus continues on reducing front-of-house plastics and Leon hopes to implement more sustainable choices in packaging over the coming months.