While there are plenty of great fried chicken sandwiches across America, few can rival the simple pleasure of Chick-fil-A. You can’t always get Chick-fil-A, especially considering the cult-favorite fast food chain is closed on Sundays. But if you’re wanting to get your fix, then you’re in luck, since you can easily recreate Chick-fil-A’s fried chicken sandwich at home.
There are two secrets to recreating Chick-fil-A’s signature sandwich. The first is to brine the chicken breasts for 30 minutes to an hour in zesty dill pickle juice. This gives the chicken that sometimes hard-to-define Chick-fil-A flavor.
The second secret is a couple of tablespoons of powdered sugar mixed in with the flour coating. This adds a subtle sweetness that plays well off of the saltiness from the pickle brine. But if you don’t have powdered sugar, don’t worry — just read up on these handy ingredient swaps.
After seasoning and dredging the chicken in flour, fry the chicken in a neutral oil like canola, vegetable or peanut oil. Just make sure you know how to safely fry food at home. Add the chicken to a buttered, toasted bun and top with more pickles. And after you conquer this dish, you can recreate these other fast food favorites at home.
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups pickle juice
1 1/2 cups milk, separated
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dill pickle slices
1 1/2 cups neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable oil
4 hamburger buns
Step 1: Cut chicken breasts into 6-ounce portions. Using a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken breasts until they are an even thickness.
Step 2: In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cup pickle juice and 1/2 cup milk. Quickly stir together. Add chicken and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Step 3: Drain the chicken and discard marinade.
Step 4: In a large Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet, heat 1 1/2 cups oil over medium-high heat. The oil temperature should be about 375F.
Step 5: While oil is heating up, whisk together remaining 1 cup milk and the egg.
Step 6: In a separate bowl or zip-lock bag, add flour, powdered sugar, salt and pepper. Mix together until well combined.
Step 7: Dip chicken breasts in flour mixture, coat well.
Step 8: Add chicken to milk and egg mixture, coat well.
Step 9: Re-dredge chicken in the flour mixture, coat well.
Step 10: Add chicken to oil and cook until chicken is golden brown on both sides and at an internal temperature of 165F, about 8 minutes. Flip chicken halfway through. Remove chicken from skillet and pat off excess oil using paper towels.
Step 11: Heat oven to 350F. Butter hamburger buns. Place buns in oven and toast until light brown, about 5 minutes.
Step 12: Assemble sandwiches. Add pickle slices to bottom bun, then add chicken. Top with mayonnaise, tomato, lettuce or cheese if desired. Serve with waffle fries and lemonade.