Chick-fil-A Copycat Chicken Sandwiches

Chick-fil-A Copycat Sandwich

Chick-fil-A, that Southern chain of fried chicken sandwich restaurants, has long been something of a mystery to me. Truett Cathy, the founder of the Georgia-based chain, claims to have invented the chicken sandwich, though I doubt that he was the first person to think to put chicken in between two slices of bread. The fans of this restaurant are legion; passionate about these fast food chicken sandwiches in a way I haven’t seen associated with other chains. I always doubted the fanatical press I read about Chick-fil-A’s simple sandwich, assuming that people were blinded by loyalty and Southern pride.

Everything changed this Summer, when I flew to Florida to pick up my mother and drive her to Maine. I arrived at the Jacksonville airport, hopped in the car, and before immediately beginning the 1,600 mile drive back to the Northeast, stopped at the first Chick-fil-A I saw. A few minutes later, and I was diving into my first steam-filled paper sack of chicken sandwiches. And that’s when I finally understood the hype. Chick-fil-A’s signature chicken sandwich is damn near perfect: a hamburger bun, grilled in butter, with two slices of sour pickle as the only condiment because, as legend has it, it was all Cathy had on hand when he invented the sandwich.

Since returning to Maine, at least a hundred miles from the nearest Chick-fil-A, the sandwiches I ate that day have gotten in my head. When I want a fried chicken sandwich, it’s Chick-fil-A’s version that I want, that unique combination of special, secret seasonings, cut only by the sharp bite of tart pickles. I bought a jar of sour pickles from Amato’s for the occasion, and they worked perfectly.

The other secret, as it seems to be in all great Southern cooking, is butter. Grill the buns in butter until golden brown, and then close your eyes and butter them again when you assemble your sandwich. The resulting masterpiece melts as you eat it, the butter destroying the bun and oozing into the lightly spicy, golden-battered chicken. It’s not a light lunch, but it will hold you over until your next trip down South.

5 from 1 reviews
Chick-fil-A Copycat Chicken Sandwiches
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: Makes 4 Sandwiches
Ingredients
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon dry milk
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 sour pickle, cut into eight slices
  • 4 soft hamburger buns, split
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Method
  1. In a shallow baking dish, whisk together egg, milk, ½ teaspoon paprika, and 2 tablespoons water. In another baking dish, whisk together both types of flour, dry milk, powdered sugar, baking soda, dry mustard, and remaining ½ teaspoon paprika, and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Meanwhile, heat about two inches of peanut oil to 325 degrees in a heavy-bottomed pot or cast iron skillet. While oil heats, slice pickle, and set aside.
  2. Working in batches, dip chicken in the egg mixture, turning to coat, then dredge in flour mixture and shake off any excess. Fry the chicken in hot oil, using a candy thermometer to monitor oil temperature, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spread the cut side of the buns with some butter, and lightly toast in the skillet, buttered-side down. To assemble sandwiches, spread grilled buns with more butter, dip 2 pickle slices in jarred pickle juice to moisten and place on the bottom bun. Top with a piece of fried chicken and the bun top.
Notes
Adapted from a recipe by Food Network Kitchens.

Malcolm Bedell

Author

Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as the taco-centric blog "Eat More Tacos," with writing and photography credits including Serious Eats, Down East, L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and more. His seasonal food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater, and he finds it very silly to be trying to write this in the third person.

205 Comments
  1. When I moved from Philly to New England, Chick-Fil-A was one of the things I missed the most. I got a lot of shit for it from foodier friends, and since there are no locations up there, I could never prove the awesomeness. It was my word against theirs.
    When we moved from Portland back to Philly in June, we ate Chick-Fil-A sandwiches and waffle fries while we sat on cardboard boxes in the new apartment. It was amazing.
    I know it’s fast food, but being spitting distance from chicken sammies any day of the week is one of the biggest perks of being back here.
    Welcome to the club. (: I can’t wait to try this recipe!

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      1. Ha! You’re right.

        So many people have suggested brining in pickle juice that now I kind of want to try it, just to see. It does sound terrible, but maybe it’s actually some crazy secret that we’re missing out on?

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        1. I actually made a copycat Chick-Fil-A sandwich of my own with the pickle juice brining. I must note, I’ve never enjoyed their sandwiches with pickles, but I thought that trying to capture that essence was essential to my experience. That being said, the pickle juice brining was AWESOME. It gave them just the right saltiness with just the slightest hint of pickle in the meat that was fantastic.

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          1. About that pickle brine. Um I know someone that worked at Chick-Fil-A, and YES they do brine the chicken in pickle juice. It is one of the “secrets” that gives it that “special” flavor. So, don’t be afraid to do it, as that IS the way it is done. =D

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          2. No, they don’t. Look at the ingredients listed on the website. There’s no vinegar, calcium chloride, or lactic acid listed, all of which would have to be disclosed if they were using actual pickle juice. This one’s an urban legend.

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  2. I am a New Yorker (upstate) who is currently living in Mississippi. There is a Chick-fil-A in our local mall here and up until now have been able to avoid eating anything from there. It just seemed so unhealthy to even let it take hold of me.. Now, Malcolm, I shall hold you responsible for any poundage that I gain because of the wonderful delicious sounding recipe that you posted. LOL (Just kidding)

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  3. I too wondered about the constant hype. then when i flew to atlanta we stopped in one and as a new yorker i immediately assumed it was going to be bad because we don’t have one here…then i tasted it…and Yee Gods it was good…but what i loved most was the salad…yeah the salad. grilled chicken over your standard fair salad but topped with toaster tortilla strips…oh my god it was all so good.
    thanks for the above. will give it a try

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      1. I know this is years after this post but I just stumbled across this and figured someone else may in the future. There’s a Chick Fil A at NYU (5 University Pl #11, New York, NY 10003). My southern cousin lives in NYC. She said this place has saved her more times than she can count ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. The only one in NYC is inside an NYC building in which you need to have a student I.D. to get in so either i can try to sneak in or bribe a student to get one for me.

    Its really hard to open a chick-fil-a because
    (supposedly) they are an umber religious christian owner and buying a franchise requires a membership to a christian church with references which they actually look into. this could all be BS but its what was told to me and i had no interest in it that much that would lead me to research the claim…..but you can….i guess….lol

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    1. I have to ignore their religious or political beliefs. I don’t normally do that, but in this case, it’s mandatory. Those sandwiches are so good, seriously, sooooo good. I am bummed today is Sunday.

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    2. Their Christian beliefs is why they are not open on Sundays. You have to respect them for sticking to it in a society where typically, the Almighty Dollar rules.

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      1. Having worked for Chick-fil-A for 12+ years I have to comment on their generosity. God has blessed them not only for their Christian values but also for their generosity! Google WinShape to dig deeper into where their profits are invested into the lives pf others. They have given away so much money!!! I am a product of their love and generosity.

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  5. I live in NC and have been around Chic Fil A’s my entire life. And yes, I still love them. I treat myself maybe once or twice a year.

    Try the nuggets with the Polynesian sauce. Or the peppermint milkshake at Christmas. I don’t even have to mention the waffle fries do I? Or did you not indulge?

    I know the chain is uber religious. They are closed on Sunday’s. I’ve never ever heard the rumor of having to belong to a certain church if you are an owner.

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      1. Waffle Fries – YES! They might even be better than the sandwich.

        I grew up in Texas but took Chick-fil-A for granted. Once I left for college in NY, I missed Chick-fil-A. Every year when I’m back in Texas, I have to go to Chick-fil-A. 20 years later, I still do this.

        Though I must say that in the past 5-10 years (it’s all a blur), the quality of the chicken sandwich has decreased. The waffle fries are still as yummy as ever though.

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    1. not true! Worked at CFA for two years in High School and I still know the owner. Never has been a requirement. Truett Cathy does require that all his stores be closed on Sunday so that employees can have time with family and to worship. That’s it!

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  6. THANK YOU!!! I have Chick-fil-A withdrawals. I used to be an employee in high school and prayer time was not mandatory. I don’t remember there ever even being a prayer time at all.

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  7. I love Chick Fil A and have seen other copy cat recipes. I’ve heard the real secret to their yummy chicken is that they brine it in dill pickle juice. Anyone know for sure???

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      1. My son tells me that he has a friend who worked at a Chick Fil A and this is what they did. My husband considers himself a fried chicken expert, & we’ve even gone to New Orleans to eat at Willie Mae’s Scotch House. Brining the chicken in pickle juice is also the secret ingredient for other famous restaurants.

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          1. they only brine the grilled chicken in pickle juice/water/and a seasoning packet. I worked a chick-fil-a in college. Also, the chicken is not sliced or pounded, there is a tendon on the back of the chicken breast that must be broken, by rubbing your thumb down the middle (the ridge), your chicken will lay flat and not “ball up” if you do this.

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      1. I personally worked at Chick-Fil-A for 3 years during high school. No, the fried chicken sandwiches are not brined in pickle juice, or anything else, for that matter- but the grilled ones are. Not just pickle juice, but a combination of yummy things. All of the chicken is hand ‘filleted’ meaning, whoever is cooking them actually has to butterfly the chicken and break that tendon. then it’s dipped in the milk wash, and the breading and then dropped in the pressure fryer.

        After working there for 3 years, I still crave Chick-Fil-A. It’s a fantastic place for high school kids to work, and the standards are incredibly high as to the quality of what you’re getting, and the cleanliness of the restaurants.

        I used to take the pickle slices and eat them on the waffle fries ๐Ÿ™‚

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  8. The idea of someone not having access to a Chick-Fil-A kinda boggles my mind. I work in a hospital and there’s even one in the care center across the street from me. They have the best fast food milkshakes ever.

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  9. Thank you for posting this. As a Southern gal transplanted to Rochester NY I truly miss my Chick-Fil- A’s. My husband and I have taken vacations to Erie PA just to have a sandwich.

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  10. I’m glad I live in the South.. I LOVE Chick-Fil-A. I moved from the West Coast down here and never knew that I’d love chicken as much until I had a sandwich from there. The one step you are missing in this recipe though is soaking the chicken in pickle juice.

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      1. The original Chick-Fil-A sandwich is absolutely, 100% NOT brined in pickle juice. I worked at CFA for 3 years throughout high school.

        The chargrilled ones are marinated in a combination of things that include pickle juice, but the fried sandwiches have NO brine whatsoever. Just chicken, milk wash, and breading.

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  11. I worked at Chick-fil-a for some time and I can tell you that they DO NOT use pickle juice on their chicken. The only thing the employees do to it is fillet the peices before adding it to the milk mix and coating it in the flower. I hadbeen asked about the rumor by a customer with a pickle allergy and so I asked the owner of our store about it, turns out it is just a rumor. I also can assure you it wasn’t a case of trying to protect the receipe, they are crazy serious when it comes to food allergens there. Also, to own a Chick-Fil-A you have to work in a store for 7 years then work for the corporate office for 3. They’re big on commitment.

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    1. To become an owner/operator you simply need to apply, have $5000 to invest, and get through all the necessary interviews successfully. The number of interviews depends on the candidate and the success or failure within the interviews. There are not any rules like working in a store for a certain amount of time or working at corporate. In fact approximately 40% of owner/operators are from outside of Chick-fil-A and have never worked in one. A proven track record in business and in your personal finances will be necessary if you want to become an operator but things like an MBA are not always necessary. For more information I would encourage you to just look into the process on Chick-fil-A’s website. I know all of this because I work at a Chick-fil-A in North Carolina and have worked there for about 2 years.

      A note on the cooking of the chicken… The chicken is pre-seasoned and marinated with a secret recipe of spices and ingredients. Then it is hand filleted and trimmed to specific dimensions. The chicken is then dipped in a milk wash solution and immediately breaded in a secret coater recipe specifically for all fried chicken that is not spicy. The chicken is then cooked in a Henny Penny pressure fryer filled with 100% refined peanut oil to infuse the chicken with the perfect flavors. The buns are normal hamburger buns that are lightly buttered, toasted and topped with 2 pickle chips (3 if small). The filet is then placed on the bun and bagged in a foil bag.

      Hope the info helps, but I will say to mimic a masterpiece is always going to be difficult. And just for the sake of authenticity this information I will even throw in the never forgotten “My Pleasure!”

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  12. Hey Ya’ll! Just want you to know I live in GA and we have a brand new Chick-Fil-A going up in my town. Our current location is trying out Sweet Potato Waffle Fries and they are also a BIG hit!

    My husband and I have a Chick-Fil-A tradition of going the night before a long road trip and getting a bag of original sandwiches and sticking them in the refrigerator until the next morning. When we leave we have a thermos of coffee and go down the road eating the sandwiches cold.

    I can’t wait to try this recipe!! Babe-O Karey

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      1. We do the same thing on road trips! The sandwiches are just as good the next day. Especially when you’re driving in the morning before the sun comes up, listening to a road trip mix and heading toward some awesome adventure somewhere. I definitely recommend it.

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        1. Chic Fil A the next day? would never survive the night in my house, so I can’t vouch for them cold. I grew up in Savannah Ga, surrounded by Chic Fil A’s, but never ate there until I was 26 years old, when my sister dragged me there after a morning of post-Christmas shopping. I loved it, but still rarely ate there since the ones where I lived in NC always had lines wrapped around the buildings twice, no matter what time of day. Now I live in a small town, and the one here is never too long a wait, so I go about once a month. The salads are indeed awesome, but I can’t resist old trusty, the original chicken sammich. nomnomnom.

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  13. Hi! So I worked at Chick fil A for three years, and was even a manager for two of those three years, and I just want to put a stop to the pickle juice rumor! Haha, I have heard that so many times and it’s completely false! They’re just regular chicken breasts, dipped in milk, then patted with flour and seasoning, and fried. No pickle juice is included anywhere in the process, which, frankly, I’m happy about– because that sounds totally nasty! haha ๐Ÿ™‚

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  14. I’m saddened that chik fila won’t build in Vegas. Ya, it’s “sin city” but we are not all sinners….. And I’m craving some nuggets!!!!! I’ll be trying this recipe !!! Ps…I can be naughty but why deprive me of the worlds best chicken!

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  15. I just ate this for dinner! I’m living in Germany and they definitely don’t have Chick-fil-a here or really, any proper fried chicken. This was delicious! The only thing I did differently was to dip the chicken in the flour mix, egg, and then flour mix again. And I left out the dry mustard because I just can’t do mustard, even dried. I ate 3 out of the 4 pieces. My German guy didn’t “get it.” That’s okay because it meant more for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the recipe

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    1. Thanks, Erin! You really can’t taste the dry mustard…I think it just adds the slightest bit of sharp flavor the batter. It’s good to hear that it’s safe to skip, though.

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  16. I am presently a “RMD” (Restaurant Marketing Manager) for a local Chick-fil-A. It is NOT soaked in pickle juice and the buns are only buttered once, before they go through the toaster. You do not have to be “uber” religious, in fact, my boss is jewish. They are however very selective with their “owner–operators”. This is their way of making sure that their business and beliefs are not compromised. I don’t think anyone will ever perfect the recipe because certain ingredients are “top secret”! As always, it has been my pleasure to clear up a few misconceptions!

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  17. I’ve found that an overnight buttermilk soak also gets the chicken to a nice tenderness that reminds me very much of chic-fil-a, though the batter doesn’t come out quite the same (not that anyone’s complaining). Actually, just 3 or 4 hours in the fridge is enough (I never make it to overnight). Also, the nuggets, strips, and sandwiches all have different seasonings with the strips in particular having a bit of a curried sweetness to them.

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  18. THANK YOU! I’m a southern girl who has expatriated to South East Asia. This is amazing and it goes right next to my recipe for knock off Jimmy Dean Sausage. You sir are legend!

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    1. Thank you, Courtney! We certainly know what it’s like to be exiled in another country, without a taste of home. I hope this recipe gets you through the rough patches. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  19. I love all Chick Fil Ahhh sammies, but while I was losing my last 40 lbs, I sadly passed the store (1 block away) with teary eyes.
    Counting calories and carbs I saw this published item:
    Chargrilled chicken 300 cal, 38 carbs
    Large fries 430 cal.,50 carbs.
    Personally I’m limited to 1,000 cal and 20 carbs for now. Diet is just for me, so I couldn”t eat any carbs for 4 days ,
    (sniff sniff). FYI 12 in. pizza has 1,400 cal and about 200 carbs (Cici’s) (snif again). Any how, Mr. “Chick serves an A-1 sandwich, just wish they toasted the bun slathered with real butter! Fletch

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  20. PLEASE DONT GET MY HOPES UP ABOUT THIS RECIPE…DOES IT REALLY TASTE LIKE CHICK-FIL-A????? I NEED TO REPLICATE ONE IN MY HOME…IM TIRED OF PAYING THE HIGH PRICES…..PLEASE CONFIRM THE AUTHENTICITY OF THIS RECIPE PLEASE!!!!!!!!

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  21. Can’t wait to try this, even though Chick fil A is less than 2 miles away. I’ll taste test it with my kids, they love these sandwiches too!

    I also appreciate the ethics of the company. They are closed on Sunday.

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  22. I love Chick-fil-a! My favorite thing about the restaurant aside from their famous food is that they have (9 times out of 10) a dedicated dining room “attendant” that will refill drinks, bring you sauces, help carry food to the table, hold the door open for you, etc. This is why moms, like myself, with small children flock to chick-fil-a! Where else can you eat fast food with such kind and generous service?! You can even turn your kid’s meal toy in for free ice cream! My kids would much rather have an ice cream to share than a toy any day! They also are one of the only places around that has caffeine free diet coke “on tap.” I also love how they will give you pretty much anything you ask for…a cup full of pickles…”my pleasure!”

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  23. Hey! I can’t wait to try your recipe. My family and I love Chick-Fil-a! Thankfully, we have one located about a quarter mile away. We have an attendant as mentioned who will bring your food to your table if it may be taking a bit too long. They have Tuesday night kid fun night with various things going on. The other night, I went out to get us all some ice dream (that’s what it’s called there and it’s the best soft serve EVER) and they were showing Hocus Pocus movie on a big screen out in the parking lot as part of their Fall festival they were having that day. Lately, I’ve been treating myself to #3 which is the spicy version sandwich. It’s good but I still prefer good ole’ #1.

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    1. Interesting comment, Gloria, we will be having a ChicFilA opening here in Walnut Creek, Calif so I emailed the company to ask if they had MSG in their product and I received an email back from someone name Diane from Chick-fIL-A Cares who said yes they do use it in most of their items and she mentions the salads and desserts do not have it. She went on about how MSG has been used since 1908 and is one of the most thoroughly researched food ingredients and that in 1959 the FDA classified MSG as “generally recognized as safe”. I emailed her back and said well maybe the FDA should research again since that was 53 years ago. I will not be eating any of their items. Sorry. But I too have a MSG allergy. I can’t imagine why a food company would use it anyway, think of all the children that it might be affecting. I had researched MSG myself and found sometimes it is labeled Hydrolzed Vegetable Protein (HVP) so if you see this on any labels, it’s another word for MSG. I hope these people that love this product know that the reason it does taste so could is because of the MSG. Oh well, enough said.

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  24. I forgot to mention that I like your recipe better because it doesn’t have MSG as long as i can find some chicken breasts that are not already soaked in broth, or “all natural flavorings” which also contain msg! Thanks for the recipe

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  25. When we first started selling the chargrill, we made our marinade with a prepackage of sesoning in pickle juice, that maybe where the pickle juice rummor is from.. Our grill now comes premarinaded. but everyone is correct when they say Chick-fil-A is the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      1. Up above, Debby was talking about the Chargrill. The Chargrill is a grilled chicken breast instead of the fried. When it first came out it had to be marinated before being cooked. The package of seasoning was mixed with pickle juice back then. That was about 14-15 years ago. I worked there back when they did it that way. The fried chicken was not marinated in pickle juice. It was seasoned though and allowed to sit. That was back then, I don’t know for sure how they season now though. But anyways, I have your version on the menu for tomorrow.

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  26. I just tried this and I have to say it is pretty darn close to the real thing. I love the crispiness of the batter and the lightness of the peanut oil. Thanks so much. My hubby will be so excited when he comes home, thats if he doesn’t come home with chick fil a already ๐Ÿ™‚

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  27. I love Chick-fil-A, I’ve only eaten there 2x this week and, thanks to this post I’m going for breakfast! I’m pregnant and the baby is craving it! On to the recipe…..can’t wait one question: is the dry milk absolutely necessary? I really hate to buy something for a recipe if I’ll never use it again.

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  28. I was born in Maine, an lived there until I married my husband who’s a Marine, down to North Carolina. I had never had Chick-Fil-A before then, and I love it. I will have to try this recipe. The next time we make a trip home, I can use this recipe, instead of picking some up in New Hampshire (closest location to Maine)

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  29. We just ate our sandwiches…I grew up in the south eating Chick-fil-a when they were only at malls. It tased almost like the real thing. I did soak my chicken in pickle juice for a few hours then drained and put the chicken back in the frig. I also added a pinch of MSG to the flour mixture.

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  30. I am so excited to try your recipe! My husband and I loved Chick-Fil-A until we found out that the franchise was very religious and anti gay. While my husband and and I are (obviously) heterosexual….we felt that we needed to support the right to be “who you are” so we have not eaten there since. We are looking forward to enjoying the chicken aging without any guilt!

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  31. I’m so happy I came across this recipe! I cannot wait to try it. I’m from Texas and always had it growing up but then after I got married and the hubs joined the military we got shipped overseas and I had to live without it for 6 years. Now we’re back stateside but there are only 2 in the state, and they are both about a 6-7 hour drive away. When we go to TX to visit family we always try to get our fill of CFA, but there’s no such thing as too much for us. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  32. Congratulations on finding/making a copy-cat recipe! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m from SC and CFA pretty much got me through college. There absolutely is something perfectly magical and amazing about their sandwiches. Have you tried their spicy chicken sandwich? Oh my… ๐Ÿ™‚

    And the thing about butter being the secret to all good Southern cooking….so true. I’m still cracking up over that comment. Thanks for making my day ๐Ÿ™‚

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  33. We made these tonight and they were fantastic. Also, having eaten actual Chick-Fil-A just yesterday, I’ll say that they were pretty darn close to the original. Though I might be biased since I like to put a healthy amount of ketchup and mayo on my sandwiches, so having that on these helped with the personal authenticity factor.
    Thank you!

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  34. THANK YOU!!! I am from South Georgia so this has always been one of my faves! However, since we have moved to WA state there is not a Chick-fil-A in the entire state. Now I can have my Chick-fil-a whenever I want it, even on a Sunday ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you again so much for this recipe. Btw, I have also heard about brining in the pickle juice from former employees. Maybe that is the true secret? Maybe it’s worth a try.

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  35. I too, used to work at a Chick-Fil-A in high school and I still love it to this day! When we were breading the chicken, we used to throw a bunch of pickle slices in the breading and fry them up with the chicken. If you’ve never had fried pickle slices, you’re missing out! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also, waffle fries dipped in Polynesian sauce are excellent; definitely worth a try!

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  36. Hey there! Im about to try this recipe tomorrow, and i wanted to know if i have to add dry milk to it?? If i dont would it taste the same? Also do u have any idea of what kind of pepper powder i could add to make this the spicy version of it? Thank you;)

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  37. I’m going to have to try this for sure…although now that you mentioned Amato’s, I’m not sure what I am craving more! I was born/raised in Maine and whenever we visit friends in NE, that is the ONE thing that I try to get my hands on as often as possible!

    Now we’re close by to a Chick-fil-A and I have to admit that I’m in love. Of course, the indoor playground and my four kids have nothing to do with that! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  38. Sorry Malcom, having worked at Chick Fil A previously and being a weekly customer I have to say that this recipe doesn’t at all represent a Chick Fil A sandwich. I attempted it twice and both times was disappointed by the lack of similarities. Keep working at it though! Thanks for a good chicken nugget breading, too!

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  39. Just have to tell you proudly that my uncle is one of those “dedicated dining room attendants” here in Oklahoma and he just loves his job. So many people have said they love the sandwiches, but sometimes come just to see him and talk with him. He is funny, witty, a real jokester, and great with kids and just makes the overall dining experience such a joy. He has worked for them for a number of years and has done such a great job that the owner, (who my uncle says is genuinely a wonderful person totally dedicated to his customers) has commended him on his delightful way with people and the great job he has done. I also know that the owner told him that both my uncle and aunt will always eat free in his restaurants for the rest of their lives. Sounds like a great company to work for, eh?

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  40. our closest chic fil a is an hours drive too. my husband came home from a business trip once and brought me a sandwich! i was so excited. i grew up in the south where there is one on practically every corner. i am going to try this. i wonder if the same method would work for the chicken nuggets??

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  41. I just found this blog from another website, and I debated on commenting, but after reading these comments, I have to. I am from Georgia, and I had the priviledge of living within a 2 mile radius of 2 chickfila’s! That is the best breakfast…imagine the yummy chicken in little buttery yeast rolls. The drive thrus would wrapped around twice!! I tried to understand the taste, and to be honest, I don’t taste the dill in the sandwhich (not sure where that came from about the pickle juice). The next place that somewhat resembles this great sandwhich is Mcdonald’s southern chicken sandwhich. I live here in Boston and I’m lucky enough to go to the Burlington Mall and go to that Chickfila!! Also, their waffle fries are so yummy!! I guess it’s a southern thing, but we do love our butter and fried foods, and yes even on a salad. I can go on and on about our yummy things back at home, but I won’t. Nice try on the duplication of the sandwhich, try the Top Secret Recipes, he usually gets some things on point. Just a few suggestion?!!

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  42. I grew up in NE Texas and as a kid I would save my allowance money to buy one of these sandwich’s. I now live in Oregon and unfortunately the closes one here is in Boise Idaho. I do however make an occasional trip back to Texas to see family and before I leave I always pack a cooler with no less then 15 of these delicious sandwiches. You know someone could make a killing if they open a franchise west of Portland. There are a ton of Southerners relocated up here! I will however tryout this recipe to see if it will hold me over till my next trip. I can almost taste it now!

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  43. Sorry to say there is no copycat for this chicken unless you have a pressure fryer….some people have done it in a pressure cooker….but kind of dangerous. lol

    To get the coating right…has to be pressure fried!

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  44. Yum! Tried this recipe and left out the dry milk b/c I didn’t have any and it still was great! The family loved it and asked for it again. Now its part of our weekly menu. Thanks for the recipe:)

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  45. I’m from NC and ate Chick-fil-A all my life until I moved to MN 6 years ago where the only restaurant is on the campus of the University of MN which is not easily accessible to me. I was super excited when I found your recipe. Made the sandwiches for the family tonight and they were a big hit. Pretty darn close to the real thing. Definitely “healthier” without the MSG and preservatives! We even had waffle fries and sweet tea to go with them! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  46. My roommate and I -love- their sandwichs. But due to…political…reasons have decided to boycott the company. ((And trust me that is hard. We have cravings.)) Thank you for letting us have our Chic-Fil-A back.

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  47. Is there any possible way to make this without the deep frying part? I’m simply terrified of heating oil that high and cooking in it! Irrational, I know, but that’s just how it goes. Wondering if it could be done in the oven? Would change the texture a bit. . . Any ideas?

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        1. I’m sorry Bonnie, but they’re just not going to turn out right using any other method. ๐Ÿ™‚ What about using a deep fryer? Then all that oil is sealed away and can’t spatter you…

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  48. Hi Malcolm,
    OK I get the powdered sugar but why do you add the dry milk? What does it do?
    I was also wondering about the frying..I have heard you can never duplicate pressure frying no matter what you do. Well I actually saw it on that Top Secret recipe show with Todd trying to copy KFC and it didn’t work until he got a pressure fryer.
    Thanks

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  49. I am from Georgia but now I live in France. I have not been home in a year so I have been craving Chick-Fil-A! Made this tonight and LOVED it! Definitely hit the spot!

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  50. OK, yum! This makes me wish we owned a deep fryer! Luckily the nearest Chick-fil-a is a mere 15 minute drive from our house in good ol’ southwest Missouri, but with 6 kids in the house it gets expensive so we only go there about twice a year. Thank you for the recipe; I’ll have to go talk Mama into buying a deep fryer;)

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  51. All these people who are saying they boycot Chick-fil-a for personal reasons must not be from the south! I grew up in SC and to eat all the awesome foods, you’ve got to close your eyes sometimes when your personal opinions clash with great food inventors! There’s a BBQ joint centered in Columbia who is a bit crazy but the mustard based sauce is to die for! It’s definitely an SC thing!

    Anyway, we now have Chick-fil-a nearby but I want to give this recipe a whirl, thanks for posting. I love mine with extra pickles! I never worked there, but I did work for a local fast food restaurant and we mimicked their chicken sandwich, but with our own signature seasonings of course. And they were cooked in a pressure cooker but if it was late at night we would drop a fillet or two in the French fryer. It’s definitely not the same, but in a pinch it will do. Also I think the dining room attendant is a southern thug too because we had one and McDonalds did too.

    Also to the people who talk about fat content… It’s only 3.5 sat fat per sandwich (not sure about this recipe though!). MUCH less than other fast food places!

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  52. White Castle was one of those places that for me, didn’t live up to the hype. Chick-fil-A was not. My mom spoke of the hundreds of pounds of the stuff she ate while pregnant with me and living in Texas and I didn’t believe fast food chicken could be that spectacular. I have since taken a trip to Joplin, Missouri and tried my first spicy chicken sandwich (with waffle fries and a shake to complete the experience). It was life-changing. I have tried eating other chicken sandwiches since that I thought were good and found them dry and unsatisfying. I was nearly driven to madness (especially when I learned the hard way about them being closed on Sundays on a road trip) until they finally opened one to the public in the Mutual of Omaha building here. I’m both excited and terrified to try making them at home!!

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  53. Ohhh, man. My mouth started watering when I read the TITLE. Having been bred, born n’ raised about 50 miles north of the original Dwarf House in Hapeville (a South Atlanta neighborhood), I grew up on Chick-Fil-A’s chicken nuggets meals. Honestly, there is no better drive-thru fast food meal on earth than a carton of those nuggets, waffle fries, and a lemonade. When I make this recipe, I think I might try to turn it into a nuggets recipe by not flattening the breast and just cutting it in large chunks. Thoughts?

    As far as the history and culture of Chick-Fil-A, CFA was the first restaurant chain/company to put itself in a mall like the ones we know today. They started out in the now-defunct Greenbriar Mall, and pretty much invented the food court as we know it. I have heard, though I cannot confirm, that CFA culture does have some…conservative opinions regarding human sexual orientation, but again I cannot confirm this.

    What I CAN confirm is that whether between two halves of a bun or in a box, Chick-Fil-A chicken is…heavenly. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  54. While I agree the sandwich is very good as far as fast food sandwiches go, the waffle fries are completely forgettable (nothing unique), and, I’ve never once tasted anything buttery on the bun. I’ve even peeled it open on the rare occasions I’ve added condiments, and it just looks like a whole wheat bun. I don’t even see much in the way of brown grilled or toasty marks … so now I have to go get a sandwich and see if its just me, or is my nearest franchise is scrimping on the buttered bun!? Hmm!! Also, the nuggets are superb.

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  55. You just very sadlycannot duplicate this sandwich without a pressure fryer…that is the key to their chicken….I moved from Texas where I could get them…they are not in CA and now I am in WA and not here either…I tried over and over to duplicate it…but nope…even tried the seriously not-recommended frying in a pressure cooker … nope…gotta be a pressure fryer…hope someday they make a home one….Hard to believe a person just eats one sandwich and remembers it so fondly forever. lol

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  56. I LOVE me some chik fil a!! I have one about 5 minutes away. Our local grocery store has coupons on the back of their receipts for a free sandwich! You have to upsize your meal but I usually go with my kids and we share the waffle fries and they split the sandwich. The service is great there! The dining room is always so clean. One of my friends worked at this chik fil a and she told me they have one of their employees clean the play area often. They also offer Purell wipes in te play area. This is my go to place when I’m out with kids and friends. I can’t wait to try this recipe!!

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  57. I’m from southern Kentucky so I was able to go to chickfila any time I wanted to. But now I’ve lived in Hawaii for two years on the big island and I’ve been craving chickfila for a year and a half of that time so I’m am reall happy you put this recipe up im going to give it a try.

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  58. Thank you so much for the recipe! The only question I have is on the two inches of peanut oil. Is there anything a little cheaper that can be substituted? Has anyone tried anything different that yielded a good result? Or is the peanut oil a key component?

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  59. I will never deny how fabulous they taste-however, Chik-fil-A has been reported nationally for funding anti-gay marriage projects and politicians thru their WinShape Foundation –nearly 2 million bucks in 2010 (read the Huffington Post article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/02/chick-fil-a-anti-gay-group-donations-_n_1 644609.html )
    I’m a southerner raised on Chik-fil-A and while the taste is sublime, I won’t eat it because of their politics. I will also say that I was living outside Atlanta ten years ago near Decatur and if you ate inside there was a man who was walking the tables and ‘witnessing’ for Christ–happened every time my husband and I ate there and he was wearing an employee name badge.
    I know you can’t reproduce the exact sandwich at home, but thank you for coming up with a very delicious looking copycat for those of us who don’t want to give money–however indirectly–to WinShape and its politics of intolerance

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    1. I just want to know why yourself, as well as many others, have boy-cotted Chik-Fil-A for their own opinions and beliefs? If you know the history of Chik-Fil-A, then you obviously know that they are a company founded on Christian beliefs. This has nothing to do with the food they serve. We frequent restaurants and stores because of their products, not what they believe in. This boycott is doing nothing to support the gay and lesbian community, it is only bringing on more advertisement, and more money, to Chik-Fil-A. I don’t agree with their beliefs but they have their right to their opinions. At least they are not hiding what they feel is important to them like most people do under the spotlight. I’m sure the owners of similar fast-food chains would never admit to these types of beliefs even if it were what that believed in. So basically what I’m saying is that why is it OK for the gay and lesbian community feel that what they believe in is right, and if everyone else doesn’t support them, then they should be boy-cotted?

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      1. I can personally say that being born and raised in the South (and always near a CFA), I have also refused to give them my business since their “coming out” of sorts. Firstly, I don’t think corporations have any place in politics, however the executive board of a private corporation can donate money to whichever causes they please, I suppose. They choose to donate to causes which I vehemently oppose based upon the way I was raised (with tolerance towards all people, regardless of who they love). Why would I put my money towards a cause I don’t believe in? I used to love this restaurant, but have not engaged in any business with them since Dan Cathy announced “guilty as charged”, and don’t plan to do so ever again unless they withdraw funding from those campaigns. That’s my choice, that’s their choice, and that’s fine! ๐Ÿ™‚

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        1. Yes, they do have a right to express their beliefs and take a stance, just as those that support gay rights (and yes, I do support gay rights). So you do have a right to choose not to frequent their establishment, but I doubt they really care.

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  60. I love these too, but like Anne above, I won’t be buying any more because of their blatant bigotry. Had I known about the proselytizing in their stores I never would have tried them in the first place. There’s always something wrong when people try so hard to show they’re “good” Christians. Thank you so much for the recipe. I was afraid of having to go through withdrawal.

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    1. But isn’t boycotting someone’s business just because they have different views/morals/looks or opinions than our own…also being a bigot? (or at the very least intolerant) Why can’t gay people accept our right to choose hetro lifestyle? Bigotry in my opinion goes both ways!

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          1. No, it doesn’t change the fact that they have good food. But it does allow us an opportunity to express our opinions with our dollars.

            I work hard for my money. I choose very carefully who I give it to. I don’t want my money, no matter how indirectly, to support causes I don’t agree with. It’s not just a sandwich, waffles fries or shakes; it’s about ~my~ money and where that money ultimately ends up. There are many things to like about CFA: great food, very friendly service, clean restaurants, closing on Sundays to allow family time/worship time. But the very public stance CFA took this year was a dealbreaker for me. The Cathy family and CFA can support whatever issue they believe appropriate. But if you make your stance known, you risk backlash from those that disagree. As much as I like CFA, I don’t agree with their views on gay marriage. It’s important enough to me to stay away.

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      1. no. it’s not. it’s standing for up for equal rights. sorry there is a right and wrong side when people’s RIGHTS are in question. So me too, makin these since i refuse to give bigots my money!

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  61. Thanks for the recipe! I have to eat gluten free and it would be nice to roll the sweet delishesness of a CFA sammy in my trough once more! I eat their GF nuggets, but it’s nothing more than a cut up grilled chicken breast. good, but LAME in comparison to their OG sammy.

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  62. This recipe sounds sooo good! I live in Georgia, and the nearest chickfila is about 3 miles away, and I love it!! I’m actually 15 years old and can’t really drive myself anytime to go get one unless my older brother or parents want one (because no one asks the youngest…) so I might have to try this recipe out!! I think I’ll try soaking it in pickle juice before I batter them. Everyone says it turned out better when you do. Thanks!!

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  63. Tried this recipe today and it is awesome…i added the cayenne pepper to make mine a little spicy and they were great. FYI: if u add a little Accent seasoning to the flour mixture it brings out the boldness of the seasonings….just a little Louisiana trick we cajuns like!

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  64. We tried this tonight and it was amazing!!!! My husband is an avid CFA fan and was really impressed! The only thing I would do is add a little bit of salt to the dry ingredients before dredging the chicken! Thanks so much for this! Will definitely be using this recipe for years to come!!

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  65. I am sooooo excited to try this recipe. CFA was one of my FAVORITE places to eat when I ate out. I have an allergy to 5 Italian seasonings that I will never outgrow like most people do. Seriously, I wish I kidding!!!! They are hidden in a LOT of foods. I have called CFA several times and tried to ask if the original chicken sandwich had the 5 seasonings in it. I do not need a list of their ingredients, just a yes or no. They will not give me any kind of an answer except to ask my allergist if it is safe for me to eat there. Needless to say eating there is out for me. I have been trying to make this sandwich since. I will be trying it this week! THANK YOU!!!

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  66. Hey, I cooked this the other night, but I made a few tweaks… Just a few! Instead of adding 1 table spoon powdered sugar, I only did one teaspoon because I saw someone had said it was a little too sweet tasting. Then I added one table spoon of dry mustard instead of one teaspoon, and two teaspoons of salt and pepper to the dry mix. I had tried a little bit of it on my finger and added more because it was too bland with the original measurements.. Sorry! Also, when seasoning the chicken, I added a little dry mustard to the chicken. I noticed that the mustard definitely gives this more of the chickfila flavor we all know and love! Other than that, FANTASTIC Job on this recipe! We don’t have a chickfila anywhere near us, and my family and I where delighted to be able to eat it again!

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  67. I made these the other night and came out awesome! Great recipe even with making them a tad healthier by only pan frying the chicken and baking them in the oven. I can’t wait to make more of your recipes!

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  68. I worked at Chick-Fil-A as a chicken breader/fryer. The fried sandwiches are not marinated in pickle juice the grilled ones are. The fried chicken is dipped in egg wash (eggs and buttermilk) then into what they call “Seasoned Coater.” They are then deep fried in peanut oil. I don’t remember what is in the flour coating as the bag had no ingredients but I did look on the web site once for the nutritional info. It seems like you’ve gotten very close to the original. Oh and when he says he invented the chicken sandwich it’s because he was the first to sell a boneless breast of chicken on a sandwich. It would be hard to eat a chicken sandwich with a bone in it. If someone pointed that out already, I’m sorry for repeating. I read a few comments but there are way too many for me to read them all. Happy eating!

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  69. Trying this tonight because I am of the crowd that has boycotted the company. But oh my, they do have some good chicken! Hopefully this comes close. Although.. the hate may be a key ingredient… we’ll see!

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  70. I loved their sandwiches as a kid, but I can’t eat them anymore thanks to my MSG and peanut allergies. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe!

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  71. I will have to try this version. I have tried another version in which you marinate the chicken in pickle juice after you pound the chicken with the mallet, then season and cook in the oven. I just love their sandwiches!

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  72. OK, this may sound strange, but what is a ‘sour pickle’? I’ve heard of dill, kosher dill, garlic dill and sweet pickles but not sure what a ‘sour pickle’ is. Is there a particular brand of sour pickle that you buy and are they called ‘sour pickles’ on the label? Thanks!

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    1. I don’t know about “sour pickles”; they may be a regional variety, but here in the northeast we have “half sour pickles” which are really delicious. They are my favorite pickle.

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  73. If you really want to nail that fried chicken, the secret that they supposedly live by is marinating the pounded chicken breast in some pickle juice over night before the normal frying procedure. It makes all the difference in the world and brings a level of flavor that previously was only available at Chic-fil-a. But hey, it’s hear-say anyway…

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  74. I am intersted in making these chick fil a sandwiches but adding the step of the pickle brining. Do I just buy sour pickles and soak the raw chicken in that or is there a recipe that you would share to pickle brine?

    Thanx,
    jenni

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  75. I have been making these sandwiches myself for a while now, and the definite secret to these is brining the chicken. Good BBQ places brine their meat all the time, but they just use salt water. The chicken breasts brined in kosher dill pickle juice for at least 12 hours are amazingly exact to the Chik-Fil-A taste, and if you do it at home you can make it organically, if you like. For me, I do a simple dip in an egg wash, then a dip in flour, then egg wash, then flour again. If you can get hold of unrefined peanut oil, fry them in that for that extra southern flavor.

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  76. While pickle juice brine may not be part of the original Chick Fil A recipe, I have used it with very good results on several occasions. The pickle brine adds a very nice subtle flavor element to the breaded fillet and enhances the moisture of the finished product. My wife and kids(who are pretty picky) were very happy with the results. Give it a try!

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  77. Thank you. Thank you. I feel like my copycat chick-fil-a chicken was better than what you get at the restaurant. The kids loved this chicken. I will be making this chicken instead of going into town to buy this chicken.

    love it.
    Betty Dotson-Lewis
    WV Writer

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  78. So glad I stumbled upon this blog! I went to school in Texas and we had a Chik-fil-A in the student center where I had many chicken sandwiches and waffle fries. Now that I am on a pacific island far from the nearest Chik-fil-A, I will definitely try this recipe!

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  79. I live in the Middle East and I’m from Texas. Needless to say, there are no Chic-fil-A restaurants here, but I’m more than wiling to try this one. I’m definitely having withdrawals as I won’t be in Texas again until July or August!

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  80. Wow this is really frustrating. I don’t care about the hundreds of people who for some reason feel the need to confirm that Chic Fil A in fact tastes good. I’m happy that you worked for Chic Fil A. Actually no I’m not, reading that 100 times made me want to drown myself in peanut oil. I wasted 5-10 minutes reading this garbage trying to find ONE person who actually made the recipe and had a normal comment about the RECIPE to no avail. It might be here somewhere, but I could just drive to Chic Fil A in the time it would take me to find it. Not your fault though writer, nothing you can do about the masses of retards that make up society. To the populace: stop breathing oxygen.

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  81. you list 1 t paprika
    then say put the remaining 1/2 t in the flour mixture…am I blind? where is the other 1/2 t?
    will go reread but didn’t see it…please email me and explain…thanks can’t wait to try
    my fav chicken is CFA

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