Welp, I finally had my first Chick-fil-A sandwich. We splurged, and the hubs went up to Brick, NJ, the nearest town that has one, and picked us up some lunch as a treat!
I was so tired, in a lot of pain, and I was so very grateful that my dear sweet hubby wouldn’t let me fix us anything! So he asked what I might like… I’ve been intrigued over the “big sensation” about this sandwich for several years now, so, curiosity finally got the best of me and I had to see for myself just what all the fuss was about!
The hubs loved it, but I honestly thought that it was just, well, “meh”. Sorry!!!! I know!! Just being honest here. Please don’t hate me!
But I carefully scrutinized every bite of this strangely popular sandwich anyways, in hopes that I could try and recreate it for my hubby (since he really did enjoy it), writing down every last ingredient that I (personally) could taste in it.
It was a quest.
As it is for all true foodies. And I think that my Best Copycat Chick-fil-A Sandwich is unsurpassed and about as spot on to theirs as it gets!
Only difference? Sorry Chick-fil-A….but mine were better. MUCH. (But homemade always is, isn’t it?) I think I should rename these to…. Le-Man-sl-A-er. hehe. 😉
*The pic below is Chick-fil-A’s website photo. Ours, (the purchased ones), didn’t look quite like this, though, lol!!! Not by a LONG shot!! It was fine and all. Edible. But the chicken filet was MUCH thinner, as was the breading. Hardly any at all in fact, and very pale in color, kind of an “anemic yellow” color, and such a VERY thin coating it that didn’t even cover all of the chicken.
I wish that I would’ve thought to take a quick shot so that you could see, but I spaced it. I was tired, in pain, and hungry. What can I say. If we (ever) buy them again, I’ll be sure to remember to take a photo and add it to this post for a more realistic representation of what they actually serve and you can expect to receive when you purchase one from them.
My recipe is actually quite different than the hundreds of copycat recipes that I read later online, as I was in the kitchen experimenting and mixing like a mad scientist!
And I started to question myself. How could my ingredients that I jotted down as I was eating it be so different from everyone else’s??
So glad that I stuck to my tastebuds and sense of smell!
Though not exact, (the odds of getting struck by lightning are better!), in our opinion, it’s as close as you’re going to get to the real thing! (*And, NOT bragging…but…my hubby said it tasted just like them … except BETTER).
He proceeded to eat THREE of them. Yep. THREE. The best compliment in the WORLD!!!
OMG, I love that man!!!!
Something to Pin to your Pinterest boards
for safe keeping to make any time you want!
One big difference, right off the bat, was that I marinated them in a lemon-water bath. *Not pickle juice.
For some reason, everyone thinks that this is what they do at the restaurant. But after coming across several testaments by actual employees, the fried chicken filets are not, in fact (according to people who claim to work there), marinated in pickle juice.
Only the grilled chicken filets are.
Their pickles are highly vinegary, which is what may be lending that extra “dill pickle flavor” that has caused the assumption that they are marinated in pickle juice.
So I think that I may be right in what I did, as I swear, I could really taste lemon in the purchased sandwich. Not in the breading, but definitely in the chicken itself. If you taste each component separately, you’ll see what I mean.
I then gathered up a small armful of the herbs and spices that I personally tasted in there, and though it may seem like a lot, it’s just pantry stuff and comes together quickly!! Literally, in minutes! So don’t leave anything out!
The combination was wonderful and SPOT. ON. (But better!) 😉
I used onion powder, as that’s what I have on hand. But if you have “granulated onion”, (not to be confused with “dried minced onion”), you might want to use that instead.
Granulated is slightly more coarse than powdered and finer than dried minced onion, has a better flavor (milder and a little bit sweeter), and just might be what they use. But the onion powder worked just fine. So do just use what you have, either the powder or granulated (if you’re lucky enough to happen to have some!)
(*This is what granulated onion looks like:)
Lastly, I did cook mine partly with the lid on tight to help tenderize the meat and keep the filets nice and juicy inside. Most restaurants that serve fried chicken in quantity use what’s called a “pressure fryer“. They’re for commercial use only, and makes for the best fried chicken in minutes!
I used to use one eons ago, when I worked in a small grocery store deli! I so miss cooking with one, and would all but kill to have one, but they are definitely not made for home kitchens! So to try and achieve the same tenderness, just follow how I do it for best results, versus just open-pan frying it on both sides. It really does make a huge difference!
I wish I could say that I used peanut oil, as that’s what they use, but that stuff costs literally twice as much as canola and vegetable oil, so I went with what I had, canola oil. It’s a light, clean tasting, all-purpose oil that has a high smoking point which makes it wonderful for frying! And that worked just fine for us.
Overall, I think Chick-fil-A is putting out a much, better than average, chicken sandwich for being a fast-food establishment. It’s definitely a real chicken breast, not “pieces parts”, and has a nice mellow flavor.
The regular sandwich with just pickles and my copycat recipe for Chick-fil-A’s “secret mayonnaise” is all you really need. And that’s how I made mine when I recreated them.
The hubs went “Deluxe”, so that’s how I made his! No matter how you make these, I think that you’ll really enjoy them, and I hope that they compare to Chick-Fil-A to you, too, as much as we think they do! We were very happy with them! Enjoy!!
*Be sure to check out the secondary recipe right below this one! My Copycat Chick-fil-A mayonnaise! *To make it "Deluxe", onto bottom bun place pickles, then lettuce, 2 tomato slices, hot chicken filet, and a slice of cheese. Top with hot buttered and toasted bun.
For Egg Bath:
For Seasoned Flour:
Rest of Ingredients:
**Chick-fil-A offers the following cheeses: American, Co-Jack, Pepper Jack, and sometimes Provolone. You can also place them on a whole wheat bun, too, if you choose.
So make it how you like it!
*To make it "Deluxe", onto bottom bun place pickles, then lettuce, 2 tomato slices, hot chicken filet, and a slice of cheese. Top with hot buttered and toasted bun.