I am SO SO SO excited to finally get this one nailed! There’s not a Chick-fil-A anywhere near where we live now, and of course there isn’t one in Hawaii (and if there was, it probably wouldn’t be quite the same). So this feels like a big kitchen win.
Of course, you can make the nuggets this way too. Which I will probably do when SoldierMan is in the field. But when he’s here, it’s sandwiches.
I’ve been researching copycat Chick-fil-A Sandwiches for a while now. And there are a lot of them out there. And I tried several, but none of them really seemed to stick the landing for me. Something was always not quite right.
So one day I decided I would experiment with various aspects of several recipes I had collected. And voila! Success!
The crux of copycat recipes usually boil down to a single “secret” that ensures success. Is there one secret to this recipe? No, there are two.
The first one is that the breading is a mixture of regular flour and….powdered sugar. Yes, good ol’ confectioner’s sugar. Sounds crazy, but it’s not.
The second secret? Brining in pickle juice. Straight up out-of-the-jar pickle juice, for at least an hour. Observe:
Yes, it will make the chicken turn green. Just move right on past that, because that’s some magical goodness happening in there. Also, I went ahead and tossed the pickles in because we don’t eat pickles. Like, ever. I buy them for the pickle juice and the occasional potato salad.
While this recipe absolutely hits the mark on flavor, the texture is not exactly the same. But I’m not deep-frying the chicken breasts. Obviously, that would solve your texture issue, and maybe one day I’ll make them that way, if we’re having a group over or something. But as far as a pan-fried version goes, this is basically It.
This is a two person recipe, so adjust accordingly.
- 1 large chicken breast, pounded flat, in two portions
- 1 large jar of pickles/juice
- frying oil - at least 1 cup
- Powdered sugar – 1/3 c
- Flour – 2/3 c
- Hamburger buns
Brine chicken breasts in pickle juice for at least an hour.
Pour oil into high-sided pan and heat on medium heat until water droplets spatter when dropped into the oil.
While the oil is heating, take breasts out of pickle juice and cover with milk. Mix flour and powdered sugar in a flat dish for dredging.
When oil is hot, double-bread chicken by dredging in flour/sugar, returning to milk, and the dredging again. Carefully place in hot oil and cover with splatter screen.
When breading is set and starting to brown, after about 5 minutes, carefully flip chicken and let set for about another 5 minutes. Continue flipping every 5-7 minutes until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.
Take chicken breasts out of the pan and set on paper towels to cool and let excess grease drain for about 5 minutes.
Assemble sandwiches and enjoy!