The pickle juice here isn’t going to infuse the chicken with the flavor of pickles in such a way that your GF would find it unpalletable, unless of couse its the pickling spice she hates and not the tartness/texture of the pickles themselves. If you must use an alternate marinade, pickle juice is essentially just a spiced brine. Dissolve a good amount of salt in water, throw in some whole spice and forge ahead as written.
I know I’m addicted to this site now. My evidence for it is this: I do not eat fried chicken/many fried things, and yet… I still had to read this recipe! Why? Was I subconsciously seeking culinary advice? Yes! Even though I won’t make this, except maybe for guests, but not for myself at least, I found the pickle marinade concept interesting and I’m sure that tidbit about kernels will come in handy someday. Thanks!
I stumbled across this website a few days ago. I have read every recipe for the insight it gives me on meal planning for the next few weeks, and for the comic value as well. FRAD CHICK’N SAMMICH just made it onto my “im gonna friggin make that as soon as possible” list.
Brining is key; it’s what keeps the chicken tender. Discovered that while trying to reverse engineer those sandwiches awhile ago. I also discovered that spattering a bit of the batter (like, very little; tiny drops) also helps lead to a, lets call it “chunky,” crisp more in-line with the restaurant’s.
If you want to be even more authentic, chick-fil-a uses peanut oil for frying their chicken. Obviously don’t do this if you’re allergic to peanuts, but this might take the flavor that little smidge closer.
Drive an hour to the nearest chick-fil-A… Only to realize its Sunday *face palm* should have just cooked at home with Tyler
Definitely gona make a batch of these, would be a nice change to summer salads =)
Made chicken biscuits using this recipe this morning. The resemblance to Chick-fil-a was uncanny. All chicken should be marinated in pickle juice. One piece of advice: I’d suggest using a meat mallet to pound the chicken a bit thinner before you bread it. That way you’ll be more likely to get the inside cooked through without burning the breading.
Tyler, I love ya, bought 2 copies of your book, laugh my ass off every damn time, but catsup????? Chik-fil-a is dill pickles and mayo, baby. Wendys breaded chicken is pretty damn close, fixed this way! Gonna make this anyway, you had me at pickle juice.
Gonna have to give this recipe a try next time I do chicken fingers. Never would have thought of doing a pickle juice type marinade. Also, and this one shames me, never thought of using cream instead of milk for the dunk… even though I always have heavy cream on hand. *blush* And here I thought I knew how to cook.
Y’know what also works with this recipe? Try using fresh white fish fillets instead of chicken. Tilapia, cod, pollock or swai. Pair off with those red potato wedges you gave us a month or so ago for a tasty fish and chips platter. Plus the tilapia fillets are just the right size to slap on a bun for a tasty fish sandwich.
Allan- couple of possibilities. Did your breading peel off in one or two big pieces, but otherwise stay intact? Or did it dissolve into the grease as you were frying it? In the first case, you may have flipped the chicken too soon or too often, or not had quite enough oil in the pan and the breading stuck to the pan, or maybe simply handled it a little too roughly. Gotta be a little gentle with breaded fried goods, the breading is frequently not super firmly attached. In the second case, your oil wouldn’t have been hot enough when you put the chicken into the pan.
Got to give this a try! Been using the 2am chilli recipe for some time now and absolutely love it. Just pre-ordered the book and cant wait to get stuck into some more of your recipes.
Thankyou very much sir!
I worked at a Chick-Fil-A for 4 years in college frying chicken. From what I remember, their chicken breasts were not marinated in anything. The chicken strips, however, were soaked in a marinade that included pickle juice. I believe the way CFA’s chicken stays so moist is that it is fried in a deep, pressure fryer. However, most of us don’t have one of those at home, so brine that chicken (can’t wait to try this…).
Also, FWIW, CFA fries basically everything in peanut oil. At least, they did when I worked there. They may have changed this since (given peanut allergies). Anyway, I don’t know if this really makes a difference, but I always use peanut oil for frying at home now (except when I use olive oil).
One last, but very important, question: will you have a spicy version of this recipe in your book? I would really like a spicy recipe.
I got up at 8:00 this morning and made chicken biscuits for breakfast and they did not disappoint. I added some extra cayenne (a full 1/4 teaspoon I think) and it made it noticeably spicy. I’d add more cayenne and garlic for a spicier sandwich. Didn’t taste like THE spicy chicken sandwich, just a spicy Chick-fil-a sandwich.
So, I found a food-hacker (the name of which sadly escapes me) who tried to crack the Chick Fil A formula. He added two tablespoons of the egg-wash to the dry breading and mixed it until it was the texture of dry sand. The results are the clumps of breading you see on the CFA sammiches.
cooked me some chicken, but im not sure if it was the cast iron skillet or what but my breading had some serious issues with staying on there…figured it may have been the addition of the heavy cream, I was advised to just stick with the beaten egg. Any one else having the same problem?
Right on. Well chosen with the pickle juice since it seems to be a popular item to keep in the fridge.
For those craving spicier sandwiches:
-Add more cayenne and/or black pepper to the flour.
-Add a healthy squeeze of Sriracha to the marinade. (It’ll bloom in the vinegary mixture and infuse the flavor a little)
-Top with your hot sauce of choice. (duh?)
For those with breading issues, try Flour/Egg/Flour, then Fry.
I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but it looks fantastically amazing!
For those of you that are having problems when it comes to the actuall cooking of the chicken, the trick is to have room temperature chicken at the start of cooking. Cooks evenly and quickly. I always let any meat that I am about to cook hang out marinating on the counter for a good 2-3 hours before I start.
I just found your website. OMG, thank you for this recipe! I have Celiac’s disease and haven’t been able to have a chicken sandwich out for several years. With this recipe, I know I’ll be able to substitute the four with a gluten free blend, and I can finally have my chicken sandwich again! I wanted one so badly last month I almost started crying (no joke)
Awesome recipe…however, not one person mentioned the Chick-Fil-A sauce?!?! Ketchup…no way!!! To make the sauce, mix honey, mustard, bbq sauce & mayo…I should know i used to work there and everyone asks, HEY WHAT IS IN THIS SAUCE? In a pinch you can mix honey mustard and bbq sauce or honey bbq and mustard…you get the idea.
If you want it spicier, up the black pepper. Like a teaspoon or two. Or a full tablespoon. Or two. Really, Tyler, 1/4 teaspoon? *shaking my head* Y’all leave the cayenne alone — more will alter the flavor of the breading, not the heat.
And I’ve done everything anyone ever suggested for making the breading stay on the damn chicken. Cooked it cold, dipped in flour then eggy milk, then breading, you name it. My coating always cracks and falls off.
Oh yeah, I forgot — CFA doesn’t brine the chicken breasts in pickle juice! Brine your raw cutlets in 1 qt water with 1/4 c kosher salt and 1/4 c sugar in it for an hour or so. Pat them dry and then go on ahead with your bad self.
These are incredibly tastier if you put the cooked chicken on the toasted bun, put the 2 crucial pickles on the meat, and then wrap the whole shebang in aluminum foil and let it steam in the hot oven (from toasting the buns) until you’ve got your sides ready — 10 min or so.
I took this a step further and turned the chicken into twice fried waffle chicken… patted the chicken dry and left it to cool, then dredged it through waffle batter and fried it againfor about 45 seconds a side to get the batter nice and puffy. Served with syrup… yum!
This is too pickly. Chick-fil-a does not brine their chicken in pickle juice; the flavor just comes from the pickles on the sandwich. The heavy whipping cream is also unnecessary. Seriously, this is the worst food blog online. I really wish stumbleupon would stop taking me here
Another tip for making it taste more like Chick-Fil-A: Wrap each sammich individually in foil. Be sure to add the two crucial pickles to the sammich prior to wrapping. Place on a baking sheet in a warmed oven (about 350ish, but turned off, perhaps after having baked up a mess of waffle-cut french fries) for about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove sammiches from oven. Carefully unwrap sammiches. Enjoy.
If you want a true Chick-Fil-A experience, serve up some sweetened iced tea.
Pat chicken, or any meat you’re going to dredge, DRY, before dredging. #1 cause of breading sloughing off. Just a little pat down with a paper towel, so it’s more matte, and less shiny. Then it will hold onto the breading like a champ.
Tried it last night, was totally awesome. Thank goodness I had pickle juice on hand. Whenever I fry things, I usually just fry it enough to get a crispy outside, then pop it in the oven at 350 for a half hour or so till the dark meat is fully cooked. Pickle juice as a brine is a really good idea. I normally just salt the water until it reaches full saturation.
[...] If you don’t have a thermometer and want to check if you have your oil at the right temperature of 350 degrees, you can test it by placing a couple of popcorn kernels in your hot oil. The popcorn will pop right around that temperature. [Cooking Comically] [...]
Has anyone tried this with Nathan’s Famous ® brand Kosher slender pickle chips/juice?
It’s a little more expensive than your standard brand of pickle, but who knows, maybe it’ll make all the difference.
Also, for those of you harping on about how CFA doesn’t use a pickle brine, or CFA doesn’t use this or that etc, keep in mind, this is how own recipe INSPIRED by CFA. It doesn’t have to be genuine. It just has to be good.
Seriously the BEST online recipe I have ever come across! I used this recipe (with yeast rolls and honey butter) to make chicken minis and they tasted EXACTLY like Chick-fil-A’s… without all the hate. Thank you so much for posting this!
You had a previous incarnation of this recipe in 2011 I think, and IMO it was better.
For the folks whose breading shattered off the chicken: reserve about 3 tablespoons of the dredge, and sprinkle 2 – 3 T of the liquid dip over the rest of the dredge, and work it in until the dredge resembles coarse sand. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then dip in the reserved dredge, dip in the bath, then coat with the coarse sand dredge, and fry. DON’T USE TONGS TO HANDLE THE CHICKEN IN THE OIL!!! Use a slotted spoon if you can’t handle chopsticks, and gently turn each piece, then scoop it out when it’s done.
I’ve been cooking probably more years than you’ve been alive and I never heard of the the popcorn method to check my oil temp.
Love it. Gonna use it. Probably going to salt the popped kernel and eat it too.