This is my copycat Chick-fil-A sandwich recipe that my boys begged me to develop. They are new to the whole Chick-fil-A following, but they fell fast and hard for this American favorite and to be honest, I totally understand why.
Chick-fil-A’s history goes way back to the 1940’s, when it’s founder S. Truett Cathy first opened the Dwarf House in Hapeville, Georgia. The chicken sandwich he showcased there was one of the country’s very first chicken sandwiches, and it only skyrocketed from there. With that famous recipe, Cathy went on to open his first Chick-fil-A in Atlanta in 1967 and the rest they say, is history.
Today, with it’s cult-like-following, the company generates more revenue, per restaurant, than any other fast-food chain. It’s almost made its way into all 50 states, with only Hawaii, Alaska and Vermont without a location, but chances are that will change soon enough. According to Buzzfeed, Chick-fil-A will soon become the third-largest fast-food chain restaurant surpassing Wendy’s, Burger King and Taco Bell. The fried chicken giant passed away in September 2014 at the age of 93 leaving his chicken empire in the hands of his children. At his passing, Cathy’s estimated net worth was a whopping $6.2 billion.
Chick-Fil-A Fun Facts:
- The “A” in “Chick-fil-A” has a meaning. The “A” isn’t just a play on the word “fillet.” It also means “Grade A, meaning the best quality of chicken.
- All Chick-fil-A restaurants are closed on Sundays. Cathy understood the importance of time off from work. As the website explains, Cathy set aside one day of the week for himself and his employees “to rest and worship if they choose.”
- The first 100 customers at a new Chick-fil-A restaurant get free Chick-fil-A for a year. Dubbed the “First 100 Campout,” Chick-fil-A encourages fans to camp out in front of its new locations the day before they open and promises to reward the first 100 customers free Chick-fil-A for a year.
- Only three states don’t have a Chick-fil-A restaurant. There are locations in 47 states, plus Washington D.C. The only states it has yet to set up in are Alaska, Hawaii and Vermont.
- One Chick-fil-A has a Hawaiian-themed restaurant. Called “Truett’s Luau“, located in Fayetteville, Ga. The 8,000-square-foot dine-in restaurant offers an array of seafood, pork and chicken options.
- Opening a Chick-fil-A franchise is cheap, about $10,000, but it’s extremely competitive to become a franchisee. They get about 20,000 franchisee applications a year and only chooses about 75-80.
- Chick-fil-A is largest buyer of Sunkist lemons in the world, in 2014, 121 million cups of lemonade, were sold, using 250 million lemons.
- It’s the largest buyer of peanut oil in the country. Peanut oil is one of the key ingredient behind Chick-fil-A’s crispy chicken coating.
- Its grilled nuggets took seven years and $50 million to create. Much of that was spent by Chick-fil-A scientists creating a special grill just for the nuggets.
- Surprisingly, Chick-fil-A’s waffle fries that are the most-ordered menu item.
- The company will never go public. Before Cathy passed away in 2014, he made his children sign a contract agreeing that Chick-fil-A will always remain a private company. However, he did agree that they could sell it if they wanted to.
- Chick-fil-A’s chicken sandwich recipe is kept locked in a vault at its headquarters in Atlanta.
- Chick-fil-A sauce actual is not a secret. In fact, in a tweet, the company revealed its simple formula: a blend of honey mustard, barbecue and ranch.
- Each restaurant makes their own pickles on-site, a process that takes three days and involves cutting up cucumbers and soaking them in brine for three days.
- Chick-fil-A helps its employees go to college. Since 1973, Chick-fil-A has given more than $35 million in college scholarships to Chick-fil-A employees.
- There is a secret menu. Like a number of other fast-food chains, Chick-fil-A offers its own secret menu. Some of the items on this hidden list include a double decker sandwich, cheese fries, a chicken quesadilla, lettuce-wrapped sandwiches and a root-beer float.
- Each Chick-fil-A makes more money, per restaurant, than any other fast-food chain. In 2017 alone its average sales per restaurant was about $4 million, compared to its competitor McDonald’s, whose average was $2.6 million.
When you break it down, it may take some effort, but there is not all that much to this copycat Chick-fil-A sandwich. No expensive ingredients or hard to find spices are required. But the pickle juice marinade and peanut oil used for frying, make this sandwich exceptional in taste. And if you ask my boys, my recipe is very similar to the real deal. Give it a shot and let me know your thoughts.
Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich
- For the Marinade:
- 4 small-medium organic chicken breast
- 1/2 cup dill pickle juice
- 1/3 cup cold water
- For the Coating:
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- For the Chick-fil-A Special Sauce:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 2 teaspoon smoky barbecue sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For the Sandwich:
- 4 standard size hamburger buns, lightly toasted
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- Iceberg lettuce
- 1 beefsteak tomato, sliced
- Dill pickle slices
- peanut oil, for frying
- Step 1 For the Marinate: Place the pickle juice and water in a shallow glass dish. Add the chicken breast and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes rotating once.
- Step 2 For the Coating: In a small another mixing bowl add the milk and egg and blend well. Set aside.
- Step 3 In a larger mixing bowl add the flour, confectioners’ sugar, baking powder, paprika, black pepper, chili powder and salt. Mix well and set aside for later.
- Step 4 For the Special Sauce: In another small mixing bowl (or glass jar) add the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, yellow mustard, barbecue sauce, honey, lemon juice, garlic powder, paprika and salt. Mix to blend and refrigerate until needed.
- Step 5 In a medium saucepan add about 2 cups peanut oil and place over a medium high flame. Using an instant read thermometer, heat oil to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set near your work station.
- Step 6 While the oil is heating, coat the chicken. Working one piece at a time, remove the chicken from the marinade and dredge the chicken breast completely in the egg mixture. Next coat the chicken in the flour-mixture. Now take the coasted chicken and dredge it again the in the egg-milk mixture followed by the flour mixture for a double dipped coating. Place the coated chicken on a dinner plate and reserve. Now repeat this process with the remaining pieces of chicken until all pieces of chicken are coated.
- Step 7 Once the oil has reached the desired temperature, carefully place the chicken, 2 pieces at a time, into the in hot oil and fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side depending on the size of your chicken breasts. Using tongs, carefully remove the cooked chicken and place on the to paper towel lined baking sheet. Repeat this process with the additional chicken.
- Step 8 Assemble the Sandwich: Lightly toast and butter the sandwich buns. Place a generous dollop of Chick-fil-A special sauce on the toasted bun and spread evenly. Top with lettuce, tomato, chicken and dill pickles. Serve immediately.
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