Chik A FIl Copycat Spicy Chicken Sandwich

I’m skipping today’s Week in Workouts post because to be honest, with all of the fun holiday happenings, working out was the last thing on my mind. I got a few runs in, and one run where I even tried to wear headphones, but I was reminded of why running with headphones sucks so I’d rather not talk about that.Instead, you get a recipe. Holla! And not exactly a healthy one but hey, life is short, live a little! Newflash, one unhealthy meal and a few skipped workouts aren’t going to magically turn you into a huge porker. Trust me on this.

Anyway, what is this unhealthy meal I speak of? Well, we live within a short 5 minute drive from Chik Fil A, Panera, and Chipotle, which can be a blessing and curse at the same time. I love being able to hop in the car and pick up a meal when the craving strikes, but my wallet isn’t too happy about that and I’m pretty sure if I continue the habit, my ass won’t be either. Since I already recreated a Chipotle bowl, and my favorite tuna sandwich from Panera, the spicy chicken sandwich and Chik Fil A sauce from Chik Fil A was the last order of business.

And let me tell you, this sandwich will NEVER be the last order of business in this house. It was my first time ever frying chicken and I am proud to say that both the sandwich and the sauce came out absolutely amazing, had my boys raving for more, and completely satisfied my cravings. Plus, now that I’ve got this sandwich down pat, if we happen to move somewhere far, far away from Chick Fil A, I won’t be too devastated.

As I mentioned earlier, it was my first time ever frying chicken so I wanted to make sure I did this correctly. I combined recipes from Serious Eats, Table for Two, and this blog and I honestly believe I came up with the perfect adaptation of the three. And because I found it somewhat of a pain switching back and forth between each recipe, I decided to make things easier for you and provide a step by step breakdown – Pioneer Woman Style. Your welcome ;)

So here’s what you need for the breading:
2 cups flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar (YES)
3 tsp paprika
2 tbs black pepper
2 tsp cayenne pepper ( I like my eyes to water so you can add less if you don’t)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Here’s everything else you need for the chicken:
2 large chicken breasts or 6 small tenders, beaten till tender
1/2 cup pickle juice mixed with 1/2 cup water
1 cup milk
2 eggs
Peanut Oil for frying
Dill pickle slices for the sandwich

And here’s what you need for the delicious Chick Fil A sauce:
1/2 cup mayo
3 tsp yellow mustard
3 tsp honey
1 tsp dijon honey mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of bbq sauce

So now that you have all your ingredients together, the first thing you want to do is mix 1/2 cup pickle juice and 1/2 cup of water. Then, let your chicken brine in the solution for 30 minutes while you assemble the rest of your ingredients and make the faux Chik Fil A sauce.
Next, mix the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, pepper, salt, powdered sugar and baking soda together.

Then, make your coating mixture by mixing the cup of milk, two eggs and a splash of pickle juice.

While the chicken is still brining, you can also make the Chick Fil A sauce. Mix the mustard, dijon honey mustard, honey, paprika, bbq sauce, garlic powder, lemon juice, and mayo together and stir until evenly mixed. Set aside.

After you have everything set up, you can then move on to the buns. Lightly butter the tops and insides of the buns, and then toast on your lowest setting. Once the buns have toasted, add even MORE butter to the top and insides.

If we’re trying to get that authentic greasy sandwich taste here, the more butter the better ;)

Once you’ve finished toasting and buttering your buns, (does this not crack anyone else up?!) heat a large frying pan filled with 3 cups of peanut oil. Try to get your oil temperature to around 350 degrees.

Add a little bit of the milk and egg mix to the flour and mix everything up till the flour mixture gets crumbly. I promise this makes the breading on the chicken even more crispy, thick and out of this world delicious.

It’s also how the professionals do it so of course, it’s how you should do it too ;)

Finally, it’s time to FRY! Hallelujah!

Working in an assembly line, remove one tender from the pickle juice brine mix, then dunk into the egg mixture before coating the tender with the crumbly breading.

And here’s where we get ridiculous. To get even more of a thick and extra crispy skin (don’t lie, you know you love it that way), go back and do it all over again. It really doesn’t take that long to do and the results are totally worth the extra work.

And in this case it’s perfectly okay to double dip so have at it – no slapped hands here! Dip the tender back in the egg, then back into the flour and finally, carefully place the tender in the oil.

Fry the tender on each side for 4 minutes or until golden brown. If you’re worried about the inside of the tender not being cooked enough, you can warm the tenders in the oven for a few minutes while you get the table set up or clean up your oily mess ;)

There you have it! A perfectly crispy and perfectly spicy chicken filet sandwiched between a rich buttered bun and two sweet and sour pickles, just like the real thing but almost better because it was made with love and without MSG.

And because of the pickle juice and water brine, the chicken retains it’s moisture and stays incredibly juicy, even with the deep frying.

As for the Chik Fil A sauce, the hunk suggested I make a whole jar of it and keep it in the fridge so we can put it on “everything”. The sauce was that ridiculously good and I dare say that it even rivals the real thing.

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. Just try it and tell me what you think. I hope you all love it as much as we did, because you’ll definitely be seeing a lot more of these babies on this blog. I want it in my face FOREVER AND EVER AND EVERRRR…


And finally, for my local peeps:  If you want to start your new years off right, Hot Asana Yoga Studio & Boutique is hosting a Hot Gratitude Yoga Glow Flow this Saturday! There will be glowing balloons, black lights, and killer music! Sounds like TONS of fun, right? I’ll be there and hope to see some of you there as well!

Have a happy, healthy (not if you make this sandwich) weekend!


  1. I've never had Chik Fil A! Never even seen the outside of one! But that chicken looks gooooood.

    Also, I have been feeling really guilty about not going to the gym since Christmas Eve so I feel a teensy bit better knowing I'm not the only one who's skipped a few workouts this week.

  2. Ahhh looks like you did it!!! Going to have to try this :) And yes …. buttering buns made me giggle ;)

  3. Omg, I don't want to try this because I know I will fall madly and deeply in love. Chick-fil-A is my jam and it sounds like you nailed it! I'm certain I would make these every day!

  4. Butter those buns! Haha! I've only had Chick fil a once! We just don't have any in the northeast!

  5. YUM!!

  6. YUM! You've got to try Yurbuds for headphones – seriously, they're the only things that stay in my ears!

  7. Somehow, all your fast food favs are mine as well. I dream of Chik Fila and lo and behold, you provide the recipe. I love Panera's tuna sandwich and you have a recipe. I always get the Chipotle salad bowl and now there is a recipe. What more can a girl ask for? Thanks so much! You are reading my mind!

  8. OMG I'm so drooling over this! It sounds freaking incredible!!!!


  9. Pickle juice and powdered sugar!? Who would have thought!

    Thanks for sharing! It looks divine:)

  10. can you believe i've never had chick fil'a! we don't have them here in NY but i've heard amazing things about the chicken – i'm going to either have to find me one and go down south or try this recipe haha

  11. Holy Crap. Thaaaank you for this recipe! I went to college in the South and now I'm back in NY and I miss Chick-Fil-A like you cannot believe. This is awesome!

  12. So should there be garlic powder in the flour mixture? It isn’t in the ingredient panel…but you mention it in the instructions. if so…how much? Thanks! Making it now…I am ure it will be delicious either way!

  13. Oops…I wanted to check the box to notify me!

  14. These were FANTASTIC! I made them for Sunday dinner and they are as close as you can get to the real thing. I took a hint from another blog site I found and brined them in salt and sugar for a few hours before frying them and they were simply spectacular. I totally appreciate how much work goes into a Chick-fil-A sandwich now! This is a winner!
    THEIslandGirl…Sharon recently posted…My take on Cincinnati ChiliMy Profile


  1. [...] restaurant recreation in the form of homemade Chik-Fil-A courtesy of the lovely Maria.  LOVED it and her sauce is bomb.  I am loving recreating my favorite restaurant meals at home. [...]

  2. [...] sure you get the idea of what he has for dinner when I post recent recipes like Pan fried Udon, Chick Fil A sandwiches, and etc. He eats the same dinner as us, just in smaller portions. And yes, even the spicy [...]

  3. […] adapted from here. If you like this copycat recipe you may like: Cheesecake Factory Tex Mex Eggrolls copycat […]

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge