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
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 ;)
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.
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!