I love Chick-fil-A. My dad makes a version at home that is great. After I had a terrible chicken sandwich at camp I asked my dad to show me how to make this sandwich. This is my (and my dad’s) recipe for Homemade Chick-fil-A Recipe for Sandwich and Nuggets.
My dad’s recipe involves sous vide cooking. This is a cool instrument that heats the water to a certain temperature. You put the chicken in a bag and drop it in for awhile. This was the easy part. Cutting and frying the chicken is the hard part.
I cut part of the chicken breast into four fairly big pieces. The rest of the chicken I cut into smaller pieces for nuggets. I pounded the four larger pieces flat so they were about the size of a Chick-fil-A Sandwich.
One note on food safety. I took a cooking class and they warned us about handling raw chicken. This can be very dangerous. You need to carefully clean any surface the chicken touches. I washed the knife in hot water with soap and a sponge. We then place the sponge in the dishwasher so it is not contaminated. At the Mythbuster exhibit at San Diego’s Fleet Science Center they noted the kitchen sponge is the dirtiest item in many houses.
I also love pickles and of course, pickles come on Chick-fil-A Sandwiches. They also are a part of the recipe. Before cooking the chicken you put the cut chicken pieces in a bag with pickle juice. You let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour or more.
After it has marinated you put it in the sous vide at about 145 degrees for an hour and half to two hours. At this point the chicken is fully cooked.
The next step is really fun, frying the chicken. For this you have two bowls, a wet bowl and a dry bowl. The dry bowl has flour and spices. The wet bowl has buttermilk and hot sauce. You dip the chicken in the wet bowl, then the dry bowl. Then you drop it in the hot oil for just about 2 minutes.
We don’t use egg in our homemade Chick-fil-A Sandwich because our family is allergic to raw eggs and sometimes they don’t cook enough. My dad said the egg is mainly for getting the batter to stick. But for us the batter had no problem sticking.
The oil is heated to 375 degrees. You work in small batches where you drop a couple pieces of chicken in at a time. I had to keep checking the temperature because it changes. My dad said to start with one small piece to test for temperature and time. My first piece did come out somewhat burned so it was a smart idea.
We also used a little bit of hot sauce. I was worried it would be too spicy but it was fine. Of course, you serve this on a toasted and buttered bun with a pickle and ketchup. These came out awesome. There were a lot of nuggets that are also great.
Next time my dad and I are going to try and make waffle cut fries to go along with our homemade Chick-fil-A Sandwich.
Homemade Chick-fil-A Sandwich
This is how I made a Homemade Chick-fil-A Sandwich using a sous vide cooking machine
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup pickle juice from a jar of dill pickles
- 32 ounces vegetable oil we use canola
- 4 hamburger buns
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic salt
- 1.5 cup flour
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoon hot sauce Franks, Texas Pete, Crystal's etc
Cut part of chicken breasts into 4 large pieces for sandwiches. Pound flat so they are about the size of the buns,
Cut rest of chicken into smaller nugget size pieces.
Place chicken in bowl or bag, season with salt and pepper, add pickle juice and brine for at least an hour.
Heat sous vide bath to 145 degrees. Remove from brine. Place in sous vide bag and seal. Cook for 1.5 to 2 hours.
While chicken cooks combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl. Add oil to large pot.
Remove chicken from sous vide and put on plate. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Place dry bowl next to pot, followed by wet bowl and chicken.
Working in batches, dip a small number of chicken pieces into wet bowl, then dry bowl and then into pot. Fry for about 2 minutes until golden brown. Check and adjust oil temperature as needed.
Serve chicken sandwiches on toasted hamburger buns with condiments of choice. Chicken nuggets can be served separately with ketchup, ranch or other sauce.