The Sandwich Diaries – The Chicken Fillet Sammich

The Sandwich Diaries – The Chicken Fillet Sammich

Chicken Title


Ever since they showed up in the malls in the late 70’s, that chicken sandwich has become just about my favorite option for fast food. That slightly sweet coating, that perfect blend of seasoning, that steamy – steamy bun after it stews in those foil pouches… just perfection in a chicky sammich.

But whatever they were – these days they’re just an E Ticket to crazytown for us. The chain uses peanut oil which makes them a serious no-no as far as our current allergen list  goes… and then there’s the whole MSG thing.

But, I figured there has to be a work-around… and you know – there is!

Chik-Fil-A makes no bones about a secret recipe for their coating. They even tell you what’s in it on their site. But, as I have found through scores of trashed copy-cat recipes, it rarely comes out exactly like the restaurant’s version.

And to be absolutely fair… unless you are using a pressure fryer, it still wont taste exactly like theirs… but it comes damn close.

cfl 2

The “Not Quite Cow Advertised ~ Allergen Free

Chicken Sandwich”

Makes 4 Sandwiches


For the Marinade:

2  6 to 8 Ounce Boneless / Skinless Chicken Breasts

2/3 Cup Buttermilk

2 Tablespoons Dill Pickle Juice

1 Large Zipper Bag

For the Coating:

1/2 Cup AP Flour

1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon Confectioner’s Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Paprika

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Celery Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Dried Basil

1 Egg

1/2 Cup Milk

1 Tablespoon Dill Pickle Juice

Tools of the Trade:

Large Bowl for Dredging

Fry Daddy – or Dutch Oven

2 Cups Canola Oil


Draining Rack




Cut the breasts in 1/2 and pound out to 1/2″ thickness. Mix together the buttermilk and pickle juice in a large zipper bag, add the breasts and marinate for a minimum of 1 hour – but it is really better to allow them to marinate overnight.

Mix together the dry coating ingredients in a large bowl; making sure everything is evenly mixed.

Beat together the milk, egg, and pickle juice in another bowl

Heat 2 cups of oil to 350 in a dutch oven

Remove the breasts from the bag, squitch around in the egg mixture then coat very well in the dry mix. I hit them with the dry mix once while the oil is heating – then dredge them in the coating mix once again just before hitting the hot oil.

Fry the breasts for about 12 minutes OR until the internal temp at the thickest part of the breast registers 140 degrees.

Drain on racks

Place on toasted, buttered, black sesame buns with 2 dill pickle slices… wrap in foil for that steamy effect.


Serve them with our Eggplant Fries.. Trust me, you wont even miss those waffle-cut things.




Eggplant Fries

Makes 2 Servings


1 Large Eggplant

1/4 Cup Self Rising Flour

1 Tablespoon Cornmeal

1 Tablespoon Corn Flour

1 Tablespoon Confectioners Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

1 Egg

1/2 Cup Buttermilk

Tools of the Trade:

2 Cups Canola Oil (use the same you made the fillets in)

Dutch Oven


Draining Rack

Large Mixing Bowl




Mix all the batter ingredients together and let hydrate while you cut the eggplant. Add a little water if the batter gets overly thick – it should be the consistency of thin pancake batter

Heat the oil to 350

Cut the eggplant length-wise into 1/2″ slices – then cut each slice into 1/2″ thick sticks

Working in small batches, dredge the sticks in the batter until well coated then transfer to the hot oil

Fry for 3 to 5 minutes or until the coating is golden brown and crisp.

Transfer to racks and dust with a little salt

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