After the ruckus I caused a few weeks ago by posting the ~100 ingredients in a Chick-fil-A sandwich on my Facebook Page and writing an article entitled “Chick-fil-A or Chemical-fil-A” about the harmful effects of those ingredients….I did some thinking about one particular comment I received regarding how someone didn’t want to give up Chick-fil-A because they had already given up so many other food vices in their life.
I wanted to expose Chick-fil-A because I find it atrocious that companies can legally feed you a combination of chemicals that are known to have disastrous effects on your health. I find it even more disturbing when very smart people are easily fooled into thinking something may be a healthier option because of misleading marketing. Well I am here to tell you – You can have your Chick-fil-A and eat it too! Even on Sunday! All without any life threatening chemicals…. You don’t have to go in life without – I really think you can have it all – especially if you have the right tools and information to navigate through the food world. As a firm believer of this statement…..I found a way to make a Chick-fil-A sandwich with the least possible harm to your body. This Chick-Fil-A sandwich won’t give you a sugar high. Or destroy your brain cells from MSG. Or give you toxin induced sluggishness after you eat it. Or more cravings for food even though you are full. Or cause you life long struggles with autoimmune disorders, diabetes, or heart disease. IMO, this recipe isn’t the best thing you can put in your body, but it won’t slowly kill you overtime either. So if you really are craving Chick-fil-A and don’t want to give it up – Make my “Open on Sunday Sandwich.” It takes a total of less than 30 mins to prepare. It takes more time to drive to Chick-fil-A than to make this sandwich. And the best part – It tastes very close to the real thing. Pretty amazing, huh?
- 2 chicken breasts equaling about 1 pound
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup pickle juice
- 12 pickle slices
- 3 tbsp white or apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ tsp paprika
- 1 cup flour of your choice (I used spelt)
- 1 tbsp powdered sugar
- ¼ tsp dry mustard
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- olive oil or coconut oil
- 4 sprouted whole wheat hamburger buns or buns of your choice
- 1 tbsp butter
- About 4 hours before or the day before – Cut chicken breasts in half making 4 similar size pieces
- With a meat tenderizer or small hammer pound the chicken to ½ inch thick
- Sprinkle salt, pepper and ½ tsp paprika to both sides of chicken
- Place chicken in 1 cup pickle juice and let marinate for at least 4 hours to one day prior to baking
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees
- Place pickle slices in vinegar and let marinate while you prep the chicken
- In a bowl, combine and stir flours, sugar, baking soda, 1 tsp paprika, dry mustard and set aside
- In another bowl, whisk egg and almond milk together
- Remove chicken from marinade and dredge one piece of chicken at a time in egg bath, ensuring each side is wet and dredge in flour mixture coating each sidePlace each flour coated chicken piece on a wire rack with pan on bottom
- Spray each piece liberally with olive oil or coconut oil covering both sides
- Place tray of chicken in oven
- After 12 mins, turn each piece of chicken over mid way through baking
- After about 25 mins – 30 mins, chicken should be completely cooked and crispy
- Take out of the oven and let rest at least 5 mins
- While chicken is resting, butter buns and place in oven for 3-5 mins
- Take buns out of oven, place 3 pickles on bottom bun and chicken on top and ENJOY!
If you know a friend or family member who still frequents Chick-fil-A – please share this recipe with them, you could be a life saver!
336 responses to “Homemade Chick-fil-A – Now Open on Sunday!”
Thanks for this recipe. I’d love to try it but am struggling with the pickle juice part. We eat about 1 jar of pickles every 6 months, so how do we get enough pickle juice to make this recipe more than once every 6 months upon completion of our jar since I’m certainly not saving juice used to marinate raw chicken? It looks like a great recipe but isn’t viable unless a family consumes extreme amounts of pickles??? Are there any everyday ingredient substitutes for the pickle juice?
I’m not a expert or anything, but my mom makes her own pickles and it’s just a brine with cucumbers put into it. So I would guess that you could get a recipe for the brine and make your own “pickle juice” without having to have pickles around.
It’s probably not too hard. I think there are even some packets of all the seasoning for the brine and all you have to do is add the vinegar.
All of the public school concession stands and even the Little League ones, etc in our area sell pickles. There is always about 1/2 of a gallon jar of pickle juice left when all the pickles are sold. I am sure anyone who is in charge of the concessions would give you the juice, probably even a cup or 2 at a time. I feel sure they pour it down the drain. If you have a favorite local restaurant where you know manager you might also check with them. There should be plenty of food vendors that throw out pickle juice on a regular basis. Just a thought.
Great idea Donna!
yes, but those pickles probably have food coloring and who knows what else, not to mention how unsanitary it probably is…i wouldn’t chance it…
Simple, eat more pickles…
unless you must have it EXACTLY like chick filet, just skip the pickle juice. I wouldn’t recommend it anyway since, for me, it would ruin the taste. However, if you want to marinade, use some lemon juice instead, or some apple cider vinegar.
Um, pickles aren’t that expensive. Just buy a jar of them and use the juice. If you don’t want the pickles, trash them. They don’t cost a fortune.
Sorry, but pickles are expensive where I live along with almost all western food ingredient – except ironically, the white meat chicken breast used in this recipe. Please don’t assume the only country in the world is yours or the only life people lead is yours. I am so grateful for what we can get and try not to take anything for granted. Throwing away pickles does not display any traits that I would want my children to learn, but rather it would teach them excess, greed, self-indulgence and entitlement to name a few.
Before buying the pickles look at the ingredients. Most are injected with Yellow #5. If you are making these to get away from the chemicals, look at the pickles
I have never been to Chick-fil-A, but this is a wonderful recipe! Made it with our homemade dill pickles. Yum!
I love the healthy recipes I see on your page.
Delish! My 6 year old and 4 year old gobbled it up (except for the pickles). I will def make this again. Thank you for this great recipe!!
Yes! This looks good! Thanks Food Babe! I have to admit, I was recently missing CFA because I hadn’t eaten there for quite some time since I vowed to boycott over certain political issues. Then I read your article on the list of ingredients and the amount of preservatives. Not only did I lose my craving but I felt even better about my position. This chicken sandwich looks so delicious, I can’t wait to give a go!
If you ever figure out how to make the Polynesian Sauce from Chik-Fil-a, please let me know. That’s my favorite part…..
Daisy Cake, that’s the recipe I want too!!! I even emailed Chick-fil-A about the Polynesian Sauce recipe a few years ago, or asked if I could buy it in a jar somewhere, but they would neither give me the recipe, nor is it for retail sale. 🙁 I really want that recipe!
The sauces can now be bought in small tubs. (8oz) For under $2
Wow! SO excited to try these! Thank you in advance–especially from my kids! 🙂
Can’t wait to try this recipe. I love Chik-fil-A, but recently was wondering just how many chemicals my favorite sandwich was hiding. Any chance you can make a recommendation on how to make a sandwich that tastes just like their Spicy Chicken? I might be able to convince my husband to give it up if I can make him a #7 at home 😉
I would think a tablespoon or a little more of hot sauce (organic, homemade, or whatever your comfortable using would work 🙂 )
Thanks for the nice buns, and the great cleavage with a smile.
That was an unnecessary comment.
now that is a truly unnecessary comment.
Not needed, perv.
Lol and #freedom of speech #getoverit #myanacondadontwantnoneunlessyougotbunshun #youcaneatchic-fil-aorthisstuffbutpleasedontlosethatbutt
Jk love the recipe without pickles but, with #applecidervinegar
I think your clothes are getting in the way of all that. All the chemicals in your clothes are bad for you.
My suggestion: write up another nice recipe with more pictures – it’d be 100% organic 🙂
That was an unnecessary comment.
Thanks for this clean sandwich version- but was it necessary to name it Open on Sunday too. Seems childish. I am thankful they are a company that still values a day of rest.
Well said. No need to be petty or childish.
Amen! Thank you! I am too bothered by the ‘Now open on Sunday’ name.
Do your research, Sunday is not the real Sabbath that God intended. Saturday is the real day of Rest. You shall labor for 6 days and on the 7th you shall rest. Saturday is the 7th day of the week. Sunday is the first. http://www.sabbathtruth.com/sabbath-history/how-the-sabbath-was-changed.aspx
If you’re bothered by a catchy name, I’d suggest living a little more. There are much better things to find offensive and bothersome. The name is funny and catchy, and nothing to do with religion.
Food opinions aside, be careful when using misleading article titles. To use the line “Chick-Fil-A – Now Open on Sunday!” is incredibly misleading. Newspaper journalists often will use ‘sensational’ headlines to attract attention, but most reputable papers will ensure that the headline is true to the body of the story. Dishonest headlines are more of a…Tabloid magazine strategy.
If you want new readers to respect you…you can’t trick us into reading your column. No matter how amazing this recipe may be, I was instantly turned off to the idea when I realized that the joke was on me.
I agree 100% with the above comment. However, you are too kind in calling the headline “misleading”. As it reads, it can be taken as nothing more than an out-and-out lie.
So many people are guilty of just reading headline such as these and reacting without reading to content of the article.
I have boycotted Chik-fil-a (easy to do as I don’t patronize fast food places) and written letters about their homophobic policies. To read a headline clearly stating that they are now open on Sundays would incite me to write them yet again condemning their hypocrisy since their being closed on Sunday was part of their core corporate beliefs.
When journalistic integrity gets cast aside just to put up a catchy headline, it casts doubt about the honesty of any content that follows.
Scoots and Winnie Maybe you should learn to read? It clearly says ” Homemade Chick-fil-A – Now open on Sunday” Umm It does NOT say they are open on Sunday. I got it don’t understand why you didn’t.
My brother is working to have his own Chick-fil-A restaurant, I’ll send him a link and hopefully some day he can influence the place to be healthier.
I was disturbed that simply because the head of the company said privately to a christian organization that he thinks the ideal marriage is a traditional one, the entire company was smeared. Gays are served, gays work at the company and when they had the kiss-in protest, they were meet with free drinks and love.
There are people that have been fined, had their small business shut down, had death threats, etc. simply because they (like evolution, all major faiths, conventional wisdom, science, etc.) stated the obvious truth that for something of a particular heading ‘marriage’, traditional is ideal in everything from being able to produce offspring, physically fitting together, etc.
All that to say, these knee-jerk reactions are the new witch hunt concerning anything perceived as ‘homophobic’ and an entire corporation need not be smeared because of one older man’s position. Spreading lies is not helpful and leads to hurts.
(Remember that innocent girl working a drive through was bullied by a protester, just silly). Peace, love, and chicken is what I strive for currently. 🙂
I’m wondering about the chemical reaction between the pickle juice (vinegar) with the plastic baggie that you show, e.g. that it could break down the chemicals in the plastic and impart it to the chicken. Would it be better to marinate in a glass container?
Vera, that is possible. Always better to choose glass over plastic if you can. Thanks!
I have a peanut allergy, is there something else I can use
for the almond milk?
You can use whatever milk or non-dairy milk alternative that you normally use.
YES!!!!! We stopped going to chick-fil-a about 2 years ago. This was perfect…kids loved it…and so did us adults
We made this tonight for the first time….amazing! Will be making it again for sure!
I am sure there are just as many bad ingredients in all fast food chicken sandwiches. Any particular reason for picking on Chic-Fil-A? Just wondering? Not turning all lib on us are you….Chic-Fil-A? Even on Sunday? Hope these are not meant as digs at Christian establishment like the majority of mass media!
A great Christian establishment that pumps more chemicals in the food than McDonalds. Another piece of trash poisoning our people. Ohh my brother testify!!!.
I also don’t like the dig that it’s a crime to be closed on Sunday. I think that practice is honorable. However, even though all fast food restaurants pump their food full of chemicals, I do think Chick-fil-a tastes better than any of them. So I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt and assuming that she picked chick-fil-a because it actually tastes the best out of most fast food chicken, so that’s the one you’d want to duplicate.
Geez – give it a rest. Not everyone is Christian. This is a nation with freedom of religion, remember? A lot of folks live our Sundays like any other day day of the week and it is wrong to impose your religion on us. If you don’t like businesses that stay open on Sunday, then stay home.
LOL, I don’t have a problem with businesses who are open on Sunday. I didn’t say that at all. I just said I think the practice is honorable. They aren’t letting others tell them how to practice or not practice their religion. You can live your Sundays however you want, and so can chick-fil-a. It’s their business, so they have that right, just the same way that you have the right not to be a Christian. They aren’t imposing anything on you. You can eat somewhere else. If you tell them they “need” to stay open because you are not a Christian then that’s just imposing your lack of religion on them. So they’re closed on Sunday. So is the post office. No one throws a fit about that.
Well said Heather. Agreed.
Face facts, this person intentionally went after chick-fil-a because of their owners policies. No more no less. This is a full on attempt to take business away from them. Were it not, she would have included all the other fast food joints that have just as many if not more chemicals. They were left out because their owner isn’t a Christian that believes in traditional marriage. It is an overt attempt at harming a corporate entity for its owners beliefs. Same as the bakery and Photographer that were sued, threatened and harmed monetarily for refusing to perform services for Gays.
Sad thing is. Chick-fil-a supports thousands of gays with jobs, serves millions of them daily and when gay protesters staged a sit in, they welcomed them, even gave them free drinks. The dig about Sunday was just a bonus.
I didn’t take the title as a dig at the practice of being closed on Sunday. I’m a Christian and support their decision. But what CFA-lover hasn’t been on a road trip or something on a Sunday, seen the exit ramp sign for CFA, craved, then realized it was closed? LOL Just from the article title, I assumed it was written by a CFA fan who couldn’t wait for Monday! 🙂
OR, and I know this may seem a little too logical to get past your faux outrage blinders, she called it Now Open Sunday because it sucks to crave chick-fil-a on sunday when it’s closed and now you can have it on sunday! Minus the chemical death!
This is not misleading, it’s called marketing and it’s something marketers do ALL THE TIME. It’s legal (actual misleading marketing is not). Would you really read the headline to a blog post and run out to CFA on a Sunday thinking it was open without reading more? Furthermore, why are you reading this blog if you are disappointed that CFA is actually not open on Sundays after all?
Typical discussion on the Internet in 2013 – everyone blowing things out of proportion and getting bent out of shape over slight differences of opinions. It’s a chicken sandwich. It tastes like a CFA sandwich. You can make it on Sunday when CFA is closed (whatever the reason, who cares), and when you have the itch for a chicken sandwich. Enough.
Is there something else I could marinate in besides pickle juice. I do not like the taste of pickles at all. Thanks!
Hi Rachel, I’m not sure if there is a good substitution but it doesn’t really make the chicken taste like pickles, it just seems to give it a unique flavor and tenderizes it. I hope you will still try it!
I haven’t made this recipe yet but I did work at Chick-fil-A “way back when” and that really is what they put the chicken in overnight. I imagine that the flavor and texture do come from the pickle juice.
Thank you for taking the time to make this recipe. It has been years since I’ve been to a CFA as they aren’t in my area. I’m also gluten intolerant, as is several family members. Now I have a base to play around with to make a great chicken sandwich that we all can eat. It’ll go great with my GF sourdough buns.
Made this for dinner tonight. While it was tasty, it didn’t taste a thing like Chick-fil-A.
Just made this, but flipped the chicken and all the “fry” came off. Any suggestions for the next time? Also, I left the chx in pickle juice overnight and it partially cooked the chx. Is that ok?
All of my crispy fry fell off when I flipped the chx. any suggestions?
One time mine fell off a little and one time it did not. I think just spray the rack and the chicken well. Good luck!
I have tried this 4x, each time spraying more and more liberally. Each time it fell out.
Great job, Food Babe! My whole family loved this chicken. Any tips for helping the breading to stick to the chicken better? I too lost some breading when flipping.
Just spray the rack really well – hopefully that will help!
This recipe is awesome… Amazingly I wondered if this would work on grilled chicken also so I decided to try it. I marinated four chicken breasts in the pickle juice for at least 4 hours, then threw them on the grill outside. We then put them on the buttered buns with pickles and they were perfect. They tasted just like the Chick-Fil-A grilled Chicken sandwich… Thanks Food Babe. : )
This sounds wonderful and we will be trying it soon! Can they be made and frozen? If so, would you recommend making them up to the point of baking, or should they be completely made and baked before freezing? Thanks for any help/info!
I think I would make up to the point of baking and then freeze… let us know if you do it and how it turns out!
My breading keeps sticking to wire rack and not to chicken. What am I doing wrong?
Make sure you spray the rack really well!
I can’t wait to try these! Thank you for the recipe ; ) Can I use regular milk in place of almond milk?!?!
Try letting them dry after dredging in the fridge for at least 2 hours on a raised rack. Also baking powder would be better instead of baking soda. You need to learn basic cooking skills!
No need for the harshness right?
I love this recipe! Though I do have to day that I find a lot of the negative comments on chickfila food unnecessary. I work at a chick-Fil-a myself. We’ve always been 100% honest about everything in our food. We keep pamphlets with the ingredients right in front of our registers. There are a lot of unhealthy things, I’ll admit, but having seen the behind the scenes of both chickfila and Mccdonalds, there is really no comparison. The value of chickfila as fast food is that everything you get is completely fresh and incredibly healthy compared to other chains (not to mention the conditions the good is cooked in. I’m sure it happens, but I’ve never personally seen a CFA with less than a 100% health raiting). I’m a bit of a health fanatic myself, so I don’t eat CFA as much as you might think, but when it comes to fast food, their food is on a completely different level than other chains. Sorry for the ramble 😉
It didn’t look like the ingredients in the fast food sandwich were all that bad. Corn syrup actually appears to be the most ‘harmful’ ingredient. Your panic and shortsightedness regarding TBHQ sounds more like an uninformed witch hunt than good journalism.
While it might not be the most credible source, wikipedia says:
‘Both the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have evaluated TBHQ and determined that it is safe to consume at the concentration allowed in foods. The FDA sets an upper limit of 0.02% of the oil or fat content in foods. At higher doses, it has some negative health effects on lab animals, such as producing precursors to stomach tumors and damage to DNA’
The levels of TBHQ are present in the chick-fil-a are negligible unless you eat a physically impossible amount of the stuff.
Please do your homework, and stop trying to scare people.
Besides GMO flour and oils which causes cancer, and Blue #1 food color which causes brain cancer, to name a few, MSG is the third ingredient!! Here is just one paragraph by Dr. Mercola on MSG~”One of the best overviews of the very real dangers of MSG comes from Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board-certified neurosurgeon and author of “Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills.” In it he explains that MSG is an excitotoxin, which means it overexcites your cells to the point of damage or death, causing brain damage to varying degrees — and potentially even triggering or worsening learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease and more”. They use MSG only to make it taste better and to be addictive.
If you do YOUR homework, like Food Babe, you would see there are many dangerous chemicals, many made with petroleum products used in place of real food, because real food will mold, and petroleum never will, because it CANNOT SUSTAIN LIFE!! Not that bad???
Just made this recipe tonight! This is a fantastic & easy substitute for those chemical-laden sandwiches (with a side of bigotry, no less). Love that we have some leftovers too! This is definitely getting added to our regular meal rotation.
Thank you for the recipe!
I made this sandwich twice. The first time I fried the chicken in a pan on the stove, my husband was over the top impressed and couldn’t stop talking about how much it tasted like Chick-Fil-A. The second time I made it I baked it as directed. My husband and I were pretty unimpressed. It was really quite disappointing after it tasted so good the first time. I would suggest frying the sandwich if you really want it to taste like Chick-Fil-A. It won’t be quite as healthy, but for us we are OK with that for a special treat. Your taste buds will thank me!!!
Thank you for the recipes…I just stumbled upon your website and have to say that I am very impressed.
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Lovely recipe. However, can you be sure the chicken is completely safe? What about the grain it was fed? We can ALWAYS find something to freak out about, can’t we?
I think the main thing is to look at everything that we put in our mouth. If we actually paid attention about 90% is not even food its just filler. If we only ate that 10% of real food we would our grocery bill is negligible and we would be healthier and lose weight. Health care costs would disappear.
It’s all that non-food that we think we are eating . . .we really aren’t as hungry as we believe we are. We also need to watch what we put in our minds.
Great recipe I will try this. I have a question about the “spelt” flour – do you prefer that over coconut flour. Curious of your opinion on that.
It looks wonderful and since it is homemade, I’m certain that it is even better than the original. I am interested to try your suggestion to marinate the pickles. I had never heard of this before. Also, with the seasonings that you mentioned, and the pickle juice marinade, I can see how the end result would be very similar in taste to “theirs”! You can obviously cook, as good as you look!
I’d like to try this, but I will take the “healthy” a step further.
To wit –
Replace spritzing with olive oil to wiping grill with coconut oil. (If you’re cooking over high heat, don’t choose olive oil. Olive oil has a lower smoke point—the point at which an oil literally begins to smoke (olive oil’s is between 365° and 420°F)—than some other oils. When you heat olive oil to its smoke point, the beneficial compounds in oil start to degrade, and potentially health-harming compounds form.) Coconut oil has a much higher smoke point and would be more suitable. Grape seed oil is also suitable for this reason.
Remove the aluminum foil as this becomes toxic at high temperatures. I would try using parchment paper instead (unbleached).
Replace the refined sugar with coconut palm sugar – lower GI, or possibly stevia.
Use a non-gluten flour of choice, or for me I might even try coconut flour or almond flour, but that’s just me.
Ok, so mine won’t taste just like the fast food varient, but my taste buds will still enjoy it immensely!
It looks like the breading and bun are what’s bad. It’s real chicken, as opposed to some other “chicken” as we’ve seen/read about recently. And there are other options at Chick-fil-A also. You can’t dub the whole restaurant as BAD. They have salads and plenty of grilled chicken options.
I didn’t think that olive oil was supposed to be used at such a high temperature. Would the taste be altered too much by using coconut oil?
Thanks so much for this eye-opening article! The recipe sounds really good…I definitely want to try it. However, I have to ask about marinating in the plastic bag. Wouldn’t that leak BPA into the chicken? I always marinate in the glass dishes that you are showing here. Thanks!
Let’s clear through the b.s. political and religious turn this post has taken. I just made this recipe and thank you foodbabe for making it for us! It ws delicious and tatsed just like the real thing. I used organic chicken thighs from Costco. The flour I used was bisquick’s gluten free baking mix. That mix already has baking soda and sugar so I didnt add more. Next time I would not soak the pickle slices in apple cider vinegar as the taste was too strong and I had to rinse them in water to remove the acv taste. I also did not have dry mustard powder so I added some Dijon mustard to my egg mixture. This was an awesome treat and so thankful to have been given the recipe so my kids and i can feel a little more normal on our gluten free diet.
Sounds like a winner, Food Babe! I will def try it!
FYI, the owner of CFA met w/a popular gay rights journalist, oh, maybe the early part of this year. the two men discussed how the media blew said owner’s comment about traditional marriage WAY out if proportion and context. The two have met on numerous occasions, have become fast friends, and the comment was “taken back” so as not to offend.
ANYONE may safely work or eat there w/o fear of reprisal. What one’s personal spiritual beliefs have to do w/eating CFA are beyond me…
I am SO excited to try this – I just put my chicken in the fridge to marinate. I have been holding on to the recipe for about 6 months and I am finally giving it a try. I couldn’t find spelt at the store, so I just got organic whole wheat flour. I will let you know how it turns out! 🙂
Hope you enjoy it! Please let us know!
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it tasted “exactly” like chick fil a, BUT it was strikingly similar! Will definitely make it again, but I will choose a crusher breading – maybe a mix of organic panko and organic wheat flour. Everyone loved it! Even my 2 year old (that I suspect may end up a vegetarian) – thanks!
Hi Food Babe and staff,
Is there a substitute for almond milk ? Dislike it intensely, my daughter won’t drink it. Can I use regular milk ?
That looks awful
I really enjoyed seeing you make this recipe with natural breasts!
Oh, and the chicken is nice too.
skip the flour and wheat. go paleo!