A couple disclaimers... I didn't follow the recipe as it was written. It would have never been made if I had because I just don't keep peanut oil or malted milk powder on hand. But regardless, let me tell you, the end result was still one tasty chicken breast. Let's begin, shall we?
Prepping the chicken: Salt and pepper your chicken well! I did not add enough, and that was the one thing it was really missing. Actually pat it into your chicken before adding the paprika so it has a chance of holding up to the milk bath. Another tip: don't double the egg or flour mixtures if you want to cook more chicken. I doubled it unnecessarily and wasted almost all that you seen shown below.
Get your oil heated to 325°. I use a thermometer to make sure the oil stays at about the right temperature, but that's just me. I'm a rule follower. Always have been. I'm also cheap and didn't want to use a ton of oil, so we just fried up one chicken at a time in a medium sized pot. If your pot is not tall enough, be prepared to clean up some oil spatter.
Four to five minutes later: one crispy piece of super tender, juicy chicken. We also didn't have buns (big surprise, eh?) :), but we were quite content to just eat it with a fork. But a butter-laden, toasted bun would be an amazingly delicious way to eat this.
Did it taste like Chick-fil-A? Not exactly, but I also didn't make the recipe as written, so the jury is still out. What I can tell you definitively is that the breading on this was delicious and that if I need to fry a chicken breast, I wouldn't hesitate to use this recipe again. If you happen to have malted milk powder and peanut oil, check out the original recipe here. If not, you're in good company. My adjusted recipe is below. Enjoy!
Almost-Sorta-Kinda Famous Chicken Sandwiches
Makes 4 Sandwiches
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Vegetable Oil or Shortening, for frying
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup nonfat milk
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 sour pickle, cut into 8 slices, plus 1 tablespoon pickle juice from the jar
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 4 soft hamburger buns, split
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
Heat about 2 inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325 degrees F. Meanwhile, whisk the egg, milk and 2 tablespoons water in a baking dish. Whisk both flours, confectioners sugar, baking soda, dry mustard, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper in another dish. Toss the pickle slices, pickle juice and vinegar in a bowl and set aside.
Working in batches, dip the chicken in the egg mixture, turning to coat, then dredge in the flour mixture and shake off any excess. Fry the chicken in the hot oil until golden brown, about 4 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed. Drain on paper towels.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spread the cut sides of the buns with some of the butter and lightly toast in the skillet, buttered-side down; spread with more butter. Put 2 pickle slices on each bun bottom; top with a piece of chicken and cover with the bun tops.
Source: Food Network Magazine, July/Aug 2010