Monday, July 30, 2012

Copy-Cat Chick-fil-A Strips

These should really be called "Blair Can Eat These Every Day Chicken Strips." A few weekends ago, Andy, Blair and I were in Athens picking up wiring supplies to finish up work on our little cabin at the river. Blair was hungry and so was I. She knew there was a Chik-fil-A just down the road, so there we went. She recommended we order some strips and the crosscut fries and dip them in that delicious Chik-fil-A sauce. After much discussion and aggravation about how Blair would eat there every meal but on Sunday if we had one in Pulaski, I hopped on the internet and found a zillion copy-cat recipes.

The one thing I noticed about all of them was they contained pickle juice. We now have a standing order to not throw the pickle juice away! It really makes a difference in the taste.

Right then and there I decided that's what would be on the menu when Momma came over to eat with us on Wednesday. It was recommended the strips marinade at least 2-4 hours. I work and time is a luxury. My chicken tenders swam in the bowl for 30 minutes. While they were being breaded and cooked; I popped a pack of boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the marinade for Andy and myself. They got at least 30 minutes of time too.

I haven't found the magic mix for the Chik-fil-A sauce, but I'm working on it. We mixed up 1 cup of Ken's Honey Mustard Dressing with 2 teaspoons of Smoky BBQ sauce to dip these in. If Blair could just make it home with an extra pack, I would eventually figure out the real thing.

I'm not really a chicken strip/finger/nugget eater, but these were the best I've ever fixed. Momma and Blair kept going on about how good they were. Andy didn't say anything. He was too busy wolfing his food down to be able to.

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces or 2 packs of tenders 
  • 3/4 cup milk 
  • 1/4 cup pickle juice (I use Mt. Olive dill pickle sandwich stacker juice)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1-1/4 cups flour 
  • 2 Tablespoons confectioners sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons salt 
  • 1 teaspoon pepper 
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
Season chicken with salt and pepper.

In a large Ziplock bag, mix flour, confectioners sugar, salt and pepper.

With tongs, drop the chicken pieces a couple at time into the bag. Shake and roll so that the chicken is covered well.

Cover the bottom of a large skillet with oil and heat on medium-high heat (7 out of 10 on my oven.) To check for readiness. Sprinkle a little flour in the oil. If it sizzles, it's good to go. If it starts hissing and popping, drop the temperature down and let it cool a little.

Carefully place the strips into the skillet. Don't overload the skillet. Give the strips a little breathing room. (If they start cooking too fast, drop the temperature down to 5 or 6)

Let the chicken cook for for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown on one side.You'll notice the color start to ease up the sides from the bottom. Don't flip them until you see this!
Turn the chicken and let it cook for another 3-4 more minutes. Place them on a paper-towel lined plate to drain grease.

When I fried the chicken thighs, because of the thickness, it look 8-10 minutes each side for those pieces. I had my range set between 4-5. I also put a lid over them after I turned them.


  1. GREAT QUESTION! I used the juice from a jar of dill pickle sandwich stackers. I'll post an update in case anyone else has that same question. Thanks, Debbie!