Chick-fil-A is known for its delicious chicken sandwiches with a signature crispy breading. The breading is a big part of what makes Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches taste so good. People often wonder – what exactly is in that tasty Chick-fil-A breading recipe?
The exact recipe for Chick-fil-A’s breading is a closely guarded secret. However, through research and talking with former employees, some of the key ingredients have been revealed. It seems the breading consists of common ingredients like flour, spices, and seasonings. But it’s the careful blending and preparation process that gives Chick-fil-A breading its distinct flavor and texture.
Here are some of the main ingredients that are believed to be used in Chick-fil-A’s original chicken breading recipe:
The base of Chick-fil-A’s breading is most likely all-purpose flour. Flour helps create a crispy coating on the outside of the chicken. Some sources say they use a combination of flour and starch to make the breading extra crisp.
Spices and Seasonings
Chick-fil-A’s blend of spices and seasonings is key. While the exact spices are secret, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and salt are likely used to add flavor. Some sources also mention herbs like oregano, thyme, and basil may be included.
Powdered Milk or Egg
For added moisture, adhesion, and a creamy color, powdered milk or egg is probably used in the breading recipe. The powdered dairy helps the breading stick tightly to the chicken.
A touch of sugar brings a hint of sweetness and helps with browning the chicken evenly. Sugar causes the breading to caramelize perfectly when fried.
Most Chick-fil-A locations fry their chicken in 100% refined peanut oil. The peanut oil helps give the breading a nutty, signature taste.
In addition to using quality ingredients, Chick-fil-A carefully prepares the chicken and applies the breading by hand. Here are some of the steps involved:
Tenderizing the Chicken
Chick-fil-A marinates its chicken breasts in a brine solution for optimal moisture and flavor. Brining makes the chicken extra juicy and tender.
Layering the Breading
Breading technicians hand bread each chicken fillet. They dip the fillet in flour, then buttermilk, followed by another layer of flour seasoned with spices.
Settling the Breading
After breading, the chicken fillets sit for a period of time. This helps the breading adhere tightly to the meat.
Frying at High Heat
The breaded chicken gets lowered into peanut oil heated to 350°F. The high heat helps the breading develop a perfectly crispy texture.
Chick-fil-A kitchen staff carefully monitor fryers and pull chicken when it reaches the ideal golden brown color. This prevents over-frying.
Attempts at Replicating
The secret breading recipe has inspired passionate attempts by fans to replicate it at home. However, Chick-fil-A’s unique process and ingredients make truly mimicking it a challenge.
Some copycat recipes call for adding MSG or using canned fried onions in the breading for extra flavor. But it’s doubtful whether Chick-fil-A uses those shortcuts. Their from-scratch breading method is more time consuming.
While home versions may come close, the real thing cooked by Chick-fil-A technicians still has an unmatched crunchy yet juicy texture and one-of-a-kind taste.
Chick-fil-A prides itself on using quality ingredients sourced from American farmers:
|100% real chicken breast, no fillers. Raised without antibiotics.
|Bleached and enriched flour from Georgia.
|Cage-free eggs from prairie farms.
|Peanut oil from Georgia and Alabama.
This commitment to domestic sourcing and real, wholesome ingredients is part of what makes their food taste so fresh.
While tasty, Chick-fil-A’s breaded chicken sandwiches are relatively high in calories so they should be enjoyed in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet. Here are the nutrition facts for some popular breaded menu items:
|Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich
|Spicy Chicken Deluxe Sandwich
|Chick-fil-A Nuggets (8-count)
As you can see, the Spicy Chicken Deluxe packs quite a caloric punch! Opting for nuggets or the original over more heavily breaded options can be a slightly healthier bet.
While Chick-fil-A breading has a base of flour, salt and pepper, some menu items feature additional signature flavors:
Spicy chicken options like the Spicy Chicken Sandwich and Spicy Chicken Deluxe get their heat from a cayenne pepper spice blend in the breading.
The crispy breaded chicken in wraps and salads has a lemon-pepper seasoning mixed into the crumbs for a zesty citrus flavor.
Chick-fil-A’s bite-sized nuggets are rolled in a honey butter blend before breading for a mildly sweet taste.
So breading variations help differentiate the flavors of main menu products.
Diners avoiding gluten have limited options when it comes to Chick-fil-A’s breaded menu items. The regular chicken sandwich breading contains wheat flour.
However, you can request a grilled chicken filet served in lettuce leaves instead of a bun. Some locations also offer gluten-free bun options. And sauces and sides like waffle fries are gluten-free friendly.
For the full Chick-fil-A chicken experience though, the signature breaded items are hard to resist for most!
That original Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich with lightly crispy, juicy breading is a fast food icon for a reason. The closely guarded list of ingredients and preparation process creates a mouthwatering crunch packed with flavor. A sprinkle of Southern hospitality as the staff takes your order completes the special Chick-fil-A experience that has diners coming back for more.