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Chick-fil-A

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    The new Mac & Cheese at Chick-fil-A is baked fresh every day, and the recipe is more complex than you might expect from a fast food chicken chain. According to the official list of ingredients, the formula includes several different kinds of cheese including Parmesan, Romano and an award-winning hard cheese from Wisconsin called BellaVitano. The BellaVitano adds a subtle nuttiness to the mix and all three hard cheeses contribute heavy umami tones to compliment the bulkier blend of white and yellow Cheddars.

    Those five cheeses combine to make a great flavor, but the blend would melt into a greasy mess if it weren’t for the assistance of one more ubiquitous cheese: American. The benefit of American cheese—which makes up for its lack of flavor—is found in the sodium citrate it contains. This natural sodium salt is an emulsifier that keeps the fat in the cheese from separating (and it also happens to be useful in preventing kidney stones!). By first melting several slices of American cheese in the milk, we don’t have to mess with making a roux and bechamel sauce to create a perfectly smooth cheese sauce.

    As for cooking the macaroni, here’s another secret: don’t follow the directions on the box for al dente pasta, because you don’t want the pasta to be al dente, or slightly tough. You want to cook the elbow macaroni for 20 minutes so that it absorbs as much water as possible. This will ensure that the pasta won’t suck up liquid in the cheese sauce and the sauce will maintain its perfectly creamy consistency.      

    If you like this copycat Chick-fil-A mac and cheese recipe, click here for more Chick-fil-A clone recipes.

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    The secret to cloning this chicken chain's popular carrot raisin salad lies in proper carrot shredding technique. A standard shredder, like the type you might use to shred a hunk of cheddar cheese, creates a coarse shred that makes the salad taste much too "carroty." Instead, find yourself the type of fine shredder that is often used for Parmesan cheese. Sure, it'll take a little more elbow grease to reduce 5 or 6 carrots to ultra thin strips, but I guarantee you'll end up with a superior finished product that will help you forget all about the extra effort.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.17. Votes: 52

    In 1946, twenty-five-year-old S. Truett Cathy and his younger brother Ben, opened a restaurant called The Dwarf House in Hapeville, Georgia. In the early sixties Cathy began experimenting with different seasonings and a faster cooking method for his original chicken sandwich. The finished product is the famous pressure-cooked chicken sandwich now served at all 460 Chick-fil-A outlets in thirty-one states.

    Annual sales for the chain topped $324 million in 1991. That makes Chick-fil-A the fourth largest fast-food chicken restaurant in the world. And Cathy still adheres to the deeply religious values that were with him in the days of the first Dwarf House. That is why you won't find any Chick-fil-A restaurants open on Sundays. 

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.60. Votes: 10

    It's sweet, it's tangy, it's smoky, it's delicious; and it's only available in blister packs by request at one of the 1,237 U.S. Chick-fil-A locations that dot the country. I guess that's why so many of you asked for a clone—those blister packs are small! But alas, with this top secret formula, you'll have a heaping one cup of a taste-alike version of the delicious sauce to use as you wish: as a spread on your favorite sandwiches or as a dressing on a grilled chicken salad.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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