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.
Try my improved version in Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step.
This recipe is available in
- 3 cups peanut oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt (previously 2 tablespoons)
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved
- 4 plain hamburger buns
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 8 dill pickle slices
- Do This
1. Heat the peanut oil in a pressure cooker (see Tidbits below) over medium heat to about 400 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, beat the egg and stir in the milk.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, pepper, and salt.
4. Dip each piece of chicken in milk until it is fully moistened.
5. Roll the moistened chicken in the flour mixture until completely coated.
6. Drop all four chicken pieces into the hot oil and close the pressure cooker. When steam starts shooting through the pressure release, set the timer for 3 1/2 minutes.
7. While the chicken is cooking, spread a coating of melted butter on the face of each bun.
8. When the chicken is done, remove it from the oil and drain or blot on paper towels. Place two pickles on each bottom bun, add a chicken breast, then the top bun.
Makes 4 sandwiches.
Tidbits: Since my recipe was created, most manufacturers of pressure cookers have discouraged frying in their products, and warn that doing so could be hazardous. For that reason, you should NEVER use a pressure cooker to fry anything unless the manufacturer has specifically designed the cooker for this use. I understand that there are now only a few cookers available that you can fry in, and finding one may be difficult. The alternative is the pan fry or deep fry the chicken for roughly double the specified cooking time, until the chicken is golden brown.
It is very important that your oil be hot for this recipe. Test the temperature by dropping some of the flour coating into the oil. If it bubbles rapidly, your oil is probably hot enough. It should take about 20 minutes to heat up.
To make a "deluxe" chicken sandwich, simply add two tomato slices and a leaf of lettuce. Mayonnaise also goes well on this sandwich—it is a side order at the restaurant.
I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker
For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.