I have to be honest. I don’t like Chick-fil-A sandwiches. For the longest time, everyone I knew told me I HAD to eat there. So, when one finally opened up near me, I stopped by in a long line for my chicken sandwich. Now, I didn’t like it for one main reason. I hate mayonnaise. To me, that condiment is just gross. Frankly, it shouldn’t be a sandwich condiment to me. But, I did like the chicken. Rather than ordering a plain chicken on bread, I just stopped going there.
This week, I had a craving for finger foods. I really wanted chicken tenders. Sometimes even adults want “kid food,” so I went hunting and found a copycat Chick-fil-A chicken tender recipe. It was so simple to make, and I already had all the ingredients; I figured, why not give it a go. These tenders were FANTASTIC. They are the moistest and balanced chicken I have made in the oven. You’ll notice that there is no salt in the chicken recipe. That’s because of the secret ingredient for the chicken: pickle juice. Soaking the chicken in pickle juice the night before leads to this balanced, salty, tangy, seasoned chicken that tastes just like a Chick-fil-A sandwich.
I am also adding in my recipe for crispy oven fries. I know that one thing I hate about making fries at home is that they never get as crispy as the deep-fried ones from the restaurant. These egg white coated fries do JUST that, though. The best part of this meal? Everything cooks at the same temperature for about the same amount of time, making this yet another 30 minute, weeknight friendly, dinner.
Pickle-Brined Chicken and Oven Fries
- Chicken tenders (plan on 4-5 a person- they’re addictive)
- Pickle Juice (somewhere between 1-1 1/2 cups or until chicken is covered)
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup regular breadcrumbs
- 1 egg + 1 egg white
- Cooking spray
- Oven Fries
- 1-2 russet potatoes per person, cut into wedges (leave the skin on)
- 1 egg white
- Salt, pepper, parmesan cheese to taste
- At least 8 hours before: add chicken to a container, cover with pickle juice, seal and refrigerate for 8 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking trays with foil and spray generously with cooking spray.
- For the potatoes: beat the egg white till frothy. Coat each wedge in egg white and lay on one baking tray. Once arranged in a single layer, season with salt, pepper, and cheese if desired.
- For the chicken: in one shallow dish, beat together egg and egg white. In another, combine breadcrumbs.
- Drain the chicken, pat dry well with paper towels, add to egg mix, dredge in breadcrumbs, and add to the other baking tray. Assemble all chicken in a single layer. Spray the top of the chicken well with cooking spray.
- Add both trays to the oven and cook for 12 minutes. At that point, flip both items and continue cooking another 8-10 until all elements are browned and crisped. (Hint: having thinner, smaller wedges of potatoes will help them crisp more evenly).