In the last few years, the crispy chicken sandwich has taken the world by storm. It seems like nearly every restaurant these days, from fast food joints to more upscale establishments, offers a crispy chicken sandwich on its menu.
There’s a good reason for this foodstuff’s widespread popularity: crispy chicken sandwiches are freakin’ delicious.
They’re so good, in fact, that there’s no need to only eat them when dining out.
With the super simple recipe I’ll share below, it’s possible to make a crispy chicken sandwich at home that approximates this classic, but offers two distinct advantages over the restaurant variety:
It’s cheaper. A chicken sandwich at Chick-fil-A will set you back $6.30. The sandwich made with the recipe below will only cost you $2.50.
It’s healthier. Crispy chicken sandwiches may be delicious, but they’re not super healthy. Trading deep frying for baking nicely improves the nutritional profile of the at-home sandwich. Here’s how it compares to a Chick-fil-A sandwich:
Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich
- Calories: 440 [The Chick-fil-A website says 420, but if you add up the calories based on the macro breakdown they also list, it comes out to 440]
- Fat: 18 grams
- Protein: 29 grams
At-Home Chicken Sandwich
- Calories: 340
- Fat: 5 grams
- Protein: 42 grams
So the at-home crispy chicken sandwich has more protein, 100 fewer calories, and less than half the fat of the fast food variety (while again costing half the price).
You can also avoid MSG by making your chicken sandwich at home (yes, Chick-fil-A uses MSG in their food; they’re one of the few chains that still do, and that’s part of why it tastes so good). There’s been a lot of talk lately about how there’s nothing wrong with MSG, after all, and that may very well be the case. However, when I recently experimented with wearing a continuous glucose monitor, I noticed that my blood sugar would spike unusually high after I ate food I suspected of containing MSG (even food that wasn’t otherwise carby) and would spike really high after I ate Chick-fil-A (way more than when I ate a chicken sandwich elsewhere). This has led me to wonder if there’s a connection between MSG and blood sugar spikes. There’s nothing conclusive about my anecdotal observation, but if you’d like to avoid MSG, or other additives restaurants might be slapping on their chicken, you can keep your sandwich “cleaner” by making it at home.
Even if you’re not trying to eat a healthier diet, you’ll still enjoy this at-home chicken sandwich: it doesn’t taste good for a healthier alternative to fast food; it just tastes good, period. And, it’s incredibly easy to make. Anyone can cook this. Our kids love these chicken sandwiches, and it’s become a regular dinnertime staple in the McKay household.
How to Make an Easy, Healthier, Delicious Crispy Chicken Sandwich at Home
- Prep time: 10-15 minutes
- Cook time: 25-30 minutes
- Makes 6 sandwiches
You may feel skeptical that so few ingredients can produce a tasty end product, but while it won’t taste just like KFC, trust me, it’s good.
- 3 chicken breasts
- 3 cups of cornflakes (this gives the chicken a nice crunch without the calories and mess of deep frying)
- 3 eggs
- Old Bay seasoning
- 6 hamburger buns
Set your oven to bake at 425 degrees.
Prep Chicken Breast
Trim three chicken breasts of fat/cartilage. If you bought full-sized chicken breasts, you’ll want to thin slice them by cutting them in half horizontally. It’s pretty easy; just follow the instructions in the first 30 seconds of this video (before he starts pounding the cutlet). This should give you 6 thinner breasts that are about 5-6 ounces each.
Create Cornflake Breading
Dump three cups of cornflakes into a gallon-sized ziplock bag.
Close the bag and smash the cornflakes until you’ve got a nice mixture of cornflake powder and small cornflake pieces.
Open the bag and add one tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning into your smashed-up cornflakes.
Close the bag and shake things around so that the seasoning gets mixed up nicely with the cornflakes.
I typically just eyeball the amount of cornflakes and seasoning I use; you may want/need more/less cornflakes or seasoning.
Prepare Egg Mixture
Crack three eggs in a dish and scramble. If you want to reduce your calories even more on this sandwich, just use egg whites instead of whole eggs.
Dip Chicken in Egg Mixture
Dip the chicken breasts into the egg mixture, making sure both sides are coated. This is what’s going to allow your cornflake breading to stick to the chicken.
Put Chicken in Cornflake Breading
Toss your egg-coated chicken breast into your cornflakes, close the bag, and shake. I then like to get my hands in the bag to make sure I get even cornflake coverage on the chicken. Manually press the breading onto the breast as needed and desired.
Place Coated Chicken Breasts on Baking Sheet
Place in Oven at 425 Degrees for 25 Minutes
When the chicken is done, your cornflake crust should look toasted.
Brush Buns With Melted Butter and Broil Until Golden
Brush a light coating of butter on your buns and broil them in the oven until toasted. If you don’t want the extra calories, you can skip this step.
I like to put pickles on my chicken sandwich. You could also do tomato and lettuce. Add your favorite condiments/sauce.
Bake some frozen french fries in the oven along with the chicken. Slice up a watermelon. Dinner is served.
What’s that you say? “Thanks for sharing this recipe”?