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Sunday is a day to rest and relax with family and friends. But for many of you, it’s the day that you crave Chick-fil-A the most. While we are closed on Sundays, your kitchen is open, and we invite you to try Chef Kevin Gillespie’s Closed-On-Sunday Chicken Sandwich.

4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
1 16 ounce-jar dill pickle chips, preferably Mt. Olive
2 cups water 
5 packets Hidden Valley Ranch Original dry salad dressing mix (1 ounce each)
1/4 cup sugar 
3 tablespoons salt
Canola oil for frying
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Espelette pepper
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
8 King’s Hawaiian sandwich buns or brioche rolls
1 cup spicy pickle mayonnaise

1. Trim the connective tissue from the chicken breasts. Lightly pound the thickest end of the breast to match the rest of breast in thickness; it’s important that the chicken be evenly thick for even cooking. Don’t worry if the pounded breasts seem a little thin and larger than the buns; the chicken will shrink and puff up during cooking.

2. Strain the pickles over a large bowl, reserving the pickles and juice separately; you should have about 1 cup juice. Whisk the water, 4 packets of the salad dressing mix, the sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the salt into the pickle juice to make a brine. Pour the brine into a large zip-top bag and add the chicken; press out the air, seal, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours. Don’t go past 3 hours, though; too much time in the brine will toughen the chicken.

3. Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 330°F. The somewhat low frying temperature is important so that the chicken will cook through completely before the crust gets too dark.

4. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and top with a cooling rack.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the remaining packet of salad dressing mix, the remaining 2 tablespoons salt, the Espelette pepper, and the black pepper.

6. One at a time, pull the chicken breasts from the brine and, while still wet, dredge in the flour mixture. Shake off the excess flour, set the chicken on the rack, and repeat until all the chicken is coated. Let the chicken rest until the flour has absorbed the brine and the breading sets and gets a little sticky, about 5 minutes. One by one, toss the chicken pieces back into the flour mixture and shake off the excess.

7. Deep-fry the breasts until cooked through and GBD, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, thoroughly wash and dry the cooling rack and place over a clean baking sheet. Transfer the cooked chicken to the rack to drain.

8. Heat a large skillet or flattop griddle over medium heat.

9. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and whisk in the honey. Bring the mixture to a simmer and remove from the heat. Split open the rolls and brush both cut sides with the honey butter. Toast the rolls in the skillet or on the griddle, cut side down, until golden brown, about 1 minute.

10. Spread a thin layer of spicy pickle mayonnaise on the bottom half of the cut side of the roll and top with a chicken breast. Spread a little more mayonnaise on the chicken and close the sandwich with the top of the roll.

Tagged In: Kevin Gillespie Sundays Recipes