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The original Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich

January 10, 2023

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How we came up with the recipe for our Chicken Sandwich — and why we’ll never change it

The original Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich may sound simple – just a lightly breaded chicken breast with two pickle chips between a toasted, buttery bun – but every part of this fan favorite is truly an original at Chick-fil-A.

In the early 1960s, Truett Cathy was running a successful restaurant called The Dwarf Grill (now called The Dwarf House®) in the Atlanta suburb of Hapeville, Georgia, when he was approached with an offer.

A local poultry supplier had been tasked by an airline to provide a boneless, skinless chicken breast that would fit in the trays of in-flight meals. The supplier ended up with quite a few chicken breast pieces that didn’t meet the airline’s size requirements. He asked Truett if he could use them. Determined not to let the opportunity pass him by, Truett accepted the order. 

An innovative cooking method

Truett thought back to his mother’s method of cooking chicken, in which she would cover the pan with a heavy top to simulate a pressure cooker. When Truett tried this in his own restaurant, he found that the chicken cooked faster while remaining tender. So he purchased a commercial pressure cooker that could cook a juicy, tender boneless chicken breast from start to finish in just four minutes.

When Truett first started developing his chicken recipe, he experimented with many different seasonings, always searching for the perfect combination and asking his customers to offer feedback. He also used peanut oil, which he preferred because it didn’t overpower the taste of the chicken. 

“Don’t change it again”

Once Truett had his perfectly seasoned chicken breast, he decided to serve it as a sandwich between two buttered buns and on top of two dill pickle chips. After countless experiments in The Dwarf Grill, Truett knew he had the perfect sandwich when he got his final round of feedback from customers: “We like it. Don’t change it again.”

Today, Truett’s recipe – still unchanged – is locked in a vault at the Chick-fil-A corporate Support Center in Atlanta, Georgia.


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