Copycat Fried Chicken Sandwich

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. + marinating Cook: 20 min./batch


6 servings

Updated: Jan. 04, 2024
After trying all the major fast food chains' chicken sandwiches, I decided to come up with my own version. I know everyone says theirs is better than the original, but mine really is. —Ralph Jones, San Diego, California


  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon each onion powder and paprika
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 6 brioche hamburger buns, split
  • Optional toppings: Sliced tomatoes, pickle slices, onion slices, copycat Chick-fil-A Sauce


  1. Cut each chicken breast horizontally in half; place in a large bowl. Add buttermilk and hot sauce; toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat air fryer to 400°. Stir eggs into chicken mixture. In a shallow dish, whisk flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, pepper and salt. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, firmly patting to help coating adhere. Repeat, dipping chicken again into buttermilk mixture and then dredging in flour mixture.
  3. Place chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Using a pastry brush, lightly dab both sides of chicken with oil until no dry breading remains.
  4. In batches, arrange chicken in a single layer on greased tray in air-fryer basket. Cook until a thermometer reads 165° and coating is golden brown and crispy, 7-8 minutes on each side. Remove chicken; keep warm. Toast buns in air fryer until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Top bun bottoms with chicken. Top as desired; replace bun tops.

Fried Chicken Sandwich Tips

What can you serve with fried chicken sandwiches?

Think classic southern sides and nibbles you might find at a cookout. Try something cool and tangy, like this traditional coleslaw or macaroni salad. To create an even better version of your favorite fast-food meal, pair the sandwich with fresh-cut french fries made in the air fryer. A homemade spicy dill spear would go great on the plate too!

Can you deep-fry the chicken instead of cooking it in an air fryer?

Absolutely! Follow the same steps to prepare and bread the chicken, then fry it in batches in 375°F oil. Fry the chicken until it’s golden brown and no longer pink, 5-7 minutes. Deep-frying isn’t as healthy as air-frying, but it’s a perfectly acceptable alternative. If you’re intimidated by deep-frying, check out our tips.

How can you make spicy mayo for fried chicken sandwiches?

Making spicy mayo can be as simple as mixing together 2 ingredients: mayonnaise and your favorite hot pepper sauce, adjusted to whatever heat level you prefer. You can also go for a dressier option, such as a remoulade, or an adventurous option with curry.

Hazel Wheaton, Taste of Home Book Editor
Air Fryer Cook Times
In our testing, we find cook times vary dramatically among brands of air fryers. As a result, we give wider than normal ranges on suggested cook times. Begin checking at the first time listed and adjust as needed.

Nutrition Facts

1 sandwich: 538 calories, 18g fat (3g saturated fat), 136mg cholesterol, 778mg sodium, 63g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 4g fiber), 30g protein.