Copycat Air Fryer McDonalds fried chicken sandwich recipe is here! Air fried McChicken sandwich is crispy and moist meat inside every time.
I love the McDonald’s and Chick fil A chicken sandwich for dinnertime. This Air Fryer McDonalds fried chicken sandwich recipe reminds me of them both. BUT it’s way healthier because we cooked it as an easy air fryer recipe instead of deep fried (I’ll share that method too though). (affiliate links present)
Copycat Air Fried McChicken Sandwich
Let’s be honest, this came about because all of the restaurants were trying to make a copycat Chick-fil-A chicken version. I mean I kinda’ love that because we don’t have that fast food restaurant in our small town so the next best thing has been the McChicken version. They taste VERY similar.
We first made this into air fryer homemade chicken nuggets but it was time to make it larger to fit on a bun with ALL the fixings. I will show you how to make fried chicken in air fryer and fried in peanut oil like they do. You choose which you desire, both are fabulous.
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Copycat McChicken Recipe
So you’ve either tried this before or wanted to try it. There are a few tricks to getting this quick and easy chicken recipe super tender on the inside but a crunchy texture all the way around. The first is how to prepare the meat itself. If you have ever made cube steak before you are familiar with using a tenderizer or mallet.
You’ll do the same with the poultry so it’s easy to bite thru and it marinates in the pickle juice nicely. Yes, that is part of the second kitchen hack. Have you ever wondered how they get that bit of tang inside that meat? If you think about it I bet you will agree that it does have a bit of a pickles flavor huh?
So yes, there are three steps you need to do before air frying chicken breasts or throwing them into your hot peanut oil. Oh yeah, that is another secret. It gives everything more flavor and makes the outside SUPER crispy as opposed to using vegetable or canola.
McDonalds Fried Chicken Sandwich
I’ll explain both methods in case you want to make sure one is better for you but if you do choose to submerge into oil you’ll need to remember to:
- Use peanut oil to deep fry
- Wait until the temperature reaches 390 degrees to 400 degrees F before adding food
- Shake off excess flour before submerging
- Carefully drop one in at a time
- Only fry for about 4 – 6 minutes
- Check internal meat temperature before consuming to ensure it is 165 F.
But first you need to coat the outside properly to really seep in all those amazing flavors. If you are familiar with a great chicken marinade you know that you want to give it some time to soak. Don’t rush this my friends.
Air Fryer Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
You’ll need to keep in mind that it needs to sit for a minimum of 1 hour, but 5-6 is even better. If you love to meal prep then that should be accounted for. If you just throw it together around lunchtime you should be good to go. Then you’ll be ready to prepare from then on relatively quickly. You’re going to need:
- Boneless skinless breasts
- pounded with tenderizer
- if you need gluten free, use our fried chicken in air fryer without flour alternative
- Pickle juice
- A bit of powdered sugar believe it or not
- Whisked egg and milk
- this is how to bread chicken without eggs if need be
- Seasonings are versatile but used were:
- salt and pepper
- cayenne if you want heat
Get out 3 bowls for the different steps. It is best if you stick each piece of meat in between two pieces of plastic or parchment paper when you pound it out a bit.
We have a printable copycat recipe at the bottom of this post you can keep handy but here is a quick rundown. You can see how simple it really is here. If you wanted to cut them into strips kinda’ like those bagged frozen chicken tenders instead you totally could. Timing would just be cut in half or so for those.
Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich
- Pound your breast filets flat. Soak chicken filets in dill pickle juice for at least 1 hour but 6 hours is better. Drain pickle juice from chicken pieces. Pat dry well with paper towels.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, cayenne pepper (optional for heat), black pepper, and paprika.
- Whisk together the milk and egg. Dip and coat all sides of the chicken with the milk & egg mixture and then toss in the flour mixture.
- * Deep fried chicken breasts * Shake off extra flour and gently place the chicken into hot peanut oil. Fry for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is 165 degrees inside and juices run clear. Drain on clean paper towels.
- * Air fryer boneless skinless chicken breasts * After breading, spray each piece really well with olive oil spray. Preheat air fryer to 370 degrees F. Spray inside basket with non stick cooking spray when ready.
- Place into the air fryer basket in a single layer without overlapping. Cook the chicken for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping the filets halfway thru the time. Spray with olive oil spray on the other side when flipped.
Check temp with a meat thermometer and then make into air fryer sandwiches.
Air Fryer Chick Fil A Sandwich
What toppings are best? Whether we prepare this (homemade), or make air fryer frozen chicken patties the toppings remain the same. It is fun to lay everything out on your island and make a burger bar for dinner! The top choices for our family are:
- Pickles are typically the only thing on a McDonald’s McChicken sandwich
- A lightly toasted bun of course
- You can add slices of tomatoes if you like
- I like a little lettuce to add texture to your crispy chicken
- Cheese is optional
- You could add a wipe of mayonnaise, fry sauce or mustard sauce on to your air fryer chicken patty too
And there you have it!! I bet your whole household will go crazy over these, let us know what you think!
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Copycat McDonalds Fried Chicken Sandwich
- 4 chicken breasts boneless skinless, pounded flat
- 1 c pickle juice
- 1.5 c all purpose flour
- 3 tbsp powdered sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 egg
- 1 c milk
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper optional for heat
- Pound meat flat with mallet in between two pieces of parchment or plastic wrap. Soak chicken filets in dill pickle juice for at least one hour but preferably up to 6 hours. Drain pickle juice from chicken pieces and pat chicken dry with paper towels.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, cayenne pepper (optional for heat), black pepper, and paprika. Set aside.
- Whisk together the milk and egg until well blended. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk & egg mixture and then toss in the flour mixture.
- * If frying * Shake off extra flour and gently place the chicken into hot peanut oil. Fry the chicken filet for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is 165 degrees inside and juices run clear. Drain on clean paper towels.
- * In the air fryer * Follow the marinating and seasoning instructions as directed. After breading, spray the chicken filets heavily with olive oil spray. Preheat machine to 370 degrees F. Spray inside basket with non stick spray when ready.
- Place the chicken onto the air fryer basket in a single layer without overlapping. Cook the chicken for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping the filets halfway thru the time and spraying with olive oil spray when flipped.