Does Chick-Fil-A Soak Chicken in Pickle Juice? (All You Need to Know)

Chick-Fil-A is an iconic fast-food restaurant in the US, offering the best chicken sandwich, and is known for making exquisite chicken dishes in general.

As a result, consumers are left wondering what the secret recipe is. Does Chick-Fil-A soak the chicken in pickle juice, as many have guessed? I have conducted in-depth research on the matter, and here is what I found out!

Does Chick-Fil-A Soak Chicken in Pickle Juice In 2024?

Chick-Fil-A has not provided official information on whether it soaks the chicken in pickle juice as of 2024. Some sources claim Chick-Fil-A actually uses Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) as its main ingredient in making chicken sandwiches. On the flip side, other sources insinuate Chick-Fil-A soaks the chicken in pickle juice, especially when frying the boneless chickens.

Read on, if you want to find out why Chick-Fil-A might be soaking chicken in pickle juice, Chick-Fil-A’s secret ingredient, and much more!

Does Chick-Fil-A Soak Chicken in Pickle Juice?

The main reason the restaurant might be using pickle juice is to tenderize the meat. Other reasons include keeping the meat moist and adding some dill flavor to the meat.

It’s important to note that the pickle juice tenderizing trick works too on lean meat, pork, and turkey.

What Does Chick-Fil-A Marinate Chicken In?

Chick-Fil-A does not provide an official statement on the ingredients it uses to marinate chicken as it intends to keep its recipe secret.

However, most sources claim that the restaurant brines its chicken breast with pickle juice, so as to achieve tender and delicious meat.

How Long Does Chick-Fil-A Soak Chicken in Pickle Juice?

Although anonymous Chick-Fil-A employees have debunked the pickle juice rumor, many customers still claim that this rumor is true.

So, if that is indeed the case, the process likely takes at least two hours.

Further, in case the chicken is left to marinate in pickle juice, it should not also be beyond 24 hours. If the chicken is left in pickle juice for so long, it will change the texture.

What Can Pickle Juice Do to Chick-Fil-A Chicken?

Pickling done to chicken beforehand adds hours of chemical osmosis, in which thirsty proteins within the chicken draw the pickle juice into the meat, followed by a denaturing process.

The denaturing process helps break down and loosen protein helix strands from their previous tight coil. Salt is then drawn into the meat via the osmosis process.

While salt is sucked into the enlarging protein, these molecules are relaxed and neatly fill out all new spaces.

What Is Chick-Fil-A’s Secret ingredient?

What Is Chick-Fil-A Secret ingredient?

The ingredient is monosodium glutamate, commonly referred to as MSG. it is a product that is available in Americanized Chinese cuisine.

MSG is a sodium salt byproduct of amino acids. Sources of MSG include:

  • Parmesan cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms

It comes in dozens of food items, including snacks (ex. Doritos) and powder mixes.

What Does Monosodium Glutamate Do to Chick-Fil-A Chicken?

Basically, MSG enhances flavor by providing an umami-like quality to the chickens. As a result, Chick-Fil-A chicken dishes have a hearty flavor.

Is Chick-Fil-A’s MSG Dangerous to Human Health?

According to Food and Drug Administration, MSG has been “generally recognized as safe” over the years.

However, some reports received by clients claim MSG comes with side effects, such as headaches and sweating to nausea.

MSG is just one of many FDA-approved food additives in America’s food industry.

What Are Other Ingredients in the Chick-Fil-A Chicken Sandwich?

The ingredients in the Chick-Fil-A sandwich include:

  • One boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup pickle juice (sour dill is my favorite)
  • One egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • One tablespoon of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • Optional: up to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper for a spicy sandwich
  • Oil for frying (about a cup)
  • For serving: Buns (buttered and toasted) and pickle slices!

What Is the Procedure for Making the Chick-Fil-A Chicken Sandwich?

Here is the procedure for assembling the Chick-Fil-A sandwich:

  1. Wrap the chicken loosely between plastic wrap and pound gently with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until about 1/2 inch thick all around
  2. Cut into two pieces, as even as possible
  3. Marinate in the pickle juice for 30 minutes to one hour (add a teaspoon of Tabasco sauce for a spicy sandwich)
  4. Beat eggs with the milk in a bowl
  5. Combine the flour, sugar, and spices in another bowl
  6. Dip the chicken pieces each into the egg on both sides, then coat in flour on both sides
  7. Heat the oil in a skillet (1/2 inch deep) to about 345-350
  8. Fry each cutlet for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked
  9. Blot on paper and serve on toasted buns with pickle slices

To know more, you can also read our posts on whether or not Chick-Fil-A serves breakfast all day, if Chick-Fil-A serves lunch all day, and does Chick-Fil-A use MSG.


Chick-Fil-A does not offer an official statement on whether it marinates its chicken in pickle juice. However, the company allegedly uses pickle juice secretively while making chicken sandwiches.

Chick-Fil-A also uses Monosodium glutamate as one of the main ingredients to add flavor to the chicken.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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