Wouldn’t you agree, the biggest problem about the Cheesecake Factory is having to make a decision on what to eat? With a story-book sized menu from food all over the globe, how does one ever make a decision without feeling like you’re missing out on something else?
It’s one of the only restaurants I go to where I will always get an appetizer + an entree + dessert. I normally just opt for a drink and an entree at most restaurants but at Cheesecake, there are just too many temptations to not want the full experience.
Aside from this Southern Fried Chicken Sliders Cheesecake Factory Copycat Recipe, I’ve also remade the Cheesecake Factory Orange Chicken and the Nashville Hot Chicken Nuggets. I have a lot more copycat recipes in the works, but feel free to let me know if you have a favorite you’d like a recipe for so you can remake at home!
What are Southern Fried Chicken Sliders from Cheesecake Factory?
One of the most popular appetizers at the Cheesecake Factory, Southern Fried Chicken Sliders are perfectly snackable, super juicy, and so addictive. These sliders are simple; southern-fried chicken on a mini toasted bun with pickles and Thousand Island dressing on the side, and optional lettuce and tomato.
The southern-fried chicken, to me, is reminiscent of Chick-Fil-A style chicken. Packed full with robust spices, the chicken breasts are soaked in a buttermilk-pickled juice mixture, rather than just dipped in eggs/egg whites like traditional fried chicken. Plus, the breading has a hint of sweetness.
How to Make Southern Fried Sliders Cheesecake Factory Copycat Recipe?
Marinate the chicken – the longer the better, but we marinate the trimmed and pounded chicken breast pieces in a seasoned buttermilk/pickle juice for at least 30 minutes (a few hours is most ideal).
Coat the chicken – Once removed from the buttermilk marinade, we dredge the chicken in a well-seasoned flour mixture then into a wet coating of egg whites and milk. Then back in the flour for extra crispiness.
Fry the juicy chicken – Ideally, peanut oil is used for optimal flavor, but canola oil works just as well as a substitute (peanut oil is significantly more expensive). We fry these chicken breast pieces 2-3 at a time, being sure not to crowd the pan, at 350 until golden browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
Toast the buns – using classic white slider buns or mini brioche buns, lightly butter each side and toast lightly on low in a pan until the edges are toasty golden brown.
Assemble – to assemble these southern fried chicken sliders, place one piece of chicken on the toasted bun and top with two pickles. Serve with a side of Thousand Island and lettuce and tomato slices.
Tips on Frying Chicken (no thermometer required)
How to fry without a thermometer – When the oil has preheated, dip the handle of a wooden spoon or a chopstick into the oil. If the oil starts steadily bubbling, then the oil is hot enough for frying. If the oil bubbles very very vigorously, then the oil is too hot and needs to cool off a touch. If no or very few bubbles pop up, then it’s not hot enough.
Egg whites instead of whole egg – egg whites assist in the breading clinging to the chicken and ensure a crispy bite. The fattiness of the egg yolks softens the breading, preventing too crispy of a breaded coating. If you want to make sure your fried chicken is perfectly crisp, omit the egg yolks and only use the egg whites in your milk mixture.
Extra Crispy with Vodka – since it evaporates rapidly in the frying oil, it sets the coating and creates flaky layers as it does in pie crust.
Peanut oil > Vegetable or Canola oil – the flavor of your oil infuses anything you are frying. So if you choose a more robust, flavorful oil your food will be even more delicious.
Do not overfill oil – whenever you are frying, be sure to leave ample space between the oil and the top of the pot or frying pan you are using. The ingredients you are frying will not only raise the oil level, but the water content in the food (especially when frying potatoes) will add volume to t he pan.
Looking for other delish copycat recipes?
I look forward to your questions and feedback below. Please be sure to tag me @BadBatchBaking using hashtag #badbatchbaking if you made this recipe and I will feature you on my story! Plus, I LOVE to see your baking accomplishments.
Southern Fried Chicken Sliders Cheesecake Factory Copycat Recipe
Southern Fried Chicken
- 2-3 cups peanut oil enough for frying in 1" of oil
- 4 chicken breasts, boneless skinless
- 1 cup dill pickle juice
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika regular paprika works as well
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 12 classic white slider buns
- 2 tablespoons butter
- green leaf lettuce served on the side
- 2 Roma tomato, sliced served on the side
- 24 dill pickle slices 2 per slider
- Thousand Island dressing served on the side
Marinade the Chicken
- Pound each chicken breast to ensure tenderness and even size. Divide each breast into three chunks, about slider size. Place into a medium sized bowl along with the buttermilk and pickle juice. Cover and marinate in the fridge for ideally 2-24 hours (or at least 30 minutes).
Coat the Chicken
- In a shallow baking dish or zip top bag, combine flour, powdered sugar, paprika, and season well with salt and pepper. In another shallow dish, whisk together egg whites and milk.
- Remove chicken from marinade and drain well. Place the chicken into the flour mixture, shaking off excess flour, submerge into the milk mixture, and then back into the flour mixture. Again, shaking off excess breading. Place onto a plate and continue with remaining chicken.
- Heat oil to 350 degrees or over medium-high heat. Cook 2-3 pieces at a time, being sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Place chicken onto a cooling rack with paper towels placed underneath rack to catch oil.
- Butter each side of the slider buns and toast over low heat in a pan or under a broiler, until edges are golden brown.
- Place one piece of chicken on the toasted bun and top with two pickles. Serve with a side of Thousand Island dressing and lettuce and tomato slices.