Sandwich of the Week: Sylvain’s “Chick-Syl-vain” in NOLA

Chef Alex Harrell’s take on the classic fried chicken sandwich creates a loyal local and national following

Who can resist house-made pickles and buttermilk fried chicken?

Restaurateur Sean McCusker always had a penchant for Chick-fil-A’s fried chicken sandwiches, but was always disappointed when he couldn’t satisfy his craving due to the chain’s policy of staying closed on Sunday. When he opened Sylvain in 2010 in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter, he asked the chef, Alex Harrell, to create his own version of the beloved sandwich, and so the “Chick-Syl-vain” was born.

A lot of time goes into making this gastronomic tribute, as the skinless and boneless chicken breast is first brined in a mixture of buttermilk and house-made hot sauce for 12 hours. After being breaded in Harrell’s signature recipe and fried, the chicken is then placed on a buttery bun with mayo and thick-sliced dill pickles, both of which are also house-made. Served with thin, crispy fries, this total package has found its way into the hearts of NOLA locals, as well as the local the press. The “Chick-Syl-vain” was also named one of the city’s most iconic sandwiches by Eater last year, and Thrillist included the meal on its list of The 5 New Orleans Sandwiches You Need to Try Right Now. Needless to say, we plan on checking out what all the clucking is about the next time we find ourselves in The Big Easy.


Kate Kolenda is the Restaurant/City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @BeefWerky and @theconversant.