The BEST Fried Chicken Sandwich

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Move over Nashville, mama’s in the kitchen and she’s comin’ in HOT with this sandwich! *spicy and mild version included*

Here’s the deal. If I see a spicy fried chicken sandwich on the menu, it’s game over. I’ve always been super intimidated by attempting to recreate one at home, because: 1. I don’t claim to be an expert fryer. 2. Some restaurants do them so damn good, why mess with a good thing?!

Jeff asked if I’d attempt a fried chicken sandwich the other day, so I put on my thinking cap, gave myself a quick pep talk and decided to dive right in. The key to making the chicken extra crispy is the cold water. Trust me, dipping the marinated chicken in the flour mixture and then straight to cold water will make the breast extra crispy, you’ll see in the instructions below.

The result of this recipe drum roll please………. TO DIE FOR. I could have eaten 3 of them if I made enough.

Make these this week or weekend and I promise your family will think you’ve become an overnight all-star chef!

*If you’re making this recipe for your kids or anyone who isn’t into spice, skip the cayenne seasoning and hot sauce in the spicy mayo. But I will say, this recipe is definitely not too spicy, so unless it’s for kids… make it according to the original instructions.

The BEST Fried Chicken Sandwich

PREP TIME: 15 minutes (marinate for at least 1 hour)
COOK TIME: 20 minutes
SERVES: 4
INGREDIENTS:
For the Chicken
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half (if the breasts are very thick, you might want to cut the width in half too
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder (skip for kids)
  • dash of sea salt and ground pepper
For Fried Breading
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon paprika 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (for spicy)
  • dash of sea salt and ground pepper
  • 4-5 cups ice cold water
Spicy Mayo
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha or hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • juice or half a lime
For Sandwich
  • 4 brioche buns
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Sliced pickles (we used bread and butter pickles)
  • 4-5 cups canola oil for frying
*note on frying: I used the Fry Daddy to fry our sandwiches. It was SO EASY! And made for a quick cleanup. You can make these in an Air Fryer, just coat the breasts with cooking oil and place in air fryer for 20 minutes at 375° If you don’t have either, 4 cups of canola oil in large heavy-duty skillet will also do the trick.
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Cut the chicken breasts in half crosswise to make 2 small pieces of chicken
  2. In a large bowl mix buttermilk, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne powder salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the marinade, cover with saran wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour… up to 24 hours
  3. When ready to fry, heat canola oil in large heavy-duty skillet, or prepare Fry Daddy
  4. In a medium shallow bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, and additional spices
  5. In a third shallow bowl, add about 4-5 cups of ice cold water
  6. Dredge marinated chicken into the flour mixture until a thick crust is formed, dip the breast into the cold water until covered and back into the marinade. Repeat this process 3 times before frying (see video for reference)
  7. When dipping is complete, transfer the chicken to the hot oil and fry until the internal temperature reaches about 165-170°, the crust should be golden brown. If you’re nervous, you can always cut into the large part of the breast, but I don’t recommend this step if it can be avoided. Cutting into breast early will allow the juices to escape and dry out the chicken
  8. While chicken is frying, you can make the spicy mayo by mixing mayo, sriracha, taco seasoning and lime juice. Set aside
TO ASSEMBLE SANDWICHES:
  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan or on skillet and toast buns face down until lightly golden.
  2. Add a generous layer of mayo on each side of bun.
  3. Add 2-3 sandwich pickles on top of mayo
  4. Add fried chicken breast to bun, close with other side of bun, cut in half and serve warm with a side of french fries
  5. ENJOY!
 
Shanisty

Shanisty

Shanisty Ireland is a former award-winning Television News Anchor with more than 15 years of experience on-air. Today, Shanisty freelances on national and local media outlets featuring some of her favorite recipes and hot topics from her blog. Shanisty has been featured on The Today Show, Ellen, U.S. News and World Report, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy and hundreds of local TV News and Radio stations.

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