fried chicken sandwiches
a bonus recipe for your weekend pleasure!
I made these fried chicken sandwiches last Sunday night as a post-Marathon meal for my friend Kate, and I got countless requests to make them a What To Cook recipe. I typed the entire recipe up, was ready to make it this Sunday’s recipe — and then I re-thought it. Absolutely nothing about an overnight buttermilk marinade, a double dredge, and a deep fry falls into the What To Cook by-laws.
What To Cook recipes are crafted to be quick, simple, require little cleanup.
Fried chicken sandwiches? Ehhh. They don’t exactly meet those standards.
However, they are a lot easier than you think. A lot of effort, and a decent amount of clean up? Yes. But nonetheless, pretty easy! And you feel like an absolute bad ass when you serve up fried chicken sandwiches.
So, here’s a bonus recipe: my delicious fried chicken sandwiches, based off of the famous Shake Shack fried chicken sandwiches. I highly recommend these for a Saturday or Sunday night feast with friends.
a tip for feeding littler kids:
(Or, for feeding big kids who love chicken fingers…)
Make chicken fingers instead of sandwiches! You can buy “tenders” at the grocery story, or just cut a chicken breast lengthwise into 4 or 5 strips.
Marinate and cook them the exact same way as the large pieces. Makes it a lot easier to feed little kids who can’t manage big sandwiches yet!
this sounds good but i’m: on a diet / don’t like fried food / not in the mood for this big of a project
Have you made the grilled pickle-brined chicken sandwiches yet? They are DIVINE. And much less complicated than this fried chicken recipe.
fried chicken sandos
Makes 8 sandwiches (halve it all if you just want to make 4!)
Oil thermometer (not totally necessary but, a very good idea)
Deep pot for frying
Baking sheet (ideally with a wire rack on top to keep the chicken from getting soggy)
2 cups buttermilk plus 1 tbsp
2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon celery salt
2 (48-ounce) bottles canola oil
8 hamburger buns (ideally potato rolls or a nice brioche bun but anything works!)
Iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
Bread and butter (or dill) pickles
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely minced parsley (or chives or dill or basil!)
In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups buttermilk, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon black pepper.
Working one at a time, place a chicken breast on a cutting board and firmly press your hand over top. Use a very sharp knife to cut it into two skinny halves. Cut all of the chicken in half, adding it to the marinade as you go.
Marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour, but up to 12 hours. Don’t go much beyond 12 hours, or the chicken will start to get mushy.
While the chicken is marinating, whisk together 3 ½ cups flour, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 2 ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon celery salt in a separate large bowl or a 9x13 baking dish is actually nice.
Preheat the oven to 250°F and place a rimmed baking sheet inside.
I like to warm my buns by just throwing them in the 250°F oven while the chicken cooks.
Pour canola oil into a wide heavy-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven until it’s at least 3 inches deep. Heat the oil over high heat until it reaches 350F. If you don’t have an oil thermometer, the oil will look very shimmery when it’s ready.
Grab each piece of chicken out of the marinade, dredge it through the flour mixture, back into the marinade, then back into the flour mixture. Place all of the breaded chicken onto a rimmed baking sheet until ready to fry.
When the oil reaches 350°F, lower several pieces of chicken into it and cook for 5 minutes, turning several times to ensure its golden-brown all over. Transfer the chicken to the sheet pan in the oven, sprinkle with salt, and continue cooking until all chicken is cooked.
While the chicken is frying, make the herby buttermilk mayo: combine 1/2 cup mayo + 1 tablespoon buttermilk + 2 tbsp minced parsley + pinch of salt + pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Sometimes I add a shake of hot sauce in there too.
Build your sandwiches. Spread herb buttermilk mayo on both sides of the bun. Throw the chicken on there, some shredded iceberg, and lots of bread and butter pickles. Dig in!