The past several years has seen the explosion of the fried chicken sandwich. It’s become a stable on fast food menu…restaurants like Chick-Fil-A built a whole business around it. And even fine dining restaurants are putting up some insanely creative fried chicken sandwiches with sauces and flavors from all over the world.
And you can pretty easily make them at home once you learn a few tips and tricks. I’ll show you how to set up a breading station…with some great seasoning/flavor…bread some chicken breasts, you can easily use thighs as well, and then fry off the perfect piece of chicken. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
Key to the Perfect Fried Chicken Sandwich
- Like any sandwich, the right bread can’t be under-estimated. You’ve got some options here, but I like a soft role (like hamburger bun). With crusty bread, the crisp crust of the chicken tends to get lost against the crisp crunch of the bread.
- You gotta season your chicken & flour well, to make sure you get some great flavor on the meat itself
- You’ve got to have your oil at the right temp….about 375 degrees, will give you a nice crispy crust, cook the chicken through, without getting it too oily. Hotter, and it burns the outside with a raw center; cooler, you get flabby breading.
- A final safety tip, use a deep set pan…with the oil less than half way up the side; the oil will expand when you add the chicken and you don’t want it splashing over the side.
Ingredients (for two sandwiches)
- 1 chicken breasts, butterflied into two pieces, or pounded out and cut into two
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk, or butter milk
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- Enough vegetable oil to cover your pot/pan by about 1 inch high
How to Cook a Fried Chicken Sandwich
- Here I’m using chicken breasts which are cut in half lengthwise. You’ll want to either cut them, or pound them out; if they are too thick, they may not cook through. You can also use chicken thighs which would be perfect for this recipe
- You can brine the chicken (not needed) to make it even more tender & juicy
- Allow the chicken to come up to room temperature as you bring your oil to temperature and set up your breading station.
- Pour enough oil into your cooking pot, to create about a 1 inch depth
- Heat over med-high heat until the oil reaches 375, and then turn down the heat to maintain that temperature
- Combine the flour, salt, pepper and the seasonings, and mix together
- Beat the eggs and milk together until thoroughly incorporated in a shallow dish
- Dry the chicken breasts with a paper towel, and dredge in the flour mixture, coating all over
- Move to the egg mixture, again coating all sides
- Move back to the flour mixture once more…getting an even coating on the chicken breasts
- Repeat with the other chicken breast pieces
- Once your oil is at temperature, gently lay the breaded chicken down in the oil, which should immediately start bubbling; if not, remove the chicken quickly and let the oil heat more.
- You may have to temporarily increase the heat, as the room temperature chicken will bring down the temp of the oil; you’d like to stay as close to 375 as possible
- Allow the chicken to fry for 3 – 4 minutes, until the cooked side is golden brown
- Use tongs to gently turn the chicken over to cook the other side; again for 3 -4 minutes
- Remove the chicken once cooked (work in batches if needed), move to a cooling rack and season with a bit of salt.
- While the chicken rests for a few minutes, melt some butter in a frying pan over high heat, and add your bun to toast in the butter for about 2 minutes.
- Once browned, remove
- Top your fried chicken sandwich with your favorite condiments, veggies, sauces, and enjoy!