By 300 Sandwiches
I have never fried chicken before. My mother fried it on occasion, but I can’t remember a time when she made any for Dad and I after 1994, when she was working nights, and I went on this kick where everything I ate was stir fried.
Since I had some time on my hands over Labor Day weekend, I thought I’d bust my fried chicken cherry on a sandwich.
I knew this meal would be heavy. This was an anti-CrossFit, anti-slim summer thighs type of meal. But it was the last weekend of summer, and there’s nothing like good fresh fried chicken on a hot summer afternoon. Besides, Eric has been drooling over this picture since I brought the issue home, so I wanted to make my own version of this. I did some research online for recipes and ingredients, then headed to the store.
Most people don’t use boneless skinless chicken to fry—the skin IS the best part of fried chicken—but I got them since they were easiest to make sandwiches from.
While I got to cooking, E took a nap, which was fine, since he had never fried chicken either and wouldn’t be able to advise on the procedure. So I called my mother for advice on how to prepare. “You’re doing these without skin? That’s the best part!” she scolded.
But I pushed on. Twenty minutes into cooking, my kitchen smelled like fried herbs, and the breasts were browning nicely. “Mom, you’d be so proud,” I said.
The sandwiches were pretty on point. That herby chicken, with my own spicy slaw made from crunchy greens and radicchio mixture gave it all a zesty kick. “Babes, this is just pure love,” E told me.
The meal was so good, E ate another one for a late day snack, adding jalapeno slices to give it even more of a kick. “So freaking good,” he said. He didn’t even miss the skin.
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 hamburger buns
1/2 jalapeño, sliced (optional)
vegetable oil (for frying)
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon black pepper
few springs rosemary
pinch of kosher salt
1 cup flour
1 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
I tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1 pinch black pepper
For the spicy mayo:
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon hot sauce
For the slaw:
1/2 head radicchio
1 cup greens, shredded (I used Kale, then was told by my kale hating boyfriend he would prefer red leaf lettuce. So I remade it.)
3 slices jalapeño, minced
2 tablespoons of the completed spicy mayo.
Set up a drying rack lined with a paper towel over a baking sheet, to drain chicken after frying.
Mix your buttermilk marinate ingredients in a large, resealable plastic bag (freezer bag is perfect). Add chicken and move bag around until chicken is thoroughly coated. Let chicken marinate in mixture for 2 hours in the refrigerator. Remove about 30 minutes prior to cooking chicken, to bring up to room temperature.
Next, mix your flour mixture ingredients together in a bowl. Then spread on a high sided plate or dish.
To cook chicken, heat an inch depth of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat, up to 350 degrees or so (to make sure it’s hot enough, sprinkle some flour on top of the grease. If it bubbles, then disappears, it’s ready). Remove chicken breasts one by one from buttermilk mixture. Let excess marinate run off, then dredge through flour mixture. Coat both sides with the flour, then gently place in the hot oil. Cook, flipping once, for about 15 minutes, until brown and crispy. Remove from oil and let grease drain on paper towel lined rack
Remove from oil and cool on the drying rack. Repeat with rest of chicken.
Mix spicy paprika mayo with mayonnaise ingredients. When done, mix vegetables for the slaw, then add two tablespoons of already mixed spicy mayonnaise to the slaw.
Toast buns. Assemble sandwiches by slathering on spicy mayo on each side of the buns, then layer on chicken, spicy slaw, and top with top of bun. Makes four sandwiches.