A buttermilk fried chicken thigh with unbelievably crisp skin is the centerpiece of this hearty sandwich. It's served on a squishy bun with homemade tartar sauce, shredded lettuce, and dill pickles—an easy, perfect lunch.


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

40 mins
1 hr 5 mins
Makes 4 sandwiches


Tartar Sauce


Instructions Checklist
  • Tartar Sauce: Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, and Dijon. Stir in capers and tarragon; season to taste with salt and pepper. (Makes 1/2 cup.)

  • Sandwich: Remove oysters from chicken thighs and set aside. Working with one at a time, pound each thigh between two pieces of plastic to an even 1/8-inch thickness. Let sit, covered with plastic, at room temperature while preparing remaining ingredients, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

  • Fill a medium heavy pot, preferably cast-iron, about halfway with oil. Heat oil over medium-high to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, whisk together buttermilk and Old Bay or hot sauce in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. In a shallow dish, season 1 cup flour with salt and pepper; whisk to combine. In a separate shallow dish, season remaining 1 1/2 cups flour with baking powder, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine. Add 1/3 cup buttermilk mixture and stir together to create ragged clumps. Working with two pieces at a time, dredge chicken in plain flour mixture, then buttermilk mixture. Let excess drip off, then dip in clumpy flour mixture, pressing firmly to adhere and making sure chicken is completely coated. If wet spots are visible, press in more coating.

  • Fry until golden brown and cooked through, adjusting heat as needed to keep oil between 360 and 380 degrees, about 3 minutes. Drain on a rimmed baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. Repeat with remaining chicken. To serve, lightly butter both sides of roll and place in the oven to lightly toast. Spread roll with tartar sauce, then top with chicken, lettuce, and pickles.

Cook's Notes

The Secret to Perfectly Crispy Fried Chicken
Adding a small amount of liquid to half the dry mixture will create craggy pieces that cling to the chicken and fry up extra crispy. Also important for crisp, not soggy chicken: bring ingredients to room temperature at least 30 minutes before cooking to keep the oil temperature from dropping too much.

Bonus Fried Chicken Snack
After frying chicken thighs, toss the removed oysters (the small tender piece of meat that hangs from the inside of each thigh) in remaining flour and buttermilk mixtures and fry until golden and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Serve as a side snack with tartar sauce.