Follow These Steps for the Ultimate Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwich
Plus, we're sharing two more unique ways to serve it.
Buoyed in a genius double-dredging technique and generous shake of Old Bay seasoning, our shatteringly crisp fried-chicken sandwich sails right past the competition. Boneless, skinless thighs replace the usual cutlets for deeper flavor, and two variations will send you around the world. Follow our step-by-step guide and get ready to bite into the most delicious sandwich, every single time.
Prep and Pound
Fill a large, heavy pot halfway with oil; heat over medium until it registers 375° on a thermometer. (Bringing the heat up slowly helps maintain a steady cooking temperature). Meanwhile, pound chicken thighs to an even thickness. Let stand, covered, 30 minutes, while setting up a dredging station: Place one cup flour in a shallow dish. In a separate bowl, stir together buttermilk and Old Bay, and stir together remaining 1½ cups flour and baking powder in another shallow dish. Season all three with salt and pepper.
Batter It Up
Stir 1/3 cup buttermilk mixture into baking-powder mixture; it will create small flour clumps, which will give the chicken a delicious craggy surface once it's fried. Two pieces at a time, dredge chicken in plain flour, then dip in remaining buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Place in clumpy flour mixture, pressing firmly to adhere and completely coat chicken. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet fitted with a wire rack.
Cook and Assemble
Working in batches, fry chicken, flipping once, until golden brown and cooked through, about four minutes a batch, adjusting heat as needed to keep oil temperature between 360° and 380°. Transfer to a clean wire rack to drain (and lock in that fresh-from-the-fryer crunch). Season with salt; let cool 10 minutes. To serve, lightly brush cut sides of rolls with softened butter; toast in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until golden, two to three minutes. Top with tartar sauce, lettuce, chicken, and pickles.
Tartar with a Twist
Our recipe gets its briny bite from capers and fresh tarragon (in place of the pickles and parsley found in store-bought jars). In a bowl, whisk together one cup mayonnaise and two teaspoons each fresh lemon juice and Dijon mustard. Stir in two teaspoons rinsed and drained capers and two tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon. Season with salt and pepper, and refrigerate in an airtight container up to one week.
Fly east with this spicy spin-off. Nashville-Style Hot Chicken gets a blast of heat from Frank's RedHot Sauce and paprika. Simply brush the mixture over the buttermilk fried chicken for a fiery finish. A couple tablespoons of light-brown sugar balances the heat with a touch of sweetness.
A Healthy Kick
Skip the bun and add this southeast Asian-inspired fried chicken to Bibb lettuce. Add honey, sambal oelek (an Indonesian chili paste), soy sauce, cilantro leaves, cucumbers, carrots, and lime wedges on top. Cut it up like a salad, or wrap it up like a soft taco and bite right in.