We rarely eat fast food, once in a Blue Moon. But, I have to admit that I have a soft-spot for a good crispy chicken sandwich. Juicy flavorful chicken covered in a crunchy coating…it’s tough to beat. So, when my latest issue of Cook’s Country came in the mail last week and I saw their homemade version while flipping through the pages – it immediately went on the menu for the week.
I made them on Tuesday night and just couldn’t wait to share the recipe with you guys. It was absolutely amazing. The breading on the chicken was absolutely spot on, and such an easy technique – I’ll definitely be using it for more than these sandwiches in the future. A simple mixture of flour and various spices is combined with just a bit of water to form a crumbly coating. Then, that mixture is pressed onto the chicken breasts and fried – leading to a breading that is thick and crunchy. I just know it would be wonderful on chicken tenders, fried chicken, and even a fish filet.
The other star of the sandwich was the dill pickle mayonnaise. A quick “special sauce” composted of mayo, mustard, chopped pickles, and a splash of pickle brine – I found myself eating the leftovers with a spoon after dinner was finished. It was so good! I topped them with a but of shredded iceburg lettuce for a cool crunch, but I’d imagine a slice of tomato would be pretty delicious on there as well…that is, when you can get your hands on a good tomato again!
While I pretty much despise deep frying, this is one that I know I’ll come back to again – just because we all really loved it. I served with some french fries (hey, I already had the oil out and heated up) and it made for a great crave-worthy dinner that I didn’t have to feel so bad about feeding my family, because I knew precisely what went into it. Homemade is always better, folks!
Crispy Chicken Sandwiches
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – halved crosswise
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp water
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
2 quarts vegetable or peanut oil
4 potato hamburger buns
shredded lettuce, for topping
For Dill Pickle Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup dill pickle chips, chopped fine
1 tsp pickle brine
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 tsp black pepper
Combine all ingredients for dill pickle mayonnaise in a small bowl and set aside.
Combine salt, paprika, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, sage, and cayenne in a bowl. Measure out 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture and set aside. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Using a meat pounder, gently pound each chicken piece to an even 1/2-inch thickness between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Season chicken all over with remaining spice mixture.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and reserved 1 tablespoon spice mixture together in a large bowl. Add water to flour mixture and rub together with your fingers until water is evenly incorporated and shaggy pieces form. Place egg whites in a shallow dish.
Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet. Working with 1 piece at a time, dip chicken in egg whites to thoroughly coat, letting excess drip back into the dish, then dredge in flour mixture, pressing to adhere. Transfer chicken to prepared wire rack and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
Add oil to large Dutch oven until it measures about 1 1/2 inches deep and heat over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Add chicken to hot oil. Adjust burner, if necessary, to maintain oil temperature between 325-350 degrees. Fry until chicken is golden brown and registers 160 degrees – about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to clean wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve on rolls with dill pickle mayonnaise and shredded lettuce.
Source: barely adapted from Cook’s Country, February/March 2014