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We’re all familiar with the original chicken sandwich, right? You know the ones that are served at the really clean, really fast restaurants with a twice-hyphenated name and advertisements that feature grammatically-challenged cows? Yeah, that one!
Here for your handheld fried poultry enjoyment is my version of said chicken sandwich.
Use a meat mallet to pound the thick end of each chicken breast until the entire breast is of equal thickness. Cut each breast in half width-wise and put the pieces in a gallon size zip-top bag. Add the buttermilk, hot sauce and 1 tablespoon of the salt to the bag. Slosh the bag gently to combine all of the ingredients and to coat the chicken completely. Seal the bag while removing as much of the excess air as possible. Place the bag in a lipped pan (to catch any leakage) and refrigerate at least six hours, or overnight.
Starting about 30 minutes before you want to serve, heat the oil to 350ºF in a large heavy skillet (I recommend cast iron).
Preheat oven to 170ºF.
While the oil is heating, combine the flour, powdered sugar, remaining salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne in a medium bowl and mix well. Remove a chicken piece from the buttermilk marinade and shake off the excess. Dredge the chicken in the flour until it is completely covered. Shake off the excess flour and set aside on a platter. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. Let the chicken sit at least 10 minutes before frying to ensure that the flour adheres well.
Working in batches of two (number depends on the size of your frying pan—but don’t crowd the pan), fry the chicken pieces for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they are nicely browned and the internal temperature is 160ºF. Remove the pieces from the hot oil using a spider or slotted spoon to a wire rack that’s placed inside a sheet pan. If you’re working in batches, put the sheet pan in a 170ºF oven.
Spread the butter evenly over the cut sides of both halves of each bun, put them on a baking sheet buttered side up and toast under your broiler.
Assemble the sandwiches by putting four pickle slices on the bottom half of each bun, add a piece of chicken, and the bun top.
Serve and enjoy!
Oh, and if you want some of that killer sauce, simply whisk together 1 cup of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of your favorite sweet barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon plain yellow mustard, 1 tablespoon dill pickle juice, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika. Done! It makes a lot, but you’ll use it, I promise.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!