The first bite of this crunchy crispy CHICKEN SANDWICH will be so unforgettable, the sensation could last for days. From the tender juicy meat to the perfectly toasted bun, everything about this recipe is mouthwatering. That would surely make you crave for one.
Why go out for a yummy treat when you can make the best chicken sandwich right from your own kitchen? Southern-style Fried Chicken is easy to love because of all the flavors you can get in the first crunch. Now imagine that familiar taste in sandwich form.
I know, “hmmmmm” right? I bet you could smell it right now. But I have to warn you, the pictures from this post will only make you crave harder. So, let’s make one right now.
I’m going to simplify the ingredients into two parts for your convenience. It’s important that you know this so that you can make your own twists on this chicken sandwich recipe. But I highly suggest that you try this one first. And there is no secret recipe or whatsoever for this.
Chicken Breast – Filleted and skinned, all we need for this crispy chicken sandwich recipe is the meat. I know you must be thinking, “But the skin makes it crispy!”. Well, that’s where our other ingredients come in. The skin, although delicious, has a lot of natural chicken oil in it. And too much oil isn’t good for you anyway.
Dry Ingredients – all-purpose flour and corn starch will give us that crunchiness you’ve been looking for. It’s also a great way to tell if the crispy chicken is cooked enough. Once this layer turns golden brown, you’d know that the whole thing is ready.
Herbs and spices – powdered garlic and onion, white and cayenne pepper, dried thyme and oregano, paprika, salt, and our favorite Creole Seasoning. All the flavors mixed together to create a unique southern taste profile.
When applied correctly, the flavor goes right to the core of the meat. And don’t worry, this crispy chicken isn’t that too spicy, so you can enjoy this one with your kids.
Buttermilk – this ingredient is a slightly acidic by-product of making butter. What this does to the meat is it tenderizes it by breaking down the proteins. The acidity isn’t too strong which is why we still end up with a soft, juicy, and tender chicken. No buttermilk? Check out how you can make one at home using this How to Make Buttermilk tips.
Vegetable oil – it’s important that we use unflavored oil in frying to perfectly cook the crispy chicken without tampering the flavors of the other ingredient. This gives us an accurate idea of what the final product will taste like.
Fried Chicken Sandwich
Brioche Bun – it’s a fancy bread that’s richer and tender than regular pastries. It’s often used in sweet applications but it goes so good with our crispy chicken sandwich. Alternatively, you can use sesame seed buns.
Iceberg lettuce – if the crispy chicken isn’t enough for you, you’re gonna have a pleasant surprise when you bite into this fresh crunchy vegetable.
Remoulade Sauce – it is a cold sauce with a mild, sweet, and sour flavor. It is usually paired with fried food which is why it’s perfect for our recipe (check my homemade Remoulade Sauce HERE). Alternatively, you can use this Tartar Sauce recipe.
Dill Pickles – another crunchy ingredient, this sweet healthy ingredient gets its crunch from the fermented cucumbers. You can actually customize the taste of this by altering the ingredients of the brine used to ferment the vegetable.
Chicken Batter Recipe
The flavor of the chicken mainly comes from the ingredients we use on the meat. So, how do we make our crispy chicken sandwich flavorful? Well, it’s more of how the ingredient is prepared than what goes in it.
Soak your chicken breast meat in buttermilk to tenderize it lightly, pull it out and shake off the excess buttermilk then drench it with the mixed herbs and spices, and the dry ingredients. Do this twice before frying and you’ll have the best chicken sandwich around town.
If you’re like me, you’d love mixing and matching different ingredients to create new variations of recipes. Here are some recipe variations ideas you can also try.
Replace your buns with perfectly toasted bagels. And you’ll have a very savory bagel chicken sandwich. This is great because of the tenderness of the bagel gives the crunchiness of the chicken a pleasant surprise effect.
Add more heat by tweaking the spices in the dry ingredients and you’ll end up with a spicy chicken sandwich. You can use more cayenne pepper, paprika, dried, and powdered and enjoy the hot zing of this dish.
Make a southern style crispy chicken sandwich by replacing the remoulade or tartar sauce with good ol’ ranch. You can see this Homemade Ranch Dressing to give it your own southern touch.
How to Make Crispy Chicken?
You might have heard different rumors that there is a special ingredient that makes chicken extra crispy. I’m here today to debunk those rumors because what a chicken needs is some extra love and a good cooking technique.
To make crispy chicken, there are a few things we have to consider:
Use the right kind of oil
When frying, you want to keep a steady temperature to cook the chicken evenly. So, how does this make the chicken crispier? The heat will cook quickly so that the batter or breading that coats the meat wouldn’t absorb too much oil making the whole dish soggy.
I recommend using vegetable oil because it has a higher smoke point which means that you can cook with higher temperatures.
Cook it in a good cast iron pan or a Dutch oven
A good cast iron pan can take you a long way in your kitchen adventures. The skillet actually regulates the heat evenly keeping a steadier temperature. Alternatively, using a Dutch oven conducts heat all around the meat cooking it to perfection without burning the crispy breading layer.
Use the right ingredients
When making your breading, the right ingredients matter the most. The perfect mix of cornstarch and flour will result in the crispiest chicken. This is because the cornstarch prevents the flour from creating gluten which gives us a crispier coating.
How Long to Fry Chicken Breast?
A regular size of chicken could easily cook in around 13- 15 minutes. One of the best ways to know if your crispy fried chicken is ready is to check the color of your breading. Once it reaches a perfectly rich golden brown color, then it’s ready. But to be more accurate, use a thermometer.
The perfect time to take your chicken out it when the internal temperature comes to 74°C or 165°F.
Chicken Sandwich Topping
Now that you see your perfectly made crispy chicken sandwich, don’t get too excited yet! Try to think of the different toppings you can add to your sandwich. Here are a few toppings you can try on your dish.
Cheese – did you make a spicy chicken sandwich? Don’t worry, just add a slab of cheese (may it be mozzarella, cheddar, or quick melt) and let the heat of your dish melt it. This will control the spiciness level of the whole sandwich.
A side serving of salad – cleanse your palette with a refreshing and equally crunchy bite of good quality salad. I highly recommend this Greek salad recipe. It’s easy to make and simply compliments the chicken sandwich.
Tomatoes – if you don’t have enough ingredients for a full salad, slices of tomatoes will be enough to give your dish a refreshing boost.
Coleslaw – a small bowl of this can make your crispy chicken sandwich a wish come true. The fresh mix of greens perfectly matches the savory flavor and crispiness of the dish. You can view this Easy Coleslaw recipe as a guide.
More Crowd-favorite Sandwich Recipes
Mouthwatering right? It’s so crispy and delicious, it’s crispylicious! If you loved this recipe, you’re gonna definitely wanna try these other crowd-favorites.
How To Make Chicken Sandwich
Slice chicken breast in half, then season with salt and pepper or Creole seasoning, about ½ -1 teaspoon per breast.
Set aside. In a large shallow bowl or plate, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and white pepper, dried thyme and oregano. Pour buttermilk in another large bowl.
Place chicken breast in the buttermilk. Remove and quickly dredge in flour mixture, shake any excess flour. You may use a Ziploc bag for this process, too.
Double dip the chicken in the remaining buttermilk (add fresh buttermilk as needed) then place in the flour mixture again – shake off any excess flour. Let the chicken rest for about 10-15 minutes while preparing oil. This will help the coating stay on.
Heat oil in a deep fryer or cast-iron skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). The temperature will drop once you add chicken. Using a tong, add carefully, and slowly place the chicken in the hot oil. Work in batches. Do not overcrowd the skillet.
Fry the chicken breast until golden brown and chicken is done. No longer pink inside or internal temperature reaches 165°F. Drain the chicken on a cookie rack, remove and tent loosely with foil, while frying the remaining chicken and preparing the brioche.
Heat up cast iron on medium-high heat, then brush melted butter evenly on the cut side of the buns, place bun cut side down, and toast until golden brown.
- 2 chicken breasts , boneless, skinless
- salt and creole seasoning
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt , adjusts to taste
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup buttermilk , plus more
- 3 quarts vegetable oil for frying
Fried Chicken Sandwich
- 2 hamburger brioche or sesame seeds buns
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- 2-3 tablespoons tartar sauce or remoulade sauce
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- dill pickle slices
- Slice chicken breast in half, then season with salt and pepper or Creole seasoning, about ½ -1 teaspoon per breast. Set aside.
- In a large shallow bowl or plate, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and white pepper, dried thyme and oregano.
- Pour buttermilk in another large bowl. Place chicken breast in the buttermilk.
- Remove and quickly dredge in flour mixture, shake any excess flour. You may use a Ziploc bag for this process, too.
- Double dip the chicken in the remaining buttermilk (add fresh buttermilk as needed) then place in the flour mixture again - shake off any excess flour. Let the chicken rest for about 10-15 minutes while preparing oil. This will help the coating stay on.
Frying the Chicken
- Heat oil in a deep fryer or cast-iron skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Temperature will drop once you add chicken.
- Using a tong, add carefully, and slowly place the chicken in the hot oil. Work in batches. Do not overcrowd the skillet.
- Fry the chicken breast until golden brown and chicken is done. No longer pink inside or internal temperature reaches 165°F
- Drain the chicken on cookie rack, remove and tent loosely with foil, while frying the remaining chicken and preparing the brioche.
- Heat up cast iron on medium-high heat, then brush melted butter evenly on the cut side of the buns, place bun cut side down, and toast until golden brown. Repeat with remaining brioche buns.
- Serve immediately.
Tips & Notes:
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.