This is the best fried chicken sandwich recipe. It is crispy and crunchy and full of flavor. The hardest thing about making the best fried chicken sandwich recipe is remembering to marinate the chicken ahead of time!
What makes the best fried chicken sandwich?
In my opinion, great chicken sandwiches hold juicy chicken that is tender and moist and seasoned with flavor.
The fried chicken exteriors have a crispy, crunchy, craggy crust that hold more seasoning or hot honey or just mayonnaise.
And the soft brioche buns hold a little mayonnaise and a pickle slice.
Yes, a girl can dream.
Not being one to eat at many fast food places I was used to eating fried chicken as a child from KFC, or Popeyes or our local grocer.
But a fried chicken sandwich? Those didn’t appear on my radar for a long, long time.
It is said that the fried chicken sandwich appeared in 1964 at Chik-Fil-A.
I was only 7 years old at the time, so this fact can’t be independently verified!
In any case, the fried chicken sandwich is an iconic sandwich that’s been popular for generations.
From fast food chains to high-end restaurants, everyone has their own version of the best fried chicken sandwich recipe.
My newest fave is Dave’s Hot Chicken but luckily it’s not that close to us!
I could eat them all the time!
However, if you’re looking for the best fried chicken sandwich recipe that you can make at home, this is it!
At least in my humble opinion!
Being a lover of the Nashville style hot chicken and also loving Korean fried chicken, this recipe is a mix of the two.
You get to choose which style you like the most and make it your own.
And if you don’t want either, just leave the seasoning out!
Ingredients used in the Best Fried Chicken Sandwich Recipe:
Before you get started let me tell you about gochujang.
And if you don’t have this Korean seasoning, a little Sriracha and a touch of maple syrup can be substituted.
I actually found this seasoning at my local Kroger’s and fell in love. (And in that short time it appears to be discontinued. Bummer! It was really good!)
So much so that Manservant asked me politely if I could try something else now and then!
It contains a whole lot of stuff that somehow tastes really good.
I even like it on popcorn!
Many people know gochujang as more of a sauce that comes in a plastic container.
Just remember you do you-so no gochujang-no worries!
As for the Nashville hot chicken seasoning…
That can be found most everywhere but awhile back someone gifted us this and I totally love it!
You may not have seen cornstarch in the flour mixture for fried chicken before.
This is actually a trick many Asians use to make the fried chicken extra crispy.
Yep. Besides being used as a thickener, cornstarch when used in a breading makes everything crispy!
How to Make the Best Fried Chicken Sandwich Recipe:
To start, you’ll need to marinate your chicken in a buttermilk, pickle brine mixture.
Buttermilk is essential for juicy, tender chicken.
The acidity in buttermilk helps to break down the fibers in the chicken, making it more tender.
Combine one cup of buttermilk with a half cup of pickle brine, an egg, three smashed garlic cloves, black pepper and some Gochujang or Nashville hot chicken seasoning in a large bowl.
Mix well and add in your chicken breasts or skinless chicken thighs.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, or place it in a giant zip lock bag and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least four hours or up to 24 hours.
Once your chicken has marinated, it’s time to make the flour mixture.
In a medium bowl, combine two and one half cups of all-purpose flour, one half cup of cornstarch, three teaspoons of baking powder, two tablespoons of Gochujang or Nashville hot chicken seasoning, salt, and 2 tablespoons of black pepper.
And if you don’t want those options one tablespoon of garlic powder, one tablespoon of onion powder, one teaspoon of cayenne pepper, one teaspoon of black pepper, and one tablespoon of kosher salt will work well, too.
Mix well and set aside.
After marinating it’s time to dredge your chicken.
Add 4 T of the brine to the dredge mixture and mix well until craggy bits form.
Take each piece of chicken out of the buttermilk marinade and let the excess drip off.
Dip each piece of chicken in the seasoned flour mixture, making sure it’s coated on all sides.
Place on a wire rack that is set over a large lined baking sheet and chill the chicken pieces for about 30 minutes.
Heat two inches or 3 cups of vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat.
The oil temperature should be around 350 degrees F. Use a kitchen thermometer to check the temperature because If the oil is too hot, your chicken will burn.
If it’s not hot enough, your chicken will be greasy.
Carefully place each piece of chicken in the hot oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan, or the temperature of the oil will drop too much.
Fry the chicken until it’s golden brown on both sides, about four to five minutes per side. Use a wire rack placed over a baking sheet that has been lined with paper towels.
Now is the time, while the chicken is hot, to sprinkle with any additional seasoning you want.
While the chicken is frying, smear a little bit of mayonnaise on each side of the brioche buns or potato buns; both are great!
Add some dill pickle slices or bread and butter pickles.
Place a piece of chicken on the bottom bun.
Drizzle with the hot honey mixture and add your top bun.
There you have it – the best fried chicken sandwich recipe!
The hardest part is remembering to start your chicken marinating in the buttermilk mixture!
With this great recipe, you can enjoy a homemade fried chicken sandwich that’s even better than what you would get at a fast-food restaurant.
You’ll have juicy, crispy chicken and all the toppings you love.
I often add a bit of coleslaw made with pickle juice and pickles or shredded cabbage or a bit of iceberg lettuce to make this crispy chicken sandwich recipe extra crispy!
Customize the fried chicken sandwiches as you see fit.
If you prefer a Korean fried chicken sandwich, you won’t be disappointed.
Nor will you be with a Nashville hot chicken sandwich.
Honestly I wouldn’t be disappointed with any fried chicken sandwich!
If you like your chicken spicier, add some cayenne pepper or hot sauce.
If you like your chicken milder, use less or none at all.
If you have leftover fried chicken, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
It will last for a few days and make a great lunch or snack.
Honestly, I dream of leftovers and try to make more than enough for that very reason.
How to Reheat Leftover Fried Chicken:
Leftover fried chicken reheats wonderfully in the air fryer.
Just preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees and then place the room temperature fried chicken in the basket and cook for two minutes on each side.
The best fried chicken sandwich recipe uses a buttermilk marinade, a seasoned flour mixture, and is fried in hot oil.
It’s served on a soft bun with a bit of mayonnaise and even some hot honey.
And most importantly the best fried chicken sandwich is eaten right away!
This is the best fried chicken sandwich recipe, in my opinion. A crispy, craggy, crunchy crust that is seasoned to perfection and pickle brined chicken on a soft brioche bun with lots of spicy seasoning can’t be beat!
1 c dill pickle juice
1 c buttermilk
3 smashed peeled garlic cloves
1 1/2 t gochujang powder or 1 1/2 t Nashville Hot Chicken Seasoning
2 T ground black pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs or 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut horizontally in half
1 1/2 t kosher salt
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 c cornstarch
3 t baking powder
2 t gochujang powder or Nashville Hot Seasoning
1 t salt
2 t garlic powder
1/2 c honey
1 t Chinese chili with garlic sauce
1 T Gochujang Sauce or Nashville Hot Seasoning mixed with 1 T oil
1 T soy sauce
1 t apple cider vinegar
Dash of Salt and Pepper
2/3 c mayonnaise mixed with 1 T gochujang or Nashville Hot Seasoning or Plain
Dill Pickle Slices
6 soft brioche or potato buns
Additional Gochujang Seasoning or Nashville Seasoning for sprinkling (optional)
3 c vegetable oil for frying
Combine all brine ingredients in a large zip lock bag or a large bowl. Mix well and add chicken pieces and toss and turn to coat. *Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight, flipping pieces or bag to coat the chicken evenly.
When ready to fry, combine the dredge ingredients and whisk together well.
Add 4 T of the brine to the dredge mixture and work this well with your fingertips until craggy bits form.
With just one piece of chicken at a time, let excess brine drip off before transferring to flour mixture. Toss well pressing on the clumps until coated on all sides. Transfer to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Continue until all chicken pieces are covered. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium high heat until oil reaches 350 degrees. As chicken is added oil temperature will drop. Try to adjust and keep oil temperature between 325 to 350 degrees. Add chicken without crowding and fry until chicken is golden brown about 8 to 12 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking. Do not move chicken for at least three minutes or you may knock off the delicious breading! The internal temperature of the chicken should read 160 degrees. Let chicken drain on a wire rack. If you want more seasoning, sprinkle with extra gochujang or Nashville hot seasoning after removing from the oil and the chicken is hot.
Spread buns with mayo. Add some pickle slices or even coleslaw. Top with chicken and a drizzle of the hot honey sauce. Top with the other half of the bun that has been spread with mayonnaise.
- Does not include marinating of chilling time!
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