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make the most effective fried hen sandwich at house

After years – years! — After looking out, I lastly recognized the crispiest, juiciest, and tastiest fried hen sandwich I’ve ever had. The search was not straightforward, it required quite a lot of analysis and by analysis I imply many journeys by quick meals drive-thru and visits to costly quick informal eating places. And whereas it was all scrumptious, it was finally all for nothing.

Do not get me fallacious, there’s a batch of nice quick meals hen sandwiches on the market. Because the Popeyes sandwich got here onto the scene in the summertime of 2019, each quick meals chain has revamped their respective hen sandwiches with the GOAT picture. In 2022 and the foreseeable future, if you happen to love fried hen sandwiches, you have got loads of choices.

However nearly as good because the Popeyes Hen Sandwich is, it isn’t excellent. The bread is dry and tasteless, the sauce – whether or not you go for mayonnaise or the “spicy” model – is unimaginative and the pickles are there however nothing particular. All different quick meals sandwiches even have their flaws. So what is that this magical and oh so tasty sandwich that I discovered? Nicely, it is mine. Created from drawing sure components from all of my favourite hen institutions and mixing them.

Right here is my recipe:

PART I — The Recipe

daniela rivera

The fried hen sandwich is fairly straightforward to make. That is why it is a fast-food staple proper up there with the cheeseburger: You do not want quite a lot of fancy components to make a fantastic one, you simply must steadiness the buttery, shiny flavors and supply a crisp, ear-pleasing chunk mixed with a young, crisp chunk. juicy mouthfeel

For our recipe I took features of all my favourite quick meals hen sandwiches, the benchmarks are as follows:

  1. Buttermilk Marinade (impressed by Popeyes): Whereas growing this hen sandwich, I attempted brining it with Chick-fil-A-style pickle juice, however I did not just like the outcomes. I discovered buttermilk to present me essentially the most tender finish consequence. If you do not have buttermilk, use milk with a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of vinegar in its place (though your milk would possibly curdle).
  2. Battered (Shake Shack/Chick-fil-a): I coated my hen by hand in a combination of flour, freshly floor black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. For a kick of spiciness, I took a cue from the Chick-fil-A Spicy Hen Sandwich and added somewhat smoked paprika and cayenne pepper.
  3. Brioche Bun (Crack Shack impressed): Many sandwiches within the quick meals universe use the brioche bun. It is ethereal and buttery and fewer dense than a conventional sesame bun or potato bun, permitting you to style extra of the meat. If I had the abilities, I would make my very own, however for now, any small brioche bun available on the market ought to work.
  4. Sauce (impressed by Elevating Cane): You can also make mayonnaise, however I like somewhat extra taste, so for my sauce I used to be impressed by Elevating Cane’s well-known Cane sauce. It is your fundamental comeback model sauce with just a few twists.
  5. Dill Pickles (impressed by the Howlin’ Rays): Pickled cucumbers give it that earthy, salty taste that each one good hen sandwiches have. Purchase the most effective, freshest and crunchiest pickles you’ll find.
  6. Contemporary Pepper (impressed by Jollibee): That is an understated ingredient impressed by Jollibee’s scrumptious Spicy Hen Sandwich. Jollibee makes use of jalapeño, I am utilizing serrano, which is extra spicy. Be happy to substitute the jalapeños if the serranos are too scorching, however be sure they’re contemporary and never pickled.

Now let’s discuss concerning the hen…

PART II — Thigh or Breast?

I get it, the hen sandwiches you are used to are made with hen breast and for some cause some individuals appear to be fearful of darkish meat, however… recover from it. Along with being a juicier and extra flavorful piece of meat because of the greater proportion of fats, there are various different benefits to picking thighs over breasts.

First, the thighs are smaller. A hen breast is just too large for a hen sandwich. Positive, you’ll be able to fillet a brisket and flatten it, however then it takes up an excessive amount of space and much exceeds the bun (plus, that turns into a schnitzel). I do know, I do know, I was crew brisket too, then I attempted Crack Shack’s Firebird Hen Sandwich.

Now I’ll by no means look again.

PART III — Components:


  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 4 cracks of contemporary black pepper

Season your marinade. You will style the spice combine extra if the chook is seasoned earlier than you dredge it. In case you select to not season the marinade (or overlook to), add extra seasonings to the flour combination.


The best chicken sandwich
daniela rivera
  • 1/2 cup Kewpie mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup of tomato sauce. Pictured is a pack of Hunts, I do not like Hunts, I used Heinz however threw the bottle away afterwards. Workforce Heinz!
  • Garlic powder to style (begin with a teaspoon)
  • contemporary black pepper to style (begin with 4 cracks)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp scorching sauce (elective, any scorching sauce will do, I used Sriacha for a little bit of shimmer)
Mix components in a small bowl till nicely integrated. Style and modify alongside the best way, the most effective sauce you may ever have is not a recipe, it is its prescription. Refrigerate in a single day or at the very least an hour earlier than serving.

The best chicken sandwich
daniela rivera

This could make sufficient sauce for 2 to 4 sandwiches (which means it can save you some sauce for the fries!). There are a number of copycat Cane sauce recipes on the web that each one say the identical factor, however none actually come near the salty magic that’s the actual factor. I am guessing Cane’s makes use of a proprietary mix of seasonings. We will spend an entire week making an attempt to determine it out or we are able to simply use Kewpie mayonnaise as an alternative of any low-cost model that Cane makes use of and we’ll be left with one thing a lot richer in taste and far thicker and extra luxurious, with out the necessity for a particular mix of spices.

If you’re not acquainted with Kewpie Mayo, it’s a Japanese model of mayonnaise that’s made with egg yolks (as an alternative of the entire egg-like American mayonnaise) and rice vinegar and/or apple cider vinegar (as an alternative of White vinegar). If you have not tried it but, prime it off immediately with this recipe. Kewpie Mayo will change your life, it brings an umami-backed richness to mayonnaise that may make you surprise why anybody on this planet, even essentially the most die-hard followers of mayonnaise, bothered to eat one thing like Hellman’s when this tasty godsend existed. since 1920

Flour combine:

The best chicken sandwich
daniela rivera
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 8 cracks of contemporary black pepper

Whisk the spices and flour collectively. Once more, the steps above are a ballpark. This could make sufficient batter for 2 hen sandwiches, whether or not you utilize breast or thigh. After the hen has marinated for at the very least an hour, as much as 24, dredge in flour and place on a wire rack till cool.

Different components:

  • Monterey Jack cheese slices
  • brioche buns
  • Pickles
  • Serrano (or Jalapeno) Chile, Contemporary
  • Hen Thigh/Breast

PART IV — Technique

  • Lower the dill pickle into equal 1/4-inch slices, sufficient to cowl the underside bun.
  • Finely minimize the serrano chili into wheels.
  • Slice Monterey Jack (or use pre-cut cheese if you happen to like spending cash). Chick-fil-A’s Spicy Deluxe makes use of Pepper Jack, however I discover it too earthy and dry in comparison with Monterey Jack, which is creamier, nuttier, and simply extra fascinating. Use pepper jack if you do not have contemporary peppers.
  • Put aside.
  • Go the marinated hen thighs nicely within the flour combination and put aside.
daniela rivera
  • Warmth 1/2 pan of impartial cooking oil in a forged iron skillet over medium-high warmth (I used Peanuts, which Chick-fil-A makes use of, not impartial however the most effective cooking oil selections for something fried)
The best chicken sandwich
daniela rivera
  • Fry the hen till golden or about 4 minutes per facet. As soon as flipped, pour oil over the hen so it browns evenly. Hen must be cooked to an inside temperature of 165 Fahrenheit. Do not do what I did and over fry it, keep in mind the hen will brown much more after it is accomplished cooking.
  • Take away hen from oil and place on a rack or baking sheet. I haven’t got any, so I tossed mine on a napkin-lined plate.
  • Prime with a slice of cheese instantly and evenly area the peppers over the cheese.
  • In a separate buttered pan, toast the brioche buns.
The best chicken sandwich
daniela rivera
  • As soon as toasted, put aside and generously apply the sauce to the underside bun.
  • Prepare pickles evenly on backside bun till whole floor is roofed.
  • Add the hen and assemble the sandwich.

PART V — The Finish End result

The best chicken sandwich
daniela rivera

In case you used serranos, be ready to get hit within the face with some warmth. You must now be munching on a hen sandwich that’s what each good hen sandwich must be: tender, satisfyingly juicy, and audibly crisp, however with this recipe, you may discover a lot extra, too. Each chunk bursts, let me repeat, very full Flavored: The breading can be nicely balanced between the distinctive earthy qualities of black pepper and the aromatic mix of onion and garlic powder with a smoky end and trace of spice. And that is simply the hen.

When these flavors are mixed with the splendid, luxurious umami-packed sauce, the salty, salty style of excellent pickles, and the contemporary vegetal explosion of serrano, all of it wraps all of it up, it is the closest factor to an orgasm your mouth will ever get. Popeyes who?

It was so good I ate two in a row.

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