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"Cell Therapy" Best Fried Chicken Sandwich

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Do you ever have those days where you just crave the comfort of a hearty fried chicken sandwich? Well, we’re here to make your day with our favorite crispy fried chicken sandwich recipe! A super easy and simple way to enjoy crunchy, succulent fried chicken while still being able to whip up dinner in no time.

With this easy-to-follow recipe for crispy fried chicken sandwiches, you could have dinner on the table in no time! Perfectly seasoned and fried crisp on the outside but still juicy inside, these delicious sandwiches will satisfy even your picky eaters. 

A buttermilk-brined fried chicken sandwich is the perfect way to satisfy your comfort food cravings. This classic recipe starts with buttermilk-brined chicken breasts, which are then breaded in a special blend of spices and herbs before being pan-fried till golden and crispy.

The buttermilk marinade adds just enough flavor to make this delectable sandwich stand out from the rest! Paired with your favorite condiment or served up on a bed of lettuce, this crispy buttermilk-brined fried chicken sandwich will always hit the spot.

Seems like these days fried chicken sandwiches are all the wave. We got fried chicken sandwich wars among all the major fast food chains from Popeyes to Chik Fil-A. I'm actually partial to Shake Shacks when I'm not making my own which I think is the superior fried bird sandwich. Just sayin...

fried chicken sandwich on wire rack lined baking sheet

Beats and Eats (music that pairs with fried chicken sandwiches)

The best beats for golden brown fried chicken sandwich are pounding boom bap hip hop beats. Goodie Mob's "Cell Therapy" is the perfect track here. You got the soulful voice of Ceelo Green, and dope grimy lyrics by the rest of the crew over Dungeon beats!

Homemade Fried Chicken Sandwich Recipe Ingredients

For the Sandwich

For the Brine

  • Kefir Milk or Buttermilk - whichever you have on hand
  • Hot Sauce
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper

For the Egg Wash

  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Vodka

For the Dredge

  • All-purpose Flour
  • Corn Starch
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper,
  • Dried Thyme
  • Ground Ginger
  • Garlic Powder
  • Nutmeg
  • Dry Mustard
  • Ground Sage (optional)
  • Vinegar Powder (optional)

What is kefir milk

Kefir milk is a fermented milk drink. It is made by adding kefir grains, which are a combination of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts, to milk. The kefir grains ferment the milk, resulting in a drink that is similar to yogurt but with a thinner consistency.

Kefir milk is often consumed for its probiotic properties, as it contains a variety of beneficial bacteria that can help support gut health. It is also a good source of calcium, protein, and other essential nutrients.

How To Make The Best Fried Chicken Sandwich (step by step)

Brine the Chicken

Combine the kefir milk, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and marinate at least an hour, but overnight preferred.

Make the dredge

Mix all the dry spices together in a small bowl or ramekin. Separately mix the flour, corn starch, and ¾ of the dry spice mix in a shallow bowl. Set aside.

Make the Egg Wash (wet batter)

In a separate shallow dish or bowl, mix the water, vodka, and one egg. Add a quarter cup of the seasoned flour mixture and mix into a nice slurry.

Fry the Chicken

Preheat your deep fryer. Check the temperature of the oil and make sure it's 365 - 375 degrees F. While the fryer is heating remove the chicken from the marinade and allow the chicken pieces to warm to room temperature.

Allow the excess drip to drain off or rinse away with water. Add a piece of chicken one at a time to the egg wash and then dredge chicken. Add the breaded chicken to the hot oil and fry for 4-6 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts. Remove the chicken and allow to cool on the cooling rack. This helps the excess oil to drip from the chicken. You can also collect the oil in a bowl line with paper towels.

Assemble the Chicken Sandwich

Toast your buns. Mix together mayo and your favorite hot sauce. Slather the bottom bun, add pickle slices plus the fried chicken and then the top bun.

fried chicken sandwich on wire rack lined baking sheet

For a spicier version you can combine some of the hot oil with the spice mix to make a chili oil. Once mixed you can brush the oil on the finished breasts.

fried chicken sandwich on wire rack lined baking sheet

Cooking Tips and Considerations for Making Homemade Chicken Sandwich

  • I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts since I had them on hand, but note they tend to dry out easier relative to chicken thighs when fried if you're not careful. Brining helps with prevention but it's not fail-safe. Thighs tend to be juicier and more flavorful though require a slightly longer cook time.
  • Pound the breasts with a meat mallet or rolling pin to an even level of thickness. This helps the chicken cook evenly.
  • Marinating the chicken in a mixture of buttermilk, hot sauce, and spices can help to tenderize the meat and add flavor. Don't skip this step!
  • Use the right type of oil: Choose an oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil or peanut oil, for frying the chicken. These oils can withstand the high heat of the fryer without burning.
  • Preheat the oil: It's important to preheat the oil to the proper temperature (around 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit) before adding the chicken. This will help to ensure that the chicken cooks evenly and develops a crispy, golden brown crust.
  • Don't overcrowd the pan: Be sure to fry the chicken in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. This will allow the chicken to cook evenly and will also help to maintain the proper oil temperature.
  • To ensure that your fried chicken is cooked to a safe internal temperature aim to cook it to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F using a meat thermometer. Note the internal temperature of the chicken will continue to rise slightly as it rests after cooking, so you should remove the chicken from the heat when the internal temperature reaches 160-162 degrees Fahrenheit. This will allow for the proper carryover cooking to bring the chicken up to the safe internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Allow the cooked chicken pieces to rest on a wire rack lined baking sheet.
  • I used Kings Hawaiian Buns, but Brioche buns are good alternatives. Don't expect the same taste or texture though, but it's a quality sandwich bun as are your regular potato buns.
  • Top sandwich based on your preferences. Options for consideration should include red onion slices, butter pickles, slaw, iceberg lettuce, and mayo. I'm addicted to Haitian pikliz and prefer to use it on my version.
fried chicken sandwich on wire rack lined baking sheet

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Making Chicken Sandwiches

Should I Use Thighs or Breasts For this Sandwich?

I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts since I had them on hand, but note they tend to dry out easier relative to skinless chicken thighs when fried if you're not careful. Brining helps with prevention but it's not fail-safe. Thighs tend to be juicier and more flavorful though require a slightly longer cook time.

Where to find Vinegar Powder?

You can find vinegar powder at specialty stores that sell food and cooking ingredients, such as gourmet or international markets. World Food Market comes to mind. You can find it online at Amazon. You may also be able to find vinegar powder at stores that specialize in baking ingredients, as it is often used as a substitute for liquid vinegar in dry rubs and seasoning blends.

What is a substitute for kefir?

Buttermilk is the easy, obvious choice. They are very similar and I use them interchangeably for brining. Kefir and buttermilk are both fermented milk products, but they are made using different types of bacteria and have slightly different textures and flavors. A buttermilk marinade is the traditional fail-safe stand-by so no worries if kefir ain't available to you

Can you make this sandwich in an air fryer?

You can but in all honesty, it becomes an altogether different recipe. Air fryer fried chicken sandwiches have a different texture and minus the oil a different flavor as well.

What should I serve with a fried chicken sandwich?

I like the classics - french fries and ketchup plus dessert like strawberries and cream.

Can You Make A Vegan Fried Chicken Sandwich?

Why yes indeed!!! Thanks for asking. Checkout my Vegan chicken sandwich that uses mushrooms instead of chicken and features a non-dairy based wet dredge.

For similar recipes try these:

Fried Buttermilk Wings

Fried Hot Shrimp Sandwich

Chicken Fried Pork Steak

Fried Chicken Karaage

Make This Recipe

Now that you’ve learned how to make the world’s best fried chicken sandwich, it’s time to get cooking! Gather your ingredients and follow the recipe step-by-step. In no time, you’ll be taking bites of a juicy, crispy chicken sandwich that will quickly become one of your new favorite meals. What are you waiting for? Get cooking!

If you make this great recipe or any other from the site, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.

You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlists.

Lastly, go to my YouTube channel and subscribe to be notified when new weekly videos are uploaded.

fried chicken sandwich on wire rack lined baking sheet

Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwich

Delicious crispy fried chicken sandwich made with buttermilk brine, seasoned dredge, topped with spicy mayo, and served on a soft bun.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Course: Sandwich
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 822kcal
Author: Marwin Brown

Ingredients

For the Sandwich

  • 4 6 oz Chicken Breasts
  • 4 Sandwich Buns

For the Brine

  • 3 cups Kefir Milk
  • ¼ cup Hot Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper

For the Egg Wash

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 ½ cups Water
  • ½ cup Vodka

For the Dredge

  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Corn Starch
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Sage optional
  • 1 teaspoon Vinegar Powder optional

Instructions

Brine the Chicken

  • Combine the kefir milk, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and marinate at least an hour, but overnight preferred.

Make the dredge

  • Mix all the dry spices together in a small bowl or ramekin. Separately mix the flour, corn starch, and ¾ of the dry spice mix in a shallow bowl. Set aside.

Make the Egg Wash (wet batter)

  • In a separate shallow dish or bowl, mix the water, vodka, and one egg. Add a quarter cup of the seasoned flour mixture and mix into a nice slurry.

Fry the Chicken

  • Preheat your deep fryer. Check the temperature of the oil and make sure it's 365 - 375 degrees F. While the fryer is heating remove the chicken from the marinade and allow the chicken pieces to warm to room temperature.
  • Allow the excess drip to drain off or rinse away with water. Add a piece of chicken one at a time to the egg wash and then dredge chicken. Add the breaded chicken to the hot oil and fry for 4-6 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts. Remove the chicken and allow to cool on the cooling rack. This helps the excess oil to drip from the chicken. You can also collect the oil in a bowl line with paper towels.

Assemble the Chicken Sandwich

  • Toast your buns. Mix together mayo and your favorite hot sauce.

Notes

  • I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts since I had them on hand, but note they tend to dry out easier relative to chicken thighs when fried if you're not careful. Brining helps with prevention but it's not fail-safe. Thighs tend to be juicier and more flavorful though require a slightly longer cook time.
  • Pound the breasts with a meat mallet or rolling pin to an even level of thickness. This helps the chicken cook evenly.
  • Marinating the chicken in a mixture of buttermilk, hot sauce, and spices can help to tenderize the meat and add flavor. Don't skip this step!
  • Use the right type of oil: Choose an oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil or peanut oil, for frying the chicken. These oils can withstand the high heat of the fryer without burning.
  • Preheat the oil: It's important to preheat the oil to the proper temperature (around 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit) before adding the chicken. This will help to ensure that the chicken cooks evenly and develops a crispy, golden brown crust.
  • Don't overcrowd the pan: Be sure to fry the chicken in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. This will allow the chicken to cook evenly and will also help to maintain the proper oil temperature.
  • To ensure that your fried chicken is cooked to a safe internal temperature aim to cook it to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F using a meat thermometer. Note the internal temperature of the chicken will continue to rise slightly as it rests after cooking, so you should remove the chicken from the heat when the internal temperature reaches 160-162 degrees Fahrenheit. This will allow for the proper carryover cooking to bring the chicken up to the safe internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Allow the cooked chicken pieces to rest on a wire rack lined baking sheet.
  • I used Kings Hawaiian Buns, but Brioche buns are good alternatives. Don't expect the same taste or texture though, but it's a quality sandwich bun as are your regular potato buns.
  • Top sandwich based on your preferences. Options for consideration should include red onion slices, butter pickles, slaw, iceberg lettuce, and mayo. I'm addicted to Haitian pikliz and prefer to use it on my version.

Nutrition

Calories: 822kcal | Carbohydrates: 118g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 3249mg | Potassium: 488mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 915IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 322mg | Iron: 6mg
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Recipe Rating




Ashley

Sunday 29th of January 2023

I've never had a homemade fried chicken sandwich, but it looks sooo much better than any fast food restaurant!

Natalia

Sunday 29th of January 2023

Fried chicken sandwiches are my favorite, but I’ve never been able to nail down a homemade one. I followed the recipe exactly and I’m so glad I did!

Jacqueline Debono

Sunday 29th of January 2023

Fried chicken sandwiches are one of my favourite TV dinner recipes. I'm really interested in trying this version. I've never used kefir as a marinade or added vodka to egg wash. On my to make list!

amy liu dong

Sunday 29th of January 2023

Oh my gosh, seeing this chicken sandwich is making me hungry! I am so excited to make this at home. Looks so yummy!

Jamie

Sunday 29th of January 2023

Wow! This "Fried Chicken Sandwich" looks incredibly delicious and very yummy! Everyone will definitely love this for its crispy texture and very juicy meat inside! An instant favorite too!