Crispy Chicken Sandwich – Immaculate Bites

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Chicken Sandwich – The first bite of this crispy chicken sandwich is so unforgettable the sensation could last for days. Succulent Southern-fried chicken sandwiched on perfectly toasted buns are pure heaven. Who would have thought chicken, bread, sauce, and toppings could be so soul-satisfying?

But, honestly, classic comfort food doesn’t get any better. Imagine your favorite fried chicken slathered with remoulade sauce and sandwiched in a warm toasty bun. My hubby and son loved them the last time we took a family outing to the beach. Win!

In fact, this awesome chicken sandwich is great for picnics, mountain hikes, or your kids’ sleepovers. Whatever the occasion, you should see the smiles when I pull out a cooler full of chicken sandwiches and refreshing drinks.

Chicken Sandwich with tartar sauce or remoulade cut in half and ready to devour

Hey, chicken is probably the cheapest meat available. So it’s a good thing it’s super delicious and versatile. And fast-food chicken sandwiches are pretty popular (hello, Chick-Fil-A), but homemade is still better. So while I’ll still enjoy an occasional chicken sandwich in a pinch, I’ll be making these guys more often.

Fun Fact: National Chicken Sandwich Day is November 9th every year. So let’s celebrate!

Recipe Ingredients

Recipe ingredients for the fried chicken in a sandwich.
Recipe ingredients for assembly
  1. Chicken Breast – The leading player in this recipe is tender and juicy. It’s also low-fat, so no worries about frying it.😉 Of course, you can replace it with turkey breast for a nice twist.
  2. Breading – All-purpose flour and cornstarch give your chicken sandwich its crunchiness, which holds in juiciness. Powdered garlic and onion, white pepper, cayenne pepper, dried thyme, oregano, paprika, and Creole seasoning create a unique Southern taste profile. Not everyone has white pepper, so use black pepper if you prefer.
  3. Buttermilk – The acidity tenderizes the meat and adds a pleasant tartness. In this case, it makes the breading stick for crispy chicken. No buttermilk? Make your own with milk and vinegar.
  4. Vegetable Oil – A neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point works best. However, peanut oil adds a nice flavor without smoking so fast.
  5. Brioche Bun – Yes, it’s sweeter than a regular bun, but that’s what makes it so good. However, you can use hamburger buns if you want. 
  6. Remoulade Sauce – The classic Creole sauce with a French background takes this chicken sandwich recipe over the top. 
  7. Garnishes – Iceberg lettuce (or any leaf lettuce) and dill pickles are excellent garnishes on this sandwich. You can really spice it up with sliced jalapenos.

How to Make Crispy Chicken Sandwiches

Season the meat, make the breading, dip in buttermilk, and dredge in flour

Make the Chicken

  • Prep Chicken – Slice chicken breast in half, then season with salt and pepper or Creole seasoning, about ½-1 teaspoon per breast. Set aside. (Photo 1)
  • Breading – Whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, white pepper, dried thyme, and oregano in a large plate or shallow bowl. (Photo 2)
  • Marinade – Pour buttermilk into another large bowl. Then place the chicken breasts in the buttermilk. (Photo 3)
  • Dredge – Remove, let some of the buttermilk drain off, and dredge the chicken in the flour mixture. Shaking off the excess flour. You can also use a Ziploc bag for this process. (Photo 4)
  • Repeat – Dip the chicken in the buttermilk again (add fresh buttermilk as needed), then dredge in the flour mixture again. Shaking off excess flour. (Photos 5-6)
  • Rest – Let the breaded chicken breasts rest for 10-15 minutes while heating the oil so the coating firms up and stays on. 
Double dip the meat and fry it up

Make the Sandwich

  • Heat oil in a deep fryer or cast-iron skillet to 375℉ (190℃). You want it as hot as safe because the temperature drops when you add the chicken.
  • Fry – Using tongs, carefully and slowly place the chicken in the hot oil and fry. Work in batches, and don’t overcrowd the skillet. Fry your chicken until golden and cooked through (it no longer has pink inside, and the internal temperature reaches 165°F/75℃). (Photo 7)
  • Drain the chicken on a cookie rack, place it on a baking sheet, and tent loosely with foil. (Photo 8)
  • Toast the Buns – Prepare the brioche buns while frying the remaining chicken. Heat a cast iron on medium-high heat, then brush melted butter evenly on the cut side of the buns. Place the buns cut side down on the cast iron pan, and toast them until golden brown. Repeat with remaining brioche buns. 
  • Assembling the Sandwiches – Spread each brioche bun with remoulade or tartar sauce, then add lettuce, dill pickles, and the chicken. Serve immediately.
Assembling a drool-worthy chicken sandwich.

Recipe Variations

  1. Bread Swap: Replace your buns with perfectly toasted bagels. The bagel’s satisfying texture complements the chicken’s crunchiness. 
  2. Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich: Add more heat for a spicy chicken sandwich recipe. Add cayenne to the spice mix and hot sauce to the buttermilk for a zingy chicken sandwich. 
  3. BBQ Chicken Sandwich: Replace the remoulade with BBQ sauce for an incredible family cookout version.
  4. Buffalo Chicken Sandwich: Have the best of both worlds by topping it with Buffalo hot wings sauce and blue cheese dressing.
  5. Caesar Chicken Sandwich: Speaking of flavor enhancements, elevate your sandwich with Caesar dressing, parmesan, and grilled romaine lettuce.

Tips and Tricks

  1. The right oil. A neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point means you can cook at higher temperatures for a crispier breading. 
  2. The right tools. Cast iron heats more evenly, keeping a steadier temperature. And a Dutch oven conducts heat all around the meat cooking it to perfection without burning the crispy breading layer. 

Make-Ahead Instructions

There’s something about fried food that’s just better fresh out of the pan. However, you can marinate your chicken, prep the breading, and make your sauce the day before. Store it all in the refrigerator in separate containers, and you’re ready to assemble it the next day.

Tasty chicken sandwich cut in half for an insider's view

Serving and Storage Instructions

Chicken sandwiches are great hot or cold. So if you want a hot sandwich, assemble, serve, and enjoy. But if you’re going on a picnic, you may want to chill them first and then pack them in the cooler.

Store leftover chicken sandwich ingredients separately in the fridge for up to four days. You can assemble them for a cold sandwich or heat the chicken and buns in the oven or air fryer. 

FAQs

How long does it take to fry chicken breast? 

A regular-sized chicken breast takes around 15 minutes to cook (6-7 minutes on each side). However, I slice the breasts in half so they cook faster. They also make a more manageable sandwich. 😉 To be sure, check that the internal temperature reaches 165°F/74°C.

Can I replace the breast with chicken thighs?

Of course! Boneless skinless chicken breasts cook faster, but thighs are juicier. They will also take slightly longer to cook.

Can I make fried chicken without buttermilk?

Yes, you can. In fact, you can make it paleo-friendly. Replace the buttermilk with an egg and ½ cup of coconut milk. Replace the flour and cornstarch with ⅔ cup of almond flour and ⅔ cup of tapioca starch, and the oil with ghee.

Can I use pre-cooked chicken for the sandwich?

That’s a great idea. A pre-cooked chicken from the grocery store is a wonderful time-saver. And leftover chicken makes excellent sandwiches. So whether you fry, grill, smoke, or bake your chicken, make extra for sandwiches.😉

What Goes With Chicken Sandwiches

My family loves cole slawbaked sweet potato fries, and fried pickles with this deliciousness. And don’t forget a tall cold glass of Southern sweet tea and a slice of buttermilk pound cake.

More Delightful Sandwich Recipes to Try

  1. Fried Fish Sandwich
  2. Monte Cristo Sandwich
  3. Salmon Burgers
  4. Tuna Melt

Conclusion

This crispy chicken sandwich delivers a mouthwatering experience and satisfies comfort food cravings. Have you tried this recipe yet? Please share your pictures on Instagram! 😊

This blog post was initially published in August 2020 and has been updated with additional tips and new photos.

Crispy Chicken Sandwich

The first bite of this crispy chicken sandwich is so unforgettable the sensation could last for days. Succulent Southern-fried chicken sandwiched on perfectly toasted buns are pure heaven. Who would have thought chicken, bread, sauce, and toppings could be so soul-satisfying?