Monday, June 21, 2010

Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich

Spicy and fried are two of my most favoritest things in life. Add chicken, my love of bread, and a preference for ranch into the equation and a spicy chicken sandwich hits the spot in a way other food just can't compete (especially since I'm not much of a burger person).

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I found this recipe for Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich over at Food People Want and I am very happy with the way it turned out. This sandwich is reminiscent to Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich (which I LOVE) except you can tell it was made at home (which I prefer). I don't allow myself to fry food too often, but this sandwich is great for when I feel like eating something spicy and fried.

The only difference I would make to this recipe is dredging the cutlets in flour twice instead of just the once (so I would dredge the chicken in flour after I sprinkled it with Cajun seasoning and before putting it in the egg). Without the first dredging in flour the egg had a hard time adhering to the chicken and I think the extra flour adds more crunch. I also only marinated my chicken for about four hours since I forgot to let it sit overnight. The flavor was still really nice though so I wouldn't stress it. Lastly, I also brushed the chicken pieces with more Frank's Red Hot Sauce after I pulled them out of the oven.

Would I make this again? Oh yes.

Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich

Soaking the chicken overnight in a spicy buttermilk marinade not only adds great heat but also helps tenderize the chicken. If you don’t have self-rising flour on hand, make your own by combining 1 cup of all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder. I’ve included a recipe for the Cajun seasoning I make at home, but any store-bought brand will work just as well here.

Ingredients:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced horizontally into 4 thin cutlets
1 cup buttermilk
1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper Cajun seasoning for dusting (recipe follows)
1 cup self-rising flour
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 eggs
2 teaspoons hot sauce
Canola or vegetable for frying
4 sesame seed hamburger buns
Mayonnaise/ranch for spreading
4 leaves of butter or leaf lettuce
Tomato slices for garnish

Directions:

1. Pour the buttermilk into a bowl and whisk in the cayenne pepper. Add the chicken cutlets to the buttermilk mix and marinate them overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before frying. In a shallow bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the hot sauce and set aside. Pour the flour onto a clean plate and stir in the coarsely ground black pepper and set aside.

3. Drain the chicken cutlets from the buttermilk marinade and place on a clean plate. Sprinkle both sides of each cutlet heavily with Cajun seasoning (this is where I would dredge the chicken for the first time) before dunking it in the egg mixture. Quickly dredge the seasoned chicken in the flour-pepper mixture, making sure to shake off any excess. Place on a clean plate and repeat with remaining chicken.

4. Pour oil to a pan and heat over medium-high heat. Working 2 pieces of chicken at a time, carefully fry until crispy and golden brown, about 4-5 minutes per batch. Remove the fried chicken cutlets to a plate lined with paper towels and repeat with the remaining chicken. Keep first batch of chicken warm in a low, 200° oven.

5. Spread each half of the hamburger buns with mayonnaise (or ranch dressing) and top with a fried chicken cutlet, lettuce and tomato. Serve immediately.

Cajun Seasoning

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Directions:

Stir to combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an airtight jar.

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