Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken Sandwich

There is something eminently satisfying about a fried chicken sandwich. Properly made, it is soft, crunchy, juicy, sweet, and sour all at once and is perfect for a summer night dinner with a few good friends and cold beers. This recipe brines the chicken in buttermilk, which helps break down some of the tough proteins in the chicken, making it even more tender and juicy.  The buttermilk also serves as an excellent glue for the breading which, when combined with a hydrating rest in the refrigerator after breading, gives you the crunchy, salty, well-browned crust you really want in a chicken sandwich.

Note: This recipe uses Southern Style Breading. You can read about the technique, and more, on my techniques page.

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Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken Sandwich

Recipe by DrewCourse: Boneless, Fried Chicken, Southern CookingCuisine: MainDifficulty: Medium
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Marinade

8

hours 
Total time

9

hours 

Ingredients

  • Marinade
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

  • 1 tbsp loosely packed, chopped, fresh dill

  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper

  • ½ tsp ground coriander

  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • Breading
  • 1 cup AP flour

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

  • To Serve
  • To serve:

  • 16 Hawaiian-style rolls, cut into 2×2 blocks

  • Dill pickle slices

  • Good quality mayonnaise (I use Dukes)

Directions

  • Marinade the chicken
  • Mix the buttermilk, minced garlic, cayenne, coriander, pepper, salt, and dill in a non-reactive bowl.
  • Add chicken breasts, turning to coat well.
  • Cover, and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 and up to 24 hours.
  • Prepare breading and bread chicken
  • Combine all breading ingredients, and mix well.
  • Drizzle approximately 1 tbsp of buttermilk marinade from step 1 into the mix, stirring well – this should form some tiny clumps that will help to develop a crunchy crust.
  • Place in a lidded container or paper bag.
  • One at a time, add each chicken piece, shake well to coat, and remove to a sheet pan with a rack in it.
  • After all pieces are well coated, return to the refrigerator to rest, uncovered, for at least 1 hour. This allows the breading to hydrate and ensures that it will stick well.
  • After 1 hour, fry at 350° until well browned and fully cooked through.
  • To Serve
  • Cut Hawaiian style rolls into 4×4 square, and split the squares to make a bun.
  • Slather the rolls with good mayonnaise (I prefer Dukes.)
  • Add the chicken pieces, and top with dill pickle slices.
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