THE best fried chicken sandwich to ever pass your lips. Wow. Loaded with wonderful spices, lightly crispy on the outside, tender and juicy as all get out on the inside, and the sauce? OH. MY. GAWD. You seriously HAVE to make this!!
Who doesn’t LOVE a spicy, juicy, crispy fried chicken sandwich on a hot summer day, right? Well, I know we do, that’s for sure!!
And I had some boneless, skinless, chicken thighs out in the freezer saying, “Pick me! Pick me!”, along with some frozen brioche buns, so fried chicken sandwiches it was going to be!
And now….I think I have just created the best fried chicken I have ever tasted! I know you’re really going to LOVE this!!
Though there are a few different elements to make, and marinating time, this is by no means a difficult recipe to make. It’s very easy and simple, actually. You’ve got this!!!
So, to start, you just trim the excess fat from the thighs and let them marinate in the homemade spicy buttermilk mixture. Let it get all happy for at least 4-6 hours, but it’s really best if you get this started the day before and marinate it overnight.
And here’s a big secret for you!!!! Shhhh!!
It’s a special ingredient that I added that gives it extra color, and a teeny tiny bit of sweetness to balance the harshness of the hot spices,…and guess what? It’s healthy to boot!!
I found this beet powder online at Amazon, but you might be able to find some at your local grocery or specialty food store. You don’t have to add it, but man did it make my chicken extra pretty and tasty!!!!
*And don’t worry. It doesn’t make it taste like beets, nor does it make it actually sweet tasting, either. You don’t taste it at all, actually.
So, you just make this chicken the same way as you normally do. Pat the marinated chicken pieces mostly dry, toss well in seasoned flour, dunk back into the buttermilk mixture, and flour again.
Then chill it so that it can set. (*I always sprinkle both sides with a little more seasoned flour before it goes into the fridge.)
It will look a little wet when you go to fry it. But don’t worry, that’s the way it’s supposed to look.
Then just fry each piece until deep golden on each side. Only takes about 6 minutes per side, so it goes really quickly!
And just look how GORGEOUS that beet powder makes it!!! What fantastic color!!! When you see red, you know it’s going to be hot!
For the last part, you need to use GOOD butter, or lard if you prefer, and make the “sauce”.
Just add the ingredients to a small saucepan, and melt! *It will separate, but it’s OK. Don’t worry about it. It’s fine.
Just baste the tops of the chicken pieces with it getting your grill basting brush loaded with BOTH the spices from the bottom of the pan plus some of the butter from the top.
It’s soooooo stinkin’ good!!!!
I added a double-coating of it, and that was plenty enough heat for us. But you can make it hotter and add more if you want it screaming hot!
You can even make it devilishly hot and add more cayenne, too! But fair warning, it was perfectly hot as I made it!
Also, don’t forget to butter and toast those buns! Nothing worse than a semi-cold bun straight from the plastic bag. Ugh. Give it a little love, too!!!
And as far as toppings go, this sandwich needs absolutely nothing more than a few pickle slices!
NO CHEESE. NO MAYO. NO JUNK.
Just pure and simple for this!
Oh, and be sure to come back by, because I made some potato wedges with a “cool the heat” dipping sauce to go alongside that paired perfectly!!!
So, get out your favorite frying pan, because this chicken is just BEGGING you to make it! I promise you, it’s some of the very best fried chicken you’ve ever tasted!!
And if you already have your chicken marinated, and your seasoned flour already mixed up, it’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal, too!!
So what are you waiting for? Get this going today, and enjoy my Nashville Red Hot Fried Chicken Sandwiches over the weekend! It’s sure to become a family favorite!!
*You might enjoy these condiments for your sandwiches:
Nashville Red Hot Fried Chicken Sandwich
1 pkg. boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbl. apple cider vinegar
1 scant cup whole milk
1 extra-large egg, beaten
1/4 cup bread ‘n butter pickle juice/brine, my homemade or store-bought
2 Tbl. Louisiana Hot Sauce, can sub Frank’s
2 cups flour
2 Tbl. powdered sugar
2 tsp. paprika
1 Tbl. + 1 tsp. regular table salt
2 tsp. regular black pepper
2 Tbl. garlic powder
1 tsp. each: onion powder, ground rosemary powder, Slap Ya mama Cajun Seasoning
1/2 tsp. each: cayenne powder, celery seeds
1/4 tsp. white pepper
2 tsp. beet powder, optional, for a little extra color
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted Minerva Dairy Amish Butter with Sea Salt, can sub lard for authenticity, but we prefer butter
1 – 2 Tbl. cayenne pepper, to heat preference, I wimped out and used 1 and that worked perfectly for us
1 Tbl. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. regular black pepperRest of Ingredients:
oil for frying (vegetable, canola, or peanut oil) filling pan 1/2″ deep
hamburger buns, buttered and toasted, or slices of white bread
bread ‘n butter or dill pickle slices, my homemade or store-bought
In 2-cup glass measuring pitcher, add apple cider vinegar. Add enough whole milk to equal one level cup, don’t stir, set aside on the counter for at least 5 minutes to thicken and do it’s thing.
While the homemade buttermilk is setting up, trim thigh pieces of any excess fat. Place pieces into a bowl, and sprinkle evenly with kosher salt, tossing to distribute evenly. (I add and toss in stages.)
After buttermilk has set up, add one well-beaten egg, pickle juice, and hot sauce. Whisk to mix, and pour over chicken thighs. Lightly toss and then press to make sure chicken is submerged. Cover and chill for 4 – 6 hours, but best overnight.
In doubled brown paper lunch sacks, add ingredients for Seasoned Flour. Twist top closed, and shake well to mix.
Line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towel, and lay chicken pieces flat. Top with more paper towels and pat to remove most of buttermilk mixture.
Place chicken pieces, one at a time, into seasoned flour coating well, shake off excess, dunk into buttermilk mixture, let excess drip away, then coat again with seasoned flour. Place chicken pieces onto a baking sheet lined with a rack as you go along. When all are coated, place into fridge to set, at least 20 – 30 minutes. (I always sprinkle a little excess flour on all the pieces before chilling.)
In large frying pan, add oil to 1/2″ deep, and heat over medium/medium low heat. Add pieces to hot oil, in batches so as to not overcrowd, and fry until deep golden browned on both sides, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer pieces to a rack placed over a baking sheet and pop into a LOW oven, about 200ºF. Continue until all are cooked. Keep warm loosely tented with foil or in one of your double ovens if you have them.
While chicken is frying, add Sauce Ingredients into a small saucepan and warm over medium low to low heat just until butter is almost melted. Stir until butter is fully melted. Don’t be shocked, this will separate. It’s ok. It works.
Butter and broil insides of buns, place a fried chicken thigh on each bottom bun, brush tops well with some of the spice and butter mixture getting some of each, evenly, with each brush stroke. Top with a few slices of pickles and place on top bun.
Best. chicken. sandwich. EVER.
Hope you all enjoy!! Have a great weekend!!