Before we get to cooking, I wanted to take a moment and acknowledge that in the United States, today is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. The day actually originated in New Zealand, where it is celebrated on September 1st. No matter, Random Acts of Kindness need never be limited to a single day. Mark Twain put it best when he said “Kindness is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
Kindness has no ending. It is a tiny pebble dropped into still waters, rippling out across the universe. The greatest acts of kindness are often the little things that seem to go unnoticed, yet they can change the course of humanity.
Okay, enough mussy stuff. Let’s talk chicken sandwiches. Last March, I shared a Chick Fil A Club Sandwich recipe, a copy-cat from the Chicken Sandwich Chain. It was good, but not oh my goodness I gotta have this great. Let’s face it, when using frozen ingredients compared to fresh ingredients, it’s as different as night and day. Some people like frozen chicken. Some don’t. Personally, I like the Club Sandwich for convenience, but the Fried Sandwich for heat. If you are like me, you will get to the list of seasonings for the flour and think “Holy Moly!” I’ll save you the trouble of counting, there’s powdered sugar and 15 spices added to the dredging flour. No wonder the chicken is dredged twice. You want all that spice and flavor to come through. Mixing up the spices is a snap. So even though the list of ingredients seems to go on and on, it takes just a minute or two to make the flour. I would definitely line up the spices and check them off the list cause that’s a lot should you loose your place.
My guys loved these sandwiches. I can’t wait to do it again – yum!
Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich
2 boneless Chicken Breasts
1/3 cup Cold Water
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice Concentrate
Butterfly each chicken breast and trim any fat. Set aside.
In a shallow bowl, whisk together the water and lemon juice. Nestle the breasts into the lemon water to marinate until ready to dredge.
The Egg Dip
2 extra-large Eggs well beaten
1 teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce or to taste
In another shallow dish or pie plate, beat the eggs with hot sauce until well combined. Set aside.
The Louisiana Mayonnaise
1 cup Mayonnaise
Louisiana Hot Sauce to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and hot sauce. Taste and adjust flavors as needed. Cover and refrigerate the mayonnaise until ready to use.
The Seasoned Flour
1 tablespoon Powdered Sugar
1 tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
1 tablespoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun Seasoning
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon dried Dill Weed
1/2 teaspoon Mexican Chipotle Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried Basil
1/4 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/4 teaspoon Celery Seeds
1/4 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon dried Rosemary
1 cup Flour
In a bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and all the seasonings EXCEPT the dried Rosemary. Place Rosemary into a spice grinder or coffee mill and grind to a coarse powder. Add to the rest of the seasonings. Whisk to combine. Add flour, whisk to incorporate. Set aside.
Place two wire racks inside rimmed baking sheets. The first is for the chicken once it is ready to fry, the second to hold the chicken in a warm oven until all the chicken has been fried. Set oven to warm and place one of the baking sheets into the oven.
Vegetable Oil for frying
4 Hamburger Buns
Butter for Buns
4 Green Leaf Lettuce or as needed
4 slices Pepper Jack Cheese or as needed
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat to 350 degrees. Oil should be about deep enough to come up the sides of the chicken without covering completely.
Working with one piece at a time, dredge each chicken piece in the seasoned flour, shaking off excess. Dip chicken into the egg mixture, coating both sides well, allowing excess drip back into the dish. Dredge chicken for a second time in the flour. Place each piece onto the rack to rest until all the pieces that will fit in the skillet have been coated and are ready to fry. Do not crowd the rack or overfill the skillet.
Place chicken pieces into hot oil and fry until golden on bottom, about 3 minutes. Carefully turn pieces over, continue to fry another 3 to 4 minutes. Once fried, transfer to the rack in the warm oven.
Repeat with remaining chicken until all the chicken is ready. Keep warm in the oven until ready to assemble the sandwiches.
Brush buns lightly with soft butter, then toast the buns on a griddle pan until warm and golden. Spread some Chipotle Mayonnaise on inside of both the top and bottom bun. Place some green leaf lettuce on the bottom buns. Set aside.
Slice Pepper Jack Cheese. Lay cheese over as many chicken pieces as desired. Turn oven to broil, let cheese melt over chicken. It will not take long, so keep an eye on the chicken.
Lay chicken over the lettuce leaves, top with the top bun. Slice chicken sandwich in half, serve with French Fries or Onion Rings as desired.
Note: If the chicken is too long for the bun, simply fold over or cut in half to fit. This is great as a “double” chicken sandwich, especially with the cheese between the chicken pieces.