These Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwiches are perfect comfort food and they turn out just like restaurant chicken sandwiches – super crispy outside, moist and juicy inside.
I used to have to go to the popular chicken place nearby to get my crispy chicken sandwich fix. I love their sandwiches because they’re really crispy, but they aren’t dry. They taste just as good as they look. Good thing I tried to make one at home, because I learned that I could make it just as good at home.
What’s the secret to these breaded chicken sandwiches? Using boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts. Chicken thigh meat can be cooked longer without losing its juiciness, so you can get the outside super crispy with a breading of panko crumbs, while the interior stays nice and juicy.
The best part is that this sandwich is that it’s really easy to make at home, so you can have it any time you want. I almost always have frozen chicken thighs in the freezer.
Top it with some cabbage or lettuce, some yum yum sauce, and you’ve got a fantastic homemade chicken sandwich for less than half the price.
How to Make a Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwich
As I already mentioned, the secret to this sandwich is using chicken thighs instead of breasts. They also need to be a uniform size, if possible. Trim them down a bit to fit the size of your buns, if necessary, but do remember that they will shrink up as they cook.
The second rule is that the chicken shouldn’t be fried straight out of the refrigerator. If added to the oil cold, it will lower the temperature of the oil and lead to a less crispy exterior. So let the chicken sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before breading.
Breading the Chicken
You’ll need to create a breading station for yourself. I like to use these Pampered Chef breading trays. I also recently came across this fun breading container that makes the process a lot less messy. You can always just use bowls/plates.
In a bowl, whisk the egg. In another bowl, mix the Panko crumbs, flour and salt together.
Dredge the chicken pieces through the egg, shaking off the excess. Then set it in the Panko mixture and flip it a few times to thoroughly coat the outside.
Frying the Chicken
If you don’t have a deep fryer, use a heavy and deep skillet or dutch oven. Pour the cooking oil into the pan until there is a solid layer of oil in the bottom, about 1/8 inch high. The oil needs to be heated to and stay at 350 degrees F for the perfect fry.
A note about the oil. You need to use a cooking oil with a high smoke point for this job. Don’t use olive oil or avocado oil. They don’t hold up to the heat. Instead, use vegetable, canola or peanut oil. I personally prefer vegetable.
Also make sure to test the temperature of the oil before adding the chicken and as you go along to make sure it maintains the correct temperature. I like to use the Classic Thermapen thermometer. It’s an instant-read digital thermometer that you can quickly dip in to measure the temp.
You want the internal temperature of the meat to get to 165 degrees. So be sure to take the temp of the meat too.
Creating a Chicken Sandwich
Use the softest, chewiest buns you can find. For me that’s a brioche bun, like the one pictured. The bread does make a big difference. I also think you must toast the inside of the bun first (with or without butter).
To top it, I always add Yum Yum Sauce. It adds a lot of flavor and I find it truly irresistible. Add some crunchy cabbage and cilantro, or a slice of tomato, maybe even some avocado. It’s the perfect chicken sandwich.
What to Serve it With
On the side, you can serve homemade guacamole or a classic wedge salad. If you like corn, try this Bacon and Jalapeno Corn Salad. And for all the Mac & Cheese lovers, this creamy stovetop mac & cheese will blow you away.
There are endless possibilities for sides to serve with this crispy chicken sandwich recipe!
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Crispy Chicken Sandwich
- In a bowl, whisk the egg. In another bowl, mix the Panko crumbs, flour and salt together.
- Dredge the chicken pieces in the egg, shaking off the excess. Then set the chicken in the Panko mixture and flip it a few times to thoroughly coat the outside.
- Using a heavy and deep skillet or dutch oven, pour the cooking oil into the pan until there is a solid layer of oil in the bottom, about 1/8 inch high. The oil needs to be heated to and stay at 350 degrees F for the perfect fry.
- When the oil reaches 350 degrees, add the chicken and cook on each side for 5 minutes or until the Panko looks golden brown. When the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F, remove the chicken to a wire rack. Season with salt.
- To assemble the sandwiches, add sauce to the bottom bun, then add the chicken and top with cabbage, cilantro and more sauce, as desired.
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.