THE BEST SUMMER SANDWICH!
Recipe by Lisa Akey
FRIED CHICKEN PLUS HEAT PLUS SWEET.
You've heard it here before: Pick great ingredients and get out of their way.
But even the simplest dishes deserve a little extra love. Luckily, with this fried chicken sandwich on a homemade biscuit with an equally homemade slaw, that extra love is easy.
Let’s start with the fried chicken.
Here’s how this one works:
Soak six organic chicken thighs (boneless, skinless) in 1-1/2 cup whole milk with 1 small onion grated on a box grater.
* Extra care tip: I hand trim the fat away so there’s more chicken on the chicken.
Add 2 T. Kosher salt, 2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 T. garlic powder.
Let this hang out on the counter, giving it a little shake once in a while till the chicken comes to room temperature. (You could refrigerate for later, but bring back to room temp before moving on to the next step.)
Dredge the chicken in 2 cups unseasoned panko flakes and 1 cup all-purpose flour.
Dunk in 5 beaten eggs, making sure to coat all the crevices.
Dredge again in the panko and flour mixture. Pat the chicken in the mixture to get it to stick.
In your EuroCAST deep-sided fry pan over medium heat, heat 4 inches of corn oil till hot but not smoking and fry chicken pieces until golden brown and cooked through. You’ll want to turn them 1/2 way through to brown and crisp the other side
Drain on a rack set over paper towels.
2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
Drizzle the honey!
ABOUT A BISCUIT
I love a great biscuit, and my folks grew up in the south, so there’s lots of talk about how to do it “right”.
Butter vs. Lard conversations go on and on and on but you can be sure, the recipe they learned was not my momma, or her mommas recipe it was the recipe of a formidable black woman who taught them. it was her recipe.
Chef Rashad Frazier has a terrific recipe and one of my all time favorites. It'’s all butter, some buttermilk and some excellent lamination tips. Or you can grab it here: https://www.aphrochic.com/2017/03/21/chef-rashad-fraziers-buttermilk-biscuits/
The tricks I love include:
freezing the butter after you’ve diced it so it stays firmer longer whilst you pinch it into pea size shapes.
using a bench knife to move and fold the dough
I cut mine square to get more biscuit.
DECONSTRUCTED COLE SLAW
The other day when I was thinking through today's post, I was making Cole Slaw, looking at piles of shredded and Savoy cabbage, and it occurred to me that doing the final assembly into a traditional slaw wasn't really needed. The colors and textures were so gorgeous, and juice and bite of the vegetables so perfect, I knew the fried chicken sandwich was pack even more punch.
And, hey, it saves a few steps, and I am all about saving you time.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE DECONSTRUCTED SLAW
2 cups shredded red cabbage
2 cups shredded savoy
3 shallots thinly sliced
2 cups baby kale
3 T chiffonade of basil (or torn) but for the love of all that is beautiful in the world, do not chop the basil
Layer them on the chicken, or loosely combine in a big bowl and then put the desired amount on top of the sandwich.
But what about the dressing? That’s next.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE DRESSING
Either spread this dressing on the chicken, or spread on bun (top, or bottom, or both), or just put it everywhere you want it.
Mix in a bowl:
1 cup best-quality mayonnaise
1/4 cup whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Aleppo flake for a little heat, to taste (you'll find you can use more than you might expect, because the heat is enjoyed in the context of fried chicken and all that slaw, and even lettuce and tomato)
dash of Tobasco or other yummy hot sauce
1 T of honey
Use the dressing to dress Cole slaw or use as a condiment.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Not rocket science. One option is to let people assemble their own, because everyone has their own opinions on whether this is a slaw sandwich with some chicken, or a chicken sandwich with some slaw, or something unbelievably crunchy all slathered with dressing.
Consider fresh, best quality tomatoes (room temperature so you can smell them), some butter lettuce, a quick pickle, and some thinly sliced red onion. Or, use pickled red onion or cucumbers that you can make yourself. That delivers bite you'll love with this sandwich.
Put it on the sandwich, or put it all on a plate so your lunch partners can pick and choose.
Everyone will agree on the biscuit though. And the stories they can tell to their friends about this fried chicken on a biscuit sandwich. It sounds like it's a simple tale, but this sandwich is epic.
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