Buttermilk Chicken Sandwiches

Chicken has always made me nervous. I’d like to attribute that to my love of beef and the ability to eat a steak even if it were merely warmed by the sun. If you can’t eat it bleedin’, it shouldn’t be ate!

I had a heavy hankering for fried chicken. But, I have this weird “fear” of chicken on the bone…it creeps me out and I will not be eating it. I can pull it off, but it does take a lot of encouragement from my husband to get it down my gullet. It’s a real character flaw. To avoid the bone-ick-factor, I improvise and typically stick to boneless chicken breasts. They have never let me down and I am confident that they will not make you sad, either!

This recipe has a few components – the marinade, the double coated, crispy chicken, and fresh tartar sauce. If you prefer, the tartar sauce can be substituted for your fave bottled sauce (honey mustard and ranch dressing are my next two options!) If you’re one to stick with it, you’ll have no regrets and these will be you new favorite summery backyard gathering meal! Or, you know, your dead-of-winter-remind-you-of-summer indoor gathering meal.

Buttermilk Chicken Sandwiches

Marinade

2 C. buttermilk
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1/2 jalapeno, seeds and all
2 smashed garlic cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl with a lid. Mix to combine.
    *If the jalapeno scares you, remove the seeds and membrane. If you like heat, add the whole jalapeno. There’s no need to slice it more than once down the middle.
  2. Set aside until chicken is ready to go in.

Chicken

3 thawed chicken breasts

  1. Slice each chicken breast in half horizontally – the blade of your knife should be parallel to your cutting surface.
  2. Between two pieces of plastic wrap, flatten chicken (by smacking it with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer) until it reaches a general thickness of 1/2 inch. Cut each flattened piece in half vertically. You will have 12 chicken “patties.”
  3. Place chicken in marinade, completely submerging the cutlets in the marinade. Allow to sit in the fridge covered for at least 2 hours for maximum flavor infusion.

Tartar Sauce

1 C. full fat mayo
1 T fresh or dried dill weed
1 T fresh or dried chives
1 T fresh basil OR 1/2 T dried basil
A splash of white wine vinegar

  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in refrigerator until needed.

Frying

In a deep skillet, pour 2 inches of vegetable oil over medium heat. This will take approximately 10 minutes to heat. To test oil temperature, flick a drop of water in oil. It should pop and sizzle immediately.

The chicken can be pulled out of the fridge at this time. Remove one cutlet from marinade, coat in flour (I find it best to put a few cups of all-purpose flour on a sheet of aluminum foil), return to marinade to coat a second time, and back to the flour to finish that full coat. Repeat this process for each patty. When oil is hot, gently lay coated chicken in the oil. Fry chicken for 5-6 minutes until they’re golden and crispy. Flip them halfway through the fry time. Place fried chicken on cooling rack, on top of a baking sheet. This sets the chicken above the surface of the sheet and allows excess oil to drip. Stick the whole unit in a 350 degree oven and continue to fry the rest of the chicken.

Assembly

Buns of choice
Tartar sauce
Fresh leaf lettuce
Fried chicken
Pickle slices

  1. Spoon a small portion of sauce on the bottom of the bun.
  2. Place a leaf of fresh lettuce over the sauce.
  3. Layer a crispy, fried chicken patty atop the lettuce.
  4. Grace the chicken patty with a few pickle slices. Smeer the bottom of the top bun with a bit more sauce, and put a cap on that sandwich.

Cowboy Joe heartily approved of this recipe and I will be making it as a staple from here on out!

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