Today as part of the DIY Convenience Foods series, we’re going to tackle something that fast food restaurants have battled over for years: the fried chicken sandwich.
I did not grow up in the South. My mother never made friend chicken — unless it was from a box. But, I do loved fried chicken.
However, it’s intimidating. I don’t know why. It shouldn’t be. Folks have been making fried chicken for hundreds of years.
My people love to order fried chicken sandwiches when we are at fast food places, so I decided that it was the perfect thing to try to make myself.
Making it yourself
I took boneless, skinless chicken breast and cut each one into three portions. Chicken breasts these days are so huge, you don’t need a whole piece. I cut off the triangle end and then sliced the other half in half again horizontally. That means that each breast made three pieces.
I dipped the chicken in buttermilk and then a flour-panko breadcrumb mixture. Then I fried some of the chicken in sunflower oil. The others I baked in the oven. Both were yummy.
Making it cheaper
The chicken breast I bought was on sale for $1.99/pound. I used about 1/3 a pound for each sandwich, making the cost per serving about $0.66. The hamburger buns were white whole wheat buns that I bought on sale at the health food store; 8 buns for $2, or
$0.50 $0.25/bun. I’m estimating the costs for the flour, spices, panko, oil, and buttermilk to be about $1.60 for the batch, or $0.20/serving.
Each sandwich cost about $1.11, at least half the price it would cost at a fast food restaurant.
Sure, it was more work that heading toward the drive-thru, but I know that we got better quality food for less. For the deluxe experience serve it with home-baked french fries and a fun drink.
Recipe: Fried Chicken Sandwiches
- 2.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 8 cutlets
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 hamburger buns
- Toppings: sliced pickles, mayo, BBQ sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small dish, soak the chicken pieces in buttermilk.
- In a shallow dish, combine the flour, panko, paprika, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.
- Dip the chicken in the flour mixture and place on the baking sheet. Spray the surface of the chicken well with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bake 25 minutes, or until cooked through. An instant read thermometer should register 165°.
- Alternatively, you can fry the chicken pieces in hot oil in a skillet, until golden and cooked through.
- Serve the chicken on hamburger patties with toppings.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 25 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
This is part of the DIY Convenience Foods series.