I consider myself lucky to have come into food consciousness around the time that Buffalo chicken was seeing a surge in popularity downstate. I remember eating as much Buffalo chicken as I could as a kid: wings, wraps, tenders, sandwiches, salads. Anything with that spicy, tangy taste. I think for many spice-heads, Buffalo sauce is the gateway spice that leads to much hotter places.
Thinking about sandwiches specifically (as I often do), I realized that while I had made my fair share of Buffalo wings, I hadn’t delved into homemade Buffalo chicken sandwiches. On further inspection, I realized most buffalo chicken sandwiches were overly-creamy affairs of lettuce and chicken soaked in blue-cheese dressing, barely staying into some spinach wrap or bun. I thought I could do something I would like better, and began looking at the individual components of the sandwich.
First up was the chicken. I love recipes for fried chicken from both Kenji Lopez-Alt and Alton Brown. This recipe pulls on the buttermilk brine from Alton Brown, with hot sauce added to the brine to infuse the flavor from the start. Then, the dredging and frying technique is pulled directly from Kenji’s chicken sandwich recipe. I believe I first learned of frying in a wok from him as well.
My second consideration was the bread. I felt like a flat bread (rather than a bun) was a better choice for this sandwich. I happened to have potato bread at the time, and it works really well for this. I toasted the slices in my toaster, but I imagine that toasting them in butter would work well. I’ll have to try that next time.
Next, let’s talk accompaniments. I thought that crumbled blue cheese would give the right funk and creaminess without the overly moist nature of blue cheese dressing (plus, we have the tanginess from the buttermilk in the brine already). Lettuce and tomato are easy additions, both for sweetness and a little moisture.
I’m very pleased with how this came out. Enjoy the recipe!
- Potato bread
- Blue cheese
- Franks Red Hot
- Shredded iceberg lettuce
- Sliced tomato
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 cups Buttermilk
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp salt, divided
- Black pepper
- 1.5 cups Flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 quart peanut or corn oil
- Combine buttermilk, 1 tbsp salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup of hot sauce. Add chicken and brine to a bag and place in the fridge for 8-24 hours
- Put flour, baking powder, and 1 tsp salt in a quarter sheet pan. Add 3 tablespoons of the buttermilk brine and mix.
- Lift the chicken out of the brine and let the excess drain off. Coat in the flour and shake off the excess
- Heat oil to 425F degrees in a large wok. Slowly add the chicken and maintain an oil temperature of 300F - 350F.
- Cook chicken without moving about 2 minutes. Flip in the oil and cook for 3 minutes longer or until fully cooked to 165F. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with a litle salt.
- While the chicken is cooking, toast slices of potato bread.
- Assemble sandwiches: top bread with shredded lettuce, a single layer of tomato slices, crumbles of blue cheese, the chicken, and a generous amount of hot sauce. Serve immediately with more hot sauce on the side.
Gordon Diggs is a record collector, home cook, and engineering leader. He thrives on helping members of his teams be successful, and loves eating sandwiches and digging through bins of records. He dreams of someday doing those 2 things at the same time. Follow him on Twitter.