Fried Chicken Sandwich
Hungry for more? This recipe was featured in a podcast episode!
Chicken thighs are brined overnight, then battered and fried twice, Korean style, for this juicy and extra crispy fried chicken sandwich. It takes some time, but the result is so worth it.
Prep Time: 4 hrs
Cook time: 10 min
Additional: 4 hrs to overnight (in brine); 2 hrs (in the freezer)
For the Brine:
100 ml (1/2 cup) dill pickle juice
225 ml (1 cup) buttermilk
3 medium cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup red chile flakes
2 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (4 to 6 ounces each)
To fry the chicken
8 cup vegetable oil
brined chicken thighs
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 cup soju or vodka
1/2 cup ice-cold water
For the sandwich
brioche buns (or other sandwich bun of choice)
dill pickles, sliced
Brine the chicken
Combine kimchi juice, buttermilk, egg, garlic, salt, soy sauce, chile flakes and black pepper in a large bowl.
Add chicken pieces and toss to coat.
Transfer the contents of the bowl to a 1-gallon zipper-lock freezer bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hrs and up to overnight, flipping the bag occasionally.
Fry the chicken
Heat vegetable oil over low heat in a heavy pot or Dutch oven with high sides until the oil registers 350F. If you don’t have a thermometer, test the heat by spooning a bit of batter into the oil. If it sizzles immediately and floats to the top, it should be hot enough.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, all-purpose flour, baking powder, 1 tsp salt, soju and cold water. Remove chicken thighs from the brine, and dip in batter until evenly coated (it is very thin), shaking off excess batter, and place on a tray.
FIRST FRY - Set up a platter lined with paper towels. Raise the heat to medium-high and maintain the oil at 350F. Carefully lower the chicken into the oil, as many pieces as will fit comfortably, and fry about 2 min per side until very lightly browned. With a heatproof slotted spoon or tongs, remove the chicken pieces and drain them on the paper-towel-lined tray. Allow to cool, then cover the entire tray with foil.
Place your tray of chicken in the freezer for 2 hrs.
SECOND FRY - Remove the chicken from the freezer. Heat your oil back up to 350F. Prep a tray with paper towel or a metal rack. Fry your chicken a second time until cooked through (about 2 min per side). Remove a piece from the oil and check the internal temperature with your instant read thermometer to ensure it has reached 165F. Remove all chicken from the oil and sprinkle lightly with salt.
Serve in a bun with your choice of toppings. We recommend a little mayo (even better if zhuzhed up with a bit of salted lemon), and a slice of dill pickle.
Zhuzh it up!
We love this fried chicken sandwich topped with Boozy Bacon Jam (recipe over here). Coleslaw would also be a delicious choice. And don't forget the pickle!
This sandwich is inspired by a combination of amazing recipes. The brine can be found on seriouseats.com.
The batter and frying method is from Koreatown, A Cookbook by Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard. Find the recipe over at thedailymeal.com.