Fried Chicken Sandwich

published May 27, 2022
Fried Chicken Sandwich Recipe

This flavor-packed recipe is worth whipping out your frying oil for.


Prep25 minutes

Cook25 minutes to 30 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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a fried chicken sandwich on a bun with pickles and mayo
Credit: Perry Santanachote

Why would anyone go through the effort of deep-frying their own fried chicken sandwich when Popeye’s exists? Two words: dark meat. Even if you source your fast-food chicken sandwich elsewhere, you’d be hard-pressed to find one made with chicken thigh instead of chicken breast. 

If you’re like me — a dark-meat gal all the way — you know that thighs are more flavorful and juicy and take the average fried chicken sandwich from good to roll-your-eyes-into-the-back-of-your-head amazing. It’s reason enough to whip out your frying oil and deep-fry thermometer.

Credit: Perry Santanachote

What to Put on a Fried Chicken Sandwich

At its most basic, a fried chicken sandwich needs a generous smear of mayonnaise and pickle slices, but lettuce and a tomato slice add some nice contrast, too.

What Bun Should I Use for Fried Chicken Sandwiches?

Sweet and pillowly brioche buns are the perfect accompaniment to the shatteringly crisp chicken. They also happens to hold up better than typical hamburger buns.

Best Sauces for a Fried Chicken Sandwich

Plain mayonnaise is classic and a perfectly acceptable way to sauce your sandwich, but you can also jazz it up with the following:

Fried Chicken Sandwich Recipe

This flavor-packed recipe is worth whipping out your frying oil for.

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes to 30 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


  • 3/4 cup

    buttermilk, divided

  • 1/4 cup

    pickle brine

  • 1 tablespoon

    hot sauce, such as Crystal or Tabasco

  • 3 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons

    ground black pepper, divided

  • 2 teaspoons

    garlic powder, divided

  • 6

    boneless, skinless chicken thighs (1 1/2 to 2 pounds total)

  • 1 1/2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons


  • 1 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper

  • 3/4 teaspoon


  • 2

    large eggs

  • 4 cups

    vegetable oil, such as canola

  • 18 to 24

    dill bread-and-butter pickle slices

  • 6

    brioche buns

  • 1/2 cup



  1. Pour 1/2 cup of the buttermilk, 1/4 cup pickle brine, 1 tablespoon hot sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic powder in a gallon-size zip top bag or large food container and whisk to combine. Add 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs and flip the chicken to evenly coat. Seal or cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

  2. Place 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, the remaining 2 teaspoons kosher salt, remaining 2 teaspoons black pepper, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon paprika in a medium bowl or shallow bowl and whisk to combine. Place the remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk and 2 large eggs in a shallow bowl and whisk to combine, the mixture will be thick and look slightly curdled.

  3. Heat about 4 cups vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or large cast-iron skillet (the oil should come 1 inch up the sides) over medium-high heat until 350°F. Meanwhile, fit a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet. Bread the chicken one piece at a time: Remove from the buttermilk mixture, dip in the egg mixture to coat, and dredge it in the flour mixture, pressing to make it stick and get into all the nooks and crevices. Place on a rimmed baking sheet or large plate in a single layer.

  4. Fry the chicken 2 to 3 pieces at a time: Place in the hot oil and fry until the chicken is cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest piece registers at least 165°F, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to the rack. Keep warm in a 200°F oven until ready to serve if desired.

  5. Split and lightly toast 6 brioche hamburger buns. Divide and spread 1/2 cup mayonnaise onto the cut sides of the buns (scant 2 teaspoons per piece). Place 3 to 4 pickle chips and 1 fried chicken thigh on each bottom bun. Close with the top bun.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftover fried chicken in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in a 400°F oven until crisp and warmed through, about 20 minutes.

Make ahead: Freeze fried and cooled chicken on a baking sheet until solid. Wrap each piece in aluminum foil and store them in a zipper-lock bag or freezer-safe container for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight or for a few days in the refrigerator. Unwrap and reheat in a 400ºF oven until crisp and warmed through, about 20 minutes.