Fried Chicken Sandwich with Pickled Slaw and Spicy Aioli

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Last night I went to dinner with girlfriends, and one of them suggested I go out with this guy we know.  I told her that I can’t do that because 1. He is a picky eater.  2.  I eat way more than him in general.  3.  He claims he likes Thai food, but doesn’t like curry.  She stared at me and said, “Dakota you realize those three things are all food related, right?”  This didn’t phase me.

Maybe this is why I am single.  The other day I went on a date with a guy who is actually perfect.  He is stable with a real job and he likes cheese.  Perfect.  But we went out and he kept pushing his food around his plate.  It was really distracting.  Why aren’t you eating it?  He ordered crab mac and cheese, which I thought sounded scrumptious.  When he went to the bathroom I ate some of it.  Then he didn’t want dessert, and because I was so nervous I pretended I didn’t want it either.  Then the whole rest of the night I was thinking about what I should have ordered for dessert; it was distracting to say the least.

When I go to movies I always get popcorn.  Actually, that’s generally the main reason I go to theaters to see movies in the first place.  My mom and I always finish I large…usually before the movie has barely begun.  We get sort of competitive.  If I am ready to take a break from the rapid popcorn eating, I set it down on the floor.  She will then pick it up and hold it.  I shove my hand back into the popcorn to make sure she doesn’t get more than me.  We always leave feeling slightly ill.  Because of this genetic love for popcorn, I was nearly insulted when my date didn’t even consider getting any.  Once again I was so anxious in the moment that I didn’t just say I wanted some for myself.  This was foolish because I was completely distracted during the entire movie by the crunching sounds of the person next to me.  I yearned for the salty bite in my mouth and butter on my fingers.  I won’t make this mistake again.

I told my friend this story about my date while we made fried chicken sandwiches from the Bon Appetit magazine she gave me.  She thinks I’m ridiculous, but understands somewhat because she is a foodie too.

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Makes 4 sandwiches/Bon Appetit Magazine

For the spicy aioli and slaw

  • 1 garlic clove, minced or put through a garlic press
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Louisianna-style hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1/2 cup bread-and-butter pickle slices, plus 1/4 cup pickle juice

For the fried chicken

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 8-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved crosswise
  • Peanut or vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 4 white sandwich rolls
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Special tool  A deep-fry thermometer (I didn’t use one, but we tore off a tiny piece of chicken and did a test run to make sure the oil was hot enough.)

Spicy aioli and slaw

Mix garlic, mayo, and hot pepper sauce in a small bowl; cover and chill.  Toss onion, jalapeno, cabbage, pickles, and pickle juice in a large bowl to combine; cover and chill.

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Fried chicken

Whisk flour, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a shallow bowl.  Pour buttermilk into another shallow bowl.  Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess.  Dip in buttermilk, allowing excess to drip back into bowl.  Dredge again in flour mixture, shaking off excess.

Pour oil into a large heavy skillet to a depth of 1/2 inch.  Prop the deep fry thermometer in the oil so the bulb is submerged.  Heat the oil over medium-high heat until the thermometer reaches 350 degrees.

Fry the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.  Transfer to a wire rack and set aside on a baking sheet; season with salt.

Spread cut sides of rolls with butter.  Heat another large skillet over medium heat.  Working in batches, cook rolls buttered side down until browned and crisp, about 1 minute.  Spread the spicy aioli on the cut side of the rolls.  Top with a pieces of fried chicken and slaw.

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2 thoughts on “Fried Chicken Sandwich with Pickled Slaw and Spicy Aioli

  1. Nice! I just made that last Saturday and posted about it a few days ago. Loved it, especially that slaw — so good! It really made me happy. =) I also do competitive pizza eating with my husband. I always get so full but I don’t want him to get more than me. Which means I end up so full I want to die. *sigh* But it’s just soooo good.

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