This ultimate Fried Chicken Sandwich recipe is as close to perfection as you can get. Try it once and you’ll find yourself dreaming about it for years to come, guaranteed.

A fried chicken sandwich recipe plated on a piece of newspaper on a plate, with fries.

“I have made this sandwich so many times. I love it and my family loves it too. Best ever!”

—Carrie

This is the BEST Fried Chicken Sandwich Recipe

If you’ve been on the hunt for the ultimate fried chicken sandwich, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s skip the fast food drive through, because you’re about to make a superior sandwich right in your own kitchen.

This idea for this recipe originally came from Bon Appetit, via Son of a Gun restaurant in Los Angeles. Over the years, I’ve made it a bit simpler by taking smart grocery store shortcuts like coleslaw mix and store-bought bread and butter pickles (the original magazine recipe wanted you to make your own pickles).

I’ve also cut back on the ingredient amounts a little bit, because I’ve found that you don’t need quite as much flour or buttermilk as the original recipe calls for, and I don’t want you to waste ingredients when you don’t need to.

I’ve been perfecting this recipe since 2013, when the original was published. The recipe below is as close to perfection as I think I’m ever going to get. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Why you’ll love this Fried Chicken Sandwich

  • I just can’t stress enough how delicious it is. The combination of perfectly fried, juicy chicken breast + the tangy pickle coleslaw + slightly spicy mayo + toasted brioche bun is honestly something I find myself dreaming about sometimes.
  • It’s a great way to use up leftover buttermilk. If you have a little bit of buttermilk lingering in the fridge after making blackberry muffins or another baking project, this is the way to use it up.
Ingredients on a white surface, including poultry, slaw mix, pickles, hamburger buns, condiments, spices garlic, jalapeno and onion.

Fried Chicken Breast Sandwich Ingredients

  • chicken – two large boneless, skinless chicken breasts will be cut in half horizontally (so each breast becomes 2 thinner breast pieces) to make four sandwiches.
  • buttermilk – used to dredge the chicken. The buttermilk will tenderize the chicken and add flavor.
  • flour – forms the base of the breading, creating a crispy outer layer when the chicken is fried.
  • salt and pepper – seasons the flour that will coat the chicken.
  • oil for frying – canola or vegetable oil will work best to fry up the chicken.
  • mayonnaise – the creamy base of the sauce for this fried chicken breast sandwich.
  • garlic – adds a robust flavor to the spicy mayo.
  • hot sauce – what makes the spicy mayo spicy! I like Frank’s Red Hot here, but you can use any type of hot sauce you prefer, including sriracha.
  • coleslaw mix – this easy grocery store shortcut provides the crunchy and colorful base of the slaw topping. Buy the tricolor coleslaw mix which consists of red cabbage, green cabbage and carrot.
  • jalapeno – adds a spicy kick to the coleslaw. You can leave this out for a milder sandwich.
  • onion – I like to add a bit of red onion to the slaw for a sharp onion flavor, but white or yellow onion also works great.
  • pickles – store-bought bread and butter pickles (and some of the juice from their jar) will add sweetness and acidity to the slaw.
  • hamburger buns – get the good brioche ones if you can, because they’re perfect for this crispy fried chicken sandwich.

How to Make the Best Fried Chicken Sandwich

A before and after set of photos showing spicy mayonnaise being stirred together in a glass bowl

1. SPICY MAYO. In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, garlic and hot sauce. Cover and refrigerate this until you’re ready to build the sandwiches.

A before and after set of photos showing a jalapeno and pickle coleslaw being stirred together in a glass bowl

2. SLAW. In a large bowl, toss the coleslaw mix, jalapeno, onion, pickles and pickle juice together until well combined. Also cover and refrigerate this until you’re ready to build the sandwiches.

A set of three photos showing a piece of chicken being floured, dipped in buttermilk and floured again.

3. BREAD THE CHICKEN. In a shallow bowl, stir together the flour, salt and pepper. Pour the buttermilk into another shallow bowl. Dip each piece of chicken (both sides) in the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip the chicken in the buttermilk, shaking off the excess. Then, dip the chicken in the flour again.

A rimmed baking pan topped with four pieces of fried chicken breast.

4. FRY. Pour 1/2 inch of oil into a large, deep pot. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F, then place the chicken in the oil and cook until deep golden brown and 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the breast. Transfer the chicken to a cooling rack set over a paper towel-lined rimmed baking pan to allow excess oil to drip off.

Four hamburger bun halves being toasted in a black skillet.

5. TOAST BUNS. While the chicken is frying, spray the cut sides of the buns with nonstick spray. Toast the buns in a large, dry skillet until they are golden brown.

Fried chicken breast sandwiches on a wooden cutting board.

6. BUILD. Spread the buns with the spicy mayo and assemble the sandwiches using the fried chicken and the coleslaw.

Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwich Home Chef Tip

  • Invest in an instant read thermometer. The internal temperature of the chicken needs to reach 165 degrees F for food safety. An instant read thermometer will also help you check for the proper oil temperature for frying (350 degrees F).
  • Don’t want to buy pre-shredded coleslaw mix? Make your own by combining 3/4 cup each red cabbage and green cabbage, along with 1/2 cup shredded carrot.
A homemade fried chicken sandwich, cut in half, on a plate with fries.

How to serve a Fried Chicken Breast Sandwich

My favorite side dishes for this fried chicken sandwich recipe include homemade French fries in the oven and Dr. Pepper baked beans.

However, the options are just about limitless. For a ton of great ideas, see my list of the best sides for ribs. All of these will pair well with this homemade fried chicken sandwich, too!

The best fried chicken sandwich topped with coleslaw, on a wooden cutting board.

Homemade Fried Chicken Sandwich FAQs

What’s a good sauce for a fried chicken sandwich?

I think the best sauce for this fried chicken sandwich is the spicy mayo in the recipe card below. However, if that’s not for you, you could also use just regular mayo, ranch dressing, a nice tangy barbecue sauce or even some creamy honey mustard dressing.

How do you cut chicken breast for fried chicken sandwiches?

For the best fried chicken sandwich, slice each chicken breast in half horizontally to create thinner, even pieces. This will ensure the chicken cooks evenly and fits into the sandwich well.

The best fried chicken sandwich recipe plated on a piece of newspaper on a wooden board, with fries.
A fried chicken sandwich recipe plated on a piece of newspaper on a plate, with fries.

Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwich Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This ultimate Fried Chicken Sandwich recipe is as close to perfection as you can get. Try it once and you'll find yourself dreaming about it for years to come, guaranteed.

Ingredients

For the Spicy Mayo:

  • 1 small garlic clove, grated on Microplane or crushed with press
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons hot sauce (Frank’s Red Hot recommended)

For the Pickle Coleslaw:

  • 2 cups tricolor coleslaw mix
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup bread and butter pickles, plus 3 tablespoons pickle juice

For the Fried Chicken:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half horizontally (so each breast becomes 2 thinner pieces)
  • Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Make the Spicy Mayo: In small bowl, stir garlic, mayonnaise and hot sauce until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble sandwiches.
  2. Make Pickle Coleslaw: In large bowl, toss coleslaw mix, jalapeno, onion, pickles and pickle juice until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble sandwiches.
  3. Make Fried Chicken: In a shallow bowl, stir together flour, salt and pepper. Pour buttermilk into another shallow bowl. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dip each piece of chicken (both sides) in flour, shaking off excess flour. Dip in buttermilk, shaking off excess buttermilk. Dip in flour again, shake off excess, and place on large plate.
  4. Fill large, deep pot with 1/2 inch vegetable oil. Heat oil over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F (use an instant read or deep fry thermometer to check temperature). In batches if necessary, place chicken in oil and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until deep golden brown, turning once, and adjusting stove temperature as needed to keep oil at 350 degrees F as chicken cooks. When internal temperature in thickest part of chicken reaches 165 degrees F, transfer it to cooling rack set over paper towel-lined rimmed baking pan to allow excess oil to drip off.
  5. Meanwhile, spray cut sides of buns with nonstick spray. Toast buns, cut side down, in large, dry skillet over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Spread buns with Spicy Mayo and assemble sandwiches using Fried Chicken and Pickle Coleslaw.

Recommended Products

Foxes Love Lemons, LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and links to Amazon.com. There is no additional cost to you.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 648Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 1033mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 29g

This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. Nutrition information does not include any optional ingredients or toppings. You should calculate the nutrition information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know what you think! Rate the recipe above, leave a comment below, and/or share a photo to Instagram using the tag #foxeslovelemons.