Fried Chicken Sandwiches with Pickle Coleslaw
In this monthly series, I commit to cooking whatever is on the cover of Bon Appetit, Saveur or maybe some other food magazine. There’s a reason these particular dishes are on the cover – they’re usually the best recipes in the magazine.
The April issue of Bon Appetit had a huge, crunchy fried chicken sandwich on the cover. Now, I’m not normally a fan of fried chicken. In fact, I went through a weird phase where I just wouldn’t eat it. Under any circumstance.
For awhile, when my family took our annual trip to Zehnder’s restaurant in Frankenmuth, MI (primarily famous for their fried chicken dinners), I would eschew the plate of fried chicken and order the roasted variety. Everybody thought I was crazy, and maybe I was.
Luckily, I’ve gotten over that aversion in the last few years. You still won’t find me frying up a big platter of fried chicken, Paula Deen-style, for Sunday dinner, but alas, I’m on a mission to “Cook The Cover” each month.
This recipe marked the first time since culinary school that I had ventured into the world of pickle-making. These homemade bread-and-butter pickles were awesome.
And even though it was a 2-step process, they didn’t take more than 15 minutes total to make.
They keep in the fridge for 2 weeks, so I made a big batch of them, and plan to put them on burgers and sandwiches galore.
The best part of this sandwich? By far, the amazing coleslaw. I used two kinds of cabbage (although just 1 type would be totally fine, especially if you have green cabbage left over from making cabbage potato soup or corned beef egg rolls), red onion, jalapeno, and some of the pickles.
The coolest thing? The only “dressing” used for this coleslaw is some of the pickle juice. It’s crunchy and sour, and probably the best coleslaw I’ve ever made.
I’m not going to lie: ultimately, this sandwich was a lot of work. The pickles were easy to make, the coleslaw was easy to make, and the chicken was easy to fry, but all of it added up, for a few sandwiches?
Probably not an undertaking I’m going to take on too often. But, like last month’s “Cook The Cover,” these sandwiches kind of rocked my world.
I also listened to my husband tell me about 27 times how much he liked them (when he really likes something, he doesn’t stop at just one compliment).
I think in the future, I’ll use the coleslaw and put it on grilled chicken sandwiches. Summer time, and the grillins’ easy…
Psst- if you bought a 1 pint bottle of buttermilk, you’ll have 1-1/2 cups left over after making this recipe. 1-1/2 cups is the exact right amount to make my buttermilk chicken marinade for a grilled chicken dinner later in the week!
Fried Chicken Sandwiches with Pickle Coleslaw
For the Bread-and-Butter Pickles:
- 1-1/2 cups cold water
- 1-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 4 kirby cucumbers, sliced 1/8-inch thick
- 1 jalapeno, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
For the Spicy Mayo:
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed with press or grated on microplane
- 3 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
For the Pickle Coleslaw:
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 3/4 small jalapeno, thinly sliced
- 1/4 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/4 small head red cabbage, 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:
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in half crosswise
- Canola oil, for frying
- 2 hamburger buns
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Bread-and-Butter Pickles DAY ONE: In large covered container, stir together water and salt until salt is dissolved. Add cucumbers; cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Bread-and-Butter Pickles DAY TWO: In medium saucepot, stir together jalapeno, vinegar, sugar, celery seeds, turmeric and mustard seeds. Bring to a boil. Drain cucumbers from salt water; add cucumbers to saucepot. Return mixture to a boil; remove from heat. Let cool, then transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until chilled.
- Make Spicy Mayo: In small bowl, stir together all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate.
- Make Pickle Coleslaw: In large bowl, toss together all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate.
- Make Fried Chicken: In a shallow bowl, stir together flour, salt and pepper. Pour buttermilk into another shallow bowl. Dip each piece of chicken (both sides) in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in buttermilk, shaking off excess. Dip in flour again.
- Pour 1/2-inch oil in large, deep pot. Heat oil to 350 degrees F (use a deep fry thermometer). Place chicken in oil and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side or until deep golden brown. Transfer to paper-towel lined plate to drain.
- Meanwhile, spray cut sides of buns with nonstick spray. In a large, dry skillet, toast buns over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Spread buns with Spicy Mayo and assemble sandwiches using Fried Chicken and Pickle Coleslaw (you will have some extra coleslaw left over).
One pic has carrots, one does not – I don’t see carrots listed in the ingredients. For those wishing to use carrots, how many did you use (assuming the pic is yours)?
Thanks for letting me know, Annette. You’re right – I forgot to list the (1) carrot in the ingredient list. It’s updated now!
I have made this sandwich so many times. I love it and my family loves it too. Best ever!
Thanks Carrie! I’ve been thinking about making this sandwich myself again. I love it too!
Wow this looks so good. Love a good sandwich. Thanks for sharing.
GREAT TIP: mix the slaw with the spicy mayo and then add to the sandwich. Trust me;) Also the breading didn’t work out great for me so I added bread crumbs to the last layer and it came out MUCH better. Thanks for the recipe!
That’s a great tip, Gab! So glad you enjoyed them!
I know, it is seriously the best sandwich of all time! It’s unreal! Thanks, Bon Appetit! And I’m not even oen who normally fries a lot of food at home, but I may have to make an exception for this sandwich, because I’m craving it again, too!
I got to eat this for dinner a few weeks ago (compliments of my man 🙂 ) and it was seriously the best sandwich EVER! Seeing your pic today on Food Porn Daily is making me crave it all over again!!
I can’t wait to make this – I stopped getting Bon Appetit, but I think I need to get another subscription! Totally making this tonight – thanks!
Thanks, Biz! I hope you enjoy it, and please let me know how it turns out.
I do love my subscription to Bon Appetit (and I think I even got it for free when I bought something at Sur La Table). But you know what? They post every single recipe from the magazine for free on bonappetit.com 🙂
Yeah, I love cooking the covers! Just got the new Bon Appetit yesterday – this month is pancakes!
How fun that you cook the covers like that. I loved this sandwich and will definitely make it again, but with changes to the slaw. But, yeah, we agree on the deliciousness of it. 🙂
Thanks Denise! I’m also loving the sandwiches in this issue. I want to make that vegetarian one with the beets next!
Beautiful job on this month’s cover sandwich, and cheers to you for making your own pickles. I’ve been going crazy on the sandwiches in this issue – have loved the three I’ve made so far!
This looks great, you did an awesome job at cooking the cover. I made a fried chicken sandwich the other day too, also inspired by Bon Appetit, though I made some changes as well. Come check it out tomorrow on BiteSized!
This sandwich looks seriously amazing!
This may be the best sandwich I have ever eaten. Seriously.
I want one right now, love the pickle cole slaw!!