I’m not going to say they’re better than Popeyes because even tho my family says that I vehemently disagree!
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into cutlets
- 2 C buttermilk
- 1 1/2 C All-purpose flour
- 1/2 C cornstarch
- 1/4 C hot sauce
- 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
- 1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning, to taste
- Brioche buns, dill pickle slices for serving
- 1/2 C mayo
- 2 tbsp hot sauce
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp pickled jalapeno juice
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt, to taste
- Add your chicken to a medium-sized bowl and season it with all of the poultry seasoning. Feel free to add more if you think it needs it – they’re your tastebuds! After seasoning go ahead and pour in the buttermilk and hot sauce. Stir to get the chicken coated well in the liquid, then cover and set aside. If you’re not cooking it immediately cover it with a lid and stick it in the fridge instead. Make sure to pull it out about 30 minutes before you’re ready to dredge and fry.
- Toss all of the ingredients listed under ‘sauce’ into a small bowl and whisk them together. Set that aside, too.
- Grab yet another bowl – another medium-sized one. We’re making the flour dredge in this one, but first, we need to decide how you’re going to create the crunchy craggies. – the little bits that fall off the chicken when you bite it. My usual method is mixing together the flour, cornstarch, and cajun seasoning in the bowl, then using a fork to drip little bits of buttermilk brine into the flour and giving it a stir. My new method is pouring a tablespoon or so of buttermilk into the bowl first, turning the bowl around so the buttermilk coats the sides of the bowl, and then adding the flour dredge ingredients. When I stir the flour, cornstarch, and seasonings together, I’ll make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as I go, to create crunchy craggies.
- After the flour mixture is created go ahead and start dredging the chicken! Remove the chicken pieces from the buttermilk mixture, allow the excess to drip off, then add the chicken to the flour. Coat the chicken pieces well, pressing the flour into the chicken. I like to pick the pieces up and squeeze them in my fist to ensure the flour really sticks.
- Let the chicken rest while you preheat the oil. Add a few inches of oil to a heavy-bottomed pot and place it over medium-high heat. Choose a saucepan or some other type of pan with higher sides because we’re deep frying! Heat the oil until it reaches about 375°F. If you don’t have a thermometer use a wooden spoon or chopstick to test the oil: when you stick it in the oil you should hear and see a sizzle about a second after you add it.
- Very gently add your pieces of chicken to the pan. Don’t just drop it in: hold the chicken by the edge and drag it across/thru the surface of the oil before you let go. This helps the coating ‘set’ so you lose less of it during the dry. Add the chicken in batches if you need to: you want the chicken to have room to dance around in the oil without bumping into each other while it cooks.
- Let the chicken fry for about 7-10 minutes, flipping after 5 minutes. They will float when they’re done, but be careful and make sure they’re cooked through by either pulling one and slicing it open to check, or using an internal thermometer to check. If your chicken is still cold from the fridge or maybe the pieces are very thick, it can take up to 20 minutes to cook all the way. 165°F internally is safe for poultry. Drain the chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet (in the oven on the lowest setting if you’re going in batches to keep it warm).
- Toast your buns and spread the sauce on them. Add pickles for those people in your house that believe for some reason that pickles belong on chicken sandwiches, and enjoy! Dassit!