The Fourth of July is near, so fuel your love of country with this fried chicken sandwich, and pearls of wisdom from Ben Franklin.
The best summer sandwich!
America’s Independence Day is around the bend … so I want to share a couple of thoughts from one of the Founding Fathers. Ben Franklin was brilliant and hilarious. A real truth-teller.
He said: “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” And, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” And my favorite (for now): “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
Take all of that in … and make this chicken sandwich that I’m writing about, because it’s something worth doing. I have no doubt Ben would agree.
Next week, more July 4 food celebration!
Fried chicken plus heat plus sweet.
You've heard it here before: Pick great ingredients and get out of their way.
But even the simplest dishes deserve a little extra love. Luckily, with this fried chicken sandwich on a homemade biscuit with an equally homemade slaw, that extra love is easy.
Let’s start with the fried chicken, shall we? Because, fried chicken.
Here’s how this one works:
Soak six organic chicken thighs (boneless, skinless) in 1-1/2 cup whole milk with 1 small onion grated on a box grater.
Add 2 T. Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
Let this hang out on the counter, giving it a little shake once in a while till the chicken comes to room temperature. (You could refrigerate for later, but bring back to room temp before moving on to the next step.)
Dredge the chicken in 2 cups crushed Ritz(c) crackers and 1 cup all-purpose flour.
Dunk in 5 beaten egg whites.
Dredge again in cracker mixture.
In your EuroCAST deep-sided fry pan over medium heat, heat 4 inches of corn oil till hot but not smoking and fry chicken pieces until golden brown and cooked through.
Drain on a rack
2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
Drizzle the honey!
About a biscuit
I love a great biscuit, and I'm a food nerd, so when I discovered Cook's Illustrated's biscuit deep-dive, I was in heaven.
If you don't know Cook's Illustrated, their TV show and their recipe books, you are in for a treat, especially if you're fascinated with exactly why certain recipes work -- because they science all the cooking for you to find out exactly why certain recipes don't work.
And if you cannot be bothered (or don't have time) to study this cooking version of differential calculus ... you can skip to their recipes.
The Cook's Illustrated biscuit (click here) uses a few tricks I love. (The click is behind a paywall, but if you follow Cook's Illustrated on Instagram, you can navigate to the recipe just fine by clicking on the link they provide in their Instagram bio. Or … get their All Access membership free for 14 days, and grab their best recipes. They’re terrific! You’ll probably wind up subscribing.)
The tricks I love include:
freezing the butter so you can grate it into the dough
trimming the biscuit after resting it (what Cook's recommends to keep it loose and flaky at the edges, and it works like a dream)
cutting it square to reduce waste, and
using a high-protein flour (they recommend King Arthur brand) which promotes flakiness (instead of fluffiness)
And, as for that sugar, the Cook's biscuit is too sweet for this sandwich. I reduce their suggested 2 T of sugar to just 1 T. But their level of sugar is perfect for a morning biscuit. I just wanted a little less sweetness for my take on the fried chicken on a biscuit.
Deconstructed Cole slaw
The other day when I was thinking through today's post, I was making Cole slaw, looking at piles of shredded and Savoy cabbage, and it occurred to me that doing the final assembly into a traditional slaw wasn't really needed. The colors and textures were so gorgeous, and juice and bite of the vegetables so perfect, I knew the fried chicken sandwich was pack even more punch.
And, hey, it saves a few steps, and I am all about saving you time.
Ingredients for the deconstructed slaw
2 cups shredded red cab
2 cups shredded savoy
3 shallots thinly sliced
2 cups baby kale
3 T chiffonade of basil (or torn) but for the love of all that is beautiful in the world, do not chop the basil
Layer them on the chicken, or loosely combine in a big bowl and then put the desired amount on top of the sandwich.
But what about the dressing? We haven't forgotten that!
Ingredients for the dressing
Either spread this dressing on the chicken, or spread on bun (top, or bottom, or both), or just put it everywhere you want it.
Mix in a bowl:
1 cup best-quality mayonnaise
1/4 cup whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Aleppo flake for a little heat, to taste (you'll find you can use more than you might expect, because the heat is enjoyed in the context of fried chicken and all that slaw, and even lettuce and tomato)
1 T of honey
Use the dressing to dress Cole slaw or use as a condiment.
Putting it together
Not rocket science. One option is to let people assemble their own, because everyone has their own opinions on whether this is a slaw sandwich with some chicken, or a chicken sandwich with some slaw, or something unbelievably crunchy all slathered with dressing.
Consider fresh, best quality tomatoes (room temperature so you can smell them), some butter lettuce, a quick pickle, and some thinly sliced red onion. Or, use pickled red onion or cucumbers that you can make yourself. That delivers bite you'll love with this sandwich.
Put it on the sandwich, or put it all on a plate so your lunch partners can pick and choose.
Everyone will agree on the biscuit though. And the stories they can tell to their friends about this fried chicken on a biscuit sandwich. It sounds like it's a simple tale, but this sandwich is epic.
The Family Set deal that’s the perfect way to spread EuroCAST love
Yes, we are still offering our Starter Set at $149.99! That’s because we need to clear the warehouse to make room for great Fall inventory.