I told my kids about my plans to become a part-time sandwich influencer and
made crispy, not fried, chicken sandwiches for all three of us after my trail
run. I love fried chicken, but I don't feel like becoming the owner of a jar of
used oil right now, so I baked the chicken with a crispy coating on a sheet
pan. The chicken was served hot, but was not Hot Chicken,
not by a mile.
Each sandwich had one boneless, skinless chicken thigh at its core. I dredged
the meat in a mixture of white flour, Kashmiri chile powder, and salt; dipped
it egg white left over from making garlic aioli a couple days ago; then dredged
it again in a mix of panko breadcrumbs, dried thyme, and olive oil. I baked
these on a piece of parchment paper in my oven at 400 °F for 25 minutes.
While the chicken was baking, I sliced a small red onion and a large jalapeño,
and made a small batch of coleslaw: thinly sliced green cabbage and grated
carrot tossed with salt, caraway seeds, garlic aioli, yogurt, and rice wine
vinegar. When the chicken was done, we put it on a basic hamburger bun and
topped it with onion and coleslaw. I added a lot of fresh jalapeño, while the kids
opted for sprinkling Cholula onto the crispy chicken.
One day I'll show a picture of a sandwich with no red onion
The sandwiches were delicious. The meat was thoroughly cooked, but still moist,
and the coating had a nice crunch. We all agreed that we could have made the meat
spicier by adding cayenne to the first dredging mix and to the crumbs. When
I do this again, I might add apple to the coleslaw, making it more like the Bird's sweeter slaw.
While prepping, I listened to "Return to Hot Chicken" from Yo La Tengo's 1997
album I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One. There's a fun story about eating at Prince's Hot
Chicken restaurant (and more) in an interview of James McNew by Aquarium Drunkard.