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.
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.