boneless, skinless, chicken breasts about 1 ½ pounds total
smoked Spanish paprika
48-ounce bottles /
potato hamburger buns toasted, for serving
Bibb lettuce leaves
Kosher dill pickles such as Claussen, thinly sliced, for serving
Buttermilk Herb Mayo recipe follows, for serving
Buttermilk Herb Mayo
good mayonnaise such as Hellmann's
good white wine vinegar
thinly sliced scallions white and green parts
minced fresh parsley
minced fresh chives
minced fresh thyme leaves
freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, shallot, garlic, jalapeno or Sriracha, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper.
Slice each piece of chicken in half crosswise so you have 2 pieces approximately the same size. For bite size cut the chicken into thirds lengthwise, then crosswise into pieces about 2 inches wide.
Place the cut chicken breasts in a re-sealable plastic bag, squish out the air and seal the top of the bag completely. Using a rolling pin or a meat mallet, pound them until they are evenly about a 1/2 inch thick.
Place the chicken in the marinade, making sure each piece is well coated, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours (seemed to be plenty) or up to (but not more than) 24 hours. I used a Jumbo resealable bag and put the marinade in with the chicken and then poured into a bowl to dip and fry, worked great.
When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Set a wire rack on a sheet pan and place them in the oven.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, celery salt, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper and set aside.
Pour the oil into a medium (9-inch round by 4 1/2-inch high) Dutch oven heavy bottomed pot, until it is 2 inches deep. Clip on a candy thermometer and heat the oil over high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile using tongs, lift the chicken pieces from the marinade, dredge it in the flour mixture, and submerge it again in the marinade, then again in the flour mixture, lightly shaking off the excess. Transfer the chicken to a plate or sheet pan until ready to fry.
When the oil is 350 degrees F, carefully lower 3 pieces only into the oil with tongs and adjust the heat to keep the oil at 350 degrees F. (this can be a bit tricky) don’t crowd the chicken! Cook for 5 minutes, turning once to brown evenly. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to the sheet pan in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Sprinkle all the chicken with salt and keep warm for up to 15 minutes, until ready to serve.
To assemble, place the bottom of each bun on a plate, spread with some of the Buttermilk Herb Mayo, then a lettuce leaf, 3 pickle slices, then a piece of chicken. Spread the underside of the top bun generously with more of the mayo and place on top of the chicken, mayo side down. Serve while the chicken is still warm.
Buttermilk Herb Mayo
Whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, scallions, parsley, chives, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. You may want to use an immersion blender or food processor to briefly blend and eliminate lumps.
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