For the best chicken sandwich, you don’t have to sprint to a fast food restaurant or splurge on street food. My crispy chicken sandwich recipe is delicious, juicy, and packed with flavor.
Have you lost count of the times you’ve been disappointed by chicken? Me too! Despite being one of the most popular meats in the world, it’s so often cooked badly. Whether a chef has forgone seasoning or cooked it until it’s bone dry, there’s no forgiving bad chicken.
So, when I was developing this fried chicken breast sandwich, I knew I wanted it to be juicy, full of flavor, and easy to make at home. Whilst a crispy chicken sandwich might not be the best choice to bring to the office to school, it’s the perfect sandwich to make for lunchtimes with friends or whenever you need a little spicy comfort food.
For my homemade chicken sandwich, I’ve stuck to a pretty traditional method of frying and marinating. I’ve also opted to use chicken breast over other boneless cuts of meat. Chicken breast sandwich recipes often overcook the meat so it’s dry, but my method ensures it stays crispy on the outside and deliciously tender on the inside. You can use other boneless cuts of meat if you prefer, but this is the winning combination for my chicken sandwiches.
How to Make Crispy Chicken Sandwich
You first need to make the crispy chicken before putting together your sandwich. You can make the chicken in advance for this chicken sandwich recipe, but the best crispy chicken sandwich is made with freshly fried meat and is best enjoyed just after frying.
If you already have fried chicken and want to reheat it, check my top tips here.
Fried Chicken Breast Recipe
Firstly, you need to marinade the chicken to ensure it keeps its moisture and gets that tender, juicy chicken flavor even after it’s fried. These are the core chicken sandwich ingredients to get before cooking:
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts: Of course, you can use skin-on if preferred or bone-in chicken but that requires longer to cook.
- Buttermilk: This will make the chicken tenders retain plenty of moisture. If you don’t have buttermilk to hand, you can mix milk with an acid like lemon juice, cream of tartar, or even vinegar. This causes the mix to curdle and produces an excellent buttermilk substitute.
You can use yogurt if you prefer. You can also use this method with a non-dairy alternative to milk.
- Egg: This is how to make crispy chicken and keep its crispy outer crust. The yolk will also give a greater depth of flavor to the chicken sandwich once it’s been cooked.
- Spice Blend: You can use whichever spices you like, but popular ones for a chicken sandwich include paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt, thyme, oregano, salt, and black pepper.
To make the crispy chicken, first, slice the breasts in half lengthwise for thinner pieces. Then allow the meat to marinate in the mix for around thirty minutes.
Then, toss the chicken in a flour mixture – flour, more spices, and baking powder – to create a crust. You might want to add a little bit of cornstarch to the flour mix for extra crunch on your chicken breast sandwich.
Prepare a heavy-bottomed pan of oil and bring it to around 350ºF/176ºC. You’ll want to keep it around this temperature the whole time you are frying, making sure not to let it go too far above that. That way, the chicken cooks on the inside but doesn’t burn.
You also want an oil with a high smoking point for this crispy chicken sandwich recipe – go for vegetable oil, sunflower, canola, or peanut oil, instead of olive oil.
Drop the prepared chicken inside and fry until the outside is golden brown and crispy – it only takes around 4-5 minutes. Only fry a few pieces of chicken at a time as too many will lower the temperature of the hot oil and give you soggy chicken. Place the fried chicken on a wire rack.
A more detailed recipe for frying the perfect chicken for a breaded chicken sandwich can be found here.
Can I Use Chicken Thighs for Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Yes, if you prefer. Many fast-food restaurants use thighs over breasts for a crispy chicken sandwich because it can hold more moisture. They are, however, slightly more expensive than breasts.
If you do decide to go for thighs, be sure to buy ones that don’t have bones in them. You might also have to pre-cook the thigh before frying as it can be a lot tougher to chew. Chicken breast is soft and doesn’t require any pre-cooking before frying.
Chicken Sandwich Toppings
To assemble the best chicken sandwich recipe, you’ll need a few extra ingredients:
- Burger Buns: You can use any kind you prefer, but a soft bun is better. Go for brioche, potato, or classic white.
- Lettuce: This will stop excess moisture from getting into the bread. You can use any leafy greens that you prefer.
- Mayonnaise: A classic addition that will cool down the spice from the chicken breast sandwich. You can switch it out for aioli, or your favorite sauce.
- Pickled Cucumber: Pickles might be controversial, but they’re top of my list when I think about what to put on a chicken sandwich. Follow my guide for making the perfect pickles at home.
Now, it’s time for assembly. Here’s how to make chicken sandwich:
I like to toast the buns. Spread butter generously over each bun, then place butter down on a dry pan. Allow to toast for a few minutes and you can flip them over if wanted. You can skip this step if you prefer soft buns.
Spread mayo over the buns, then to the bottom bun add your lettuce leaves, a couple of slices of dill pickle, and then the fried chicken. You can add any other toppings you prefer, like tomato, hot sauce, red onions, coleslaw, mustard, ketchup, cheese – or even double it down with some more chicken. The possibilities are endless.
Once you’ve loaded up your sandwich, add the top bun and enjoy.
What to Serve with a Fried Chicken Sandwich
Enjoy your fried chicken sandwich alone or with a side of a green salad, a black-eyed pea salad, or your favorite. You can also serve it alongside:
- green beans,
- sweet potato fries,
- mashed potatoes, potato wedges, or fries, alongside your favorite dip and sauces.
More Delicious Sandwich Recipes
- Authentic Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich
- Egg Salad Tea Sandwich
- 5-Minute Turkey Sandwich
- Tuna Salad Sandwich
- Cucumber Sandwich
- Juicy Homemade Reuben Sandwich
If you try this chicken sandwich recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Crispy Chicken Sandwich
- 2 fried chicken breast
- 2 burger buns soft white buns; or use your preferred, or brioche buns
- 4 lettuce leaves or your favorite leafy greens
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise or garlic mayo, aioli, or your favorite sauce
- 1/2 pickled cucumber 6-10 slices, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter optional – if you want to toast the buns
- You first need to make the crispy chicken before putting together your sandwich. You can make the chicken in advance for this chicken sandwich recipe, but the best crispy chicken sandwich is made with freshly fried meat and is best enjoyed just after frying.If you already have fried chicken and want to reheat it, check my tips in my post How To Reheat Fried Chicken In Air Fryer.
- Toast the buns – optional, so skip this step if you prefer soft buns.Spread butter generously over each bun, then place butter down on a dry pan. Allow them to toast for 1-2 minutes.
- Spread mayo over the buns, then to the bottom bun add your lettuce leaves, a couple of slices of dill pickle, and then the fried chicken
- Once you've loaded up your sandwich, add the top bun and enjoy.