bakesale betty's fried chicken sandwiches
hope that you’ve had a fantastic weekend and took some time away to take a breather.
this past week felt preeettty insane because i had a deadline for a professional thing set for the end of the week and a few other things to take care of on top of that. it felt like a sprint that made the hours in the day whiz by, but at the same time made friday seem like an eternity away. i had a few out-of-body experiences where no matter how tired i was, i had to continue pushing through, and even decline things i love like naps and wine because i’d lose precious focus hours i needed to reach the finish line.
throughout the week, all my mind and body wanted was freedom. and just like the good ol’ days of studying for exams in college, i stress-released by diving into the coddling and warm comfort of the anti-productivity nest i fall into. this nest is filled with fun activities like mindlessly scrolling through social media and youtube’s never ending recommendations of meaningless celebrity interviews. i think i spent a good twenty minutes watching a korean boy band, bts, making their rounds with jimmy kimmel, ellen, and graham norton. truthfully (and no offense to the bts army), i’ve never cared about bts, but watching their interviews was a lot easier than doing a bunch of hard work i wish would do itself.
i also want to give a shout out to my #1 bae, natalie, for holding me down, encouraging me, and even cleaning my apartment. and no, i don’t make my friends clean my apartment. she just did that and i sort of got mad because i have this rule where guests should never clean. why nat why!!
anyways, going back to describing this big ol’ mind fog of a week, i couldn’t wait for the moment when the weight of responsibilities would lift off. i daydreamed about all of the wonderful things i could and would do on the other side where i’m devoid of professional responsibilities. but once friday actually rolled around, instead of jumping for joy, my sleep deprivation and exhaustion kicked in and so, i schlepped myself into bed for a nap.
i wanted to sleep forever, but i woke up in the evening and started feeling like i needed to do something else to heal from the spurts of anxiety and stress that i put myself through in the past five days.
i trekked over to the city and got my first facial ever (thank you emily and isabel), popped my airpods in, and took a stroll through tribeca because it was turning out to be a beautiful night. you know in miss congeniality, where ms. rhode island says that her perfect date is april 25th because “it’s not too hot and not too cold and all you need is a light jacket”? well last friday was that “perfect date”, and i was so thankful for the lightness, warmth, and freedom to explore the most incredible city in the world.
i ended up at eataly where i meandered through the labyrinth of cheese, pasta, and everything else there and felt so much peace. i plopped myself on a stool at the bar, ordered my meal, and the world around me fell dim. just like in the movies when two lovers are reunited, a beautiful and warm spotlight shined on me, the bowl of short rib ragu pasta, and what became three glasses of wine for the next hour. in solitude, i savored every single bite and washed each one down with a swirl of crisp yet rich cabernet sauvignon.
it was spiritual, and within me were little fireworks bursting with bliss and gratitude. i was also moved to tears, but i obviously had to hold them back because i was positive that the couple having a nice date next to me would’ve appreciated not sitting next to a girl happy crying alone while eating a bowl of pasta.
i’ve spent a bit more time to recover throughout the weekend, and finally got back up on my feet because i wanted to share a recipe that has only brought goodness into my life. after the last bakesale betty inspired recipe shared last week, i decided that the strawberry shortcake experience only gets better when complemented by betty’s infamous fried chicken sandwiches.
just like that deadline, and all other challenges in life, i pushed through the trenches to get the recipe just right - but this time it was with batter and hot oil. it was frustrating when all my hopes devolved in soggy coating falling off the meat, burnt smoking particles in the oil, smoke detectors going off, and so on. but! it was definitely easier to stay optimistic because my love for perfectly fried chicken is real.
once you get it right, you’ll close your eyes and experience this juicy and perfectly seasoned crispy fried chicken served on a bed of crunchy slaw that has an acidic/spicy/summery tang. oh and that toasted fluffy buttery brioche bun….oof.
i have soooo much love for this recipe, and i hope that these fried chicken sandos bring joy and healing into your lives <3
bakesale betty’s fried chicken sandos
(inspired by bakesale betty, makes 8 small-ish sandwiches)
4 chicken breasts, cut in even halves (not butterflied, just in half)
2 tablespoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 medium red onion sliced thinly + 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 green cabbage shredded, should yield about 5 cups
1 green jalapeño cut in half the long way and sliced into thin slices
2 cups roughly chopped italian parsley
1.5 tbs dijon mustard
4 tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 tbs kosher salt
1/2 cup fruity olive oil for dressing
fried chicken coating and frying
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 tbs kosher salt
1/4 tbs black pepper
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
4 tbs buttermilk used from marinade
4 cups frying oil (vegetable, canola, peanut)
8 brioche buns
chicken prep - best to do this the day before cooking
take chicken breast halves and coat sides with salt. toss into a sealable container (or if you must, a ziploc bag) with buttermilk. marinate for at least 6 hours.
slaw - 30 minutes before serving
take sliced red onions and toss in red wine vinegar in a shallow bowl, let it sit in fridge for at least 20 minutes
toss together shredded cabbage, parsley, and jalapeno - place in fridge to chill in serving bowl
dressing: whisk together mustard, red wine vinegar, and salt in a small bowl. once evenly combined, whisk in olive oil slowly until you get an even consistency. place dressing in fridge
heat up 4 cups of oil in a medium cast iron pan or cast iron pot. oil should be heated up to around 350 degrees. if you don’t have a thermometer, this translates to medium-low heat
while the oil is heating up, in a shallow bowl, toss together flour, starch, salt, black pepper, baking powder, cayenne pepper, and paprika. take 4 tablespoons of buttermilk from marinade and massage into the coating mixture
using tongs, take two chicken breasts out from marinade, remove as much buttermilk off as possible (so that it’s no longer dripping). toss breasts in coating mixture, press in on all sides and dip one end into the oil. if bubbles begin to immediately form around the edges, the oil is ready for frying your meat. if it doesn’t bubble, then wait a bit longer for your oil to heat up.
fry each side for about 5-6 minutes. don’t flip until you see the coating turn golden brown. if you flip too early or too often, it could result in the breading from breaking and falling off.
fry 3-4 breasts at a time at most, don’t overcrowd the pan pleeease - this will result in the oil temp to drop and additional steam which is no bueno for prime crispiness.
once chicken is fried, allow them to rest on a rack. not a plate or paper towels because these guys will trap steam, creating moisture which results in soggy fried chicken bottoms.
pour slaw dressing onto slaw and give it a good massage until properly and evenly dressed. allow the dressing to absorb into the vegetables for at least 5 minutes.
slice brioche buns in half (if not sliced already) and brush butter on insides. toast for 2-3 minutes until the insides crisp up a tad bit
assembly: brioche bottom bun + fried chicken + slaw + brioche top bun —> mouth. enjoy!