Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Fried Chicken Sandwich and Coleslaw

Growing up,
the summer months were always accompanied 
by a few steadfast activities that made summer feel complete…  
If the following few summertime events did not take place,
could we really be sure summer came and went??

1.  Riding our bicycles to and from the city pool with our towels draped around our necks…for what would be an almost daily ritual of sun-soaked afternoons and lots of swimming…. So much swimming.  

2.  Fourth of July with tall stacks of chocolate-iced brownies, grilled hot-dogs, fun with family friends and the evening would not be complete without our parents putting on death-defying homemade fireworks shows… the hose was always nearby.

3. Festivals… in Cincinnati, you are never further than a few blocks in any direction from a Catholic Church  -- every Parrish had a festival…  We were sure to spend a few summer evenings pulling tabs on “bars and bells” cards and playing .25 cent festival games… loading our pockets with tiny whistles, bubbles and penny candy… all in a good night's work of festival gaming...

4. Family picnics in the park…Our family would load up into the car...and we would get a bucket of chicken and a few sides from our favorite local chicken restaurant. We would take our fried chicken and picnic in the park…My brother and I would always gobble up our meal, so we would have plenty of time to run off to play on the swings, or to throw pebbles into the water…  always a special meal...eating in the woods made the food tastier... and somehow more summery.

All my life… my chicken…if it was fried… it came from the store. These chicken restaurants… aren’t these the establishments where the folks have the special secret recipe… right??

I truly never fried chicken at home…I just grew up ordering our fried chicken out…so it just never happened…

Trust me, we had every other kind of chicken dish under the sun...grilled, baked...casseroles... we just never fried it...

Then fast-forward to a year or so ago—and the "chicken sandwich wars" arrived… and our family played along… We sampled them all…I mean, it’s a hard job and we were certainly up to the task…(I do have a personal winner--btw)

After all the chicken sandwich samplings were behind us…  I decided, I would attempt to make my own version of the a fried chicken sandwich…how hard could it be??

Here’s my version of a  “winning” recipe…. She has never won a blue ribbon (yet)…but she’s a first-class chicken sandwich and you don’t have to look very much further than you own pantry to find one.

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Karri Perry’s Fried Chicken Sandwich
Makes 8 sandwiches


4 boneless-skinless chicken breasts-sliced in half lengthwise
1 ½ Cups buttermilk
1 Cup self-rising flour (White Lily)
½ Cup corn meal
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp black pepper
¾ Cup vegetable oil
Buns (good bakery style or brioche are great choices)
Cole Slaw (Recipe below)
Dill pickle chips/slices
Mayonnaise (Duke’s or Hellman’s)

Slice each chicken breast in half horizontally, creating 8 chicken cutlets out of the four chicken breasts.
Place the chicken in a casserole dish and cover with the buttermilk.  Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight.
To make the breading, combine the flour, cornmeal, garlic powder, seasoned salt, pepper and onion powder in a shallow dish.  Mix with a fork to combine.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the buttermilk soaked chicken from the refrigerator.  Picking up one chicken breast piece with a fork, place it gently into the prepared breading and coat the chicken on both sides.  Remove the breaded chicken piece to a plate and continue the process of breading each chicken breast until all the chicken has been well coated with the breading.
In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the vegetable oil (there should be about ½ inch of vegetable oil in the bottom of the skillet to begin frying the chicken.) Once the vegetable oil is hot, gently place 3 or 4 of the breaded chicken pieces into the skillet. Cook for 3-5 minutes on one side until golden and then gently turn the chicken over to brown the other side.  Repeat this process until all of the chicken is fried to a golden color.  Once chicken is golden, remove the chicken from the skillet and place onto a  lined, rimmed baking sheet fitted with a wire rack.  (Tongs work great for moving the chicken)  Bake the chicken for 15-20 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
Assemble the chicken sandwich:
Prepare bun with good mayo, and dill pickle chips.  Add the chicken and a dollop of crunchy coleslaw.  Serve and enjoy.

Crunchy Coleslaw
4 cups shredded cabbage (green and purple) (Or use packaged coleslaw mix)
3/4  cup shredded carrot (1-2 carrots)
1-2 green onions chopped finely (About ½ cup) (use whites and greens)

½ cup of good mayo (I used Duke’s)
2 Tablespoons buttermilk
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
½ tsp garlic salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Combine the cabbage, carrots and the green onion, set aside or keep in a refrigerated zip-top bag until 20 minutes before serving time.
For the sauce, combine the mayo, buttermilk, vinegar, sugar, garlic salt and the pepper.  Mix well.
Pour the sauce over the prepared cabbage/carrot/onion mixture, toss to coat…let stand  20 minutes before serving.  Can be made ahead and refrigerated…but for a crunchier slaw, prepare just before serving.

Party Idea:
I LOVE to fry all the chicken, and keep it warm in the oven until ready to serve.  Offer a sandwich fixing bar with assorted toppings, so guests can create their favorite chicken sandwich experience.
Additional Topping Ideas: Sliced tomatoes, onion, cheese, bacon ,barbecue sauce, shredded lettuce, avocado slices, jalapenos, french fried onions.

Looking for a dessert??

Look not further, 

visit here for the recipe: Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

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