The 20 Minute Fried Chicken Sandwich

The weeknight-friendly version of your favorite fried meal.

2 sandwiches

Time: 20 mins

By Ethan Chlebowski

This recipe was developed to make a crispy fried chicken sandwich that tastes great but is done in the least amount of time possible with ingredients I always have in the fridge or pantry, and requires only simple cleanup. Check out the original video for all the details.

Ethan Chlebowski

Ethan Chlebowski



  • Chicken

    • chicken thighs
      , boneless
    • milk
      ~100 g
    • salt
      a sprinkle
    • vinegar
      a splash
  • Dredge

    • flour
      50 g2 parts
    • cornstarch
      25 g1 part
    • black pepper
      a sprinkle
    • paprika
      a sprinkle
    • chili powder
      a sprinkle
    • garlic powder
      a sprinkle
    • dried oregano
      a sprinkle
    • salt
      a sprinkle
    • neutral oil
      for frying
  • Bun sauce

    • mayonnaise
      1 part
    • dijon mustard
      1 part
    • hot sauce
      1/2 part
  • Remaining sandwich components

    • brioche buns
    • lettuce
      , thinly sliced
    • pickled onions


Step 1: Marinate the chicken

Place chicken thighs into a bowl with the milk (you only need enough milk to coat the chicken), salt, and a splash of vinegar. Roughly mix to combine.

Set that aside to for just a few minutes while you prep the flour and dredge.

Step 2: Heat the oil & mix the dredge

Set a Dutch oven, wok, or tall pot over medium heat and add enough neutral oil to fry the chicken thighs (probably about 2 inches or 5 cm deep).

While that's coming to temp, combine the flour, cornstarch, and spices in a wide bowl or small sheet tray.

Step 3: Dredge the chicken

Get a few spoonfuls of the milk marinade from the chicken bowl and drizzle it into the dredge. Mix this in to create nice clumps that will create extra textural bits when fried.

Move the chicken thighs to the flour mixture. Discard the remaining milk marinade. Flip and press the chicken thighs into the dredge until completely coated.

  • You want a craggy, thick layer that is sticking onto the meat.

Step 4: Fry the chicken

At the stove, use a thermometer to verify that the oil is at 375°F/190°C.

Slowly lay the chicken thighs into the oil and set a timer as they . After a few minutes, flip them to ensure even .

  • Meanwhile, you can wash your milk bowl, the excess dredge, and wipe down your work surfaces. Always clean as you go.

In total, the thighs should fry for around 8 minutes, but check their internal temperature with a thermometer to ensure they’ve reached at least 165°F/73°C.

Move the fried thighs to a paper towel on a wire rack, dab off any excess oil, and sprinkle with salt immediately.

Step 5: Assemble the sandwich & cleanup

Mix up the sauce ingredients and adjust ratios by taste, if desired. Optionally toast the buns.

For each sandwich, start with some sauce on the bottom bun, followed by pickled onions, romaine lettuce, the fried chicken, more sauce on top, and then close with the top bun.

  • NOTE: Don't waste your frying oil. Let it completely cool down, then whenever you can come back to it, set a paper towel over a strainer and filter the oil through. Keep in an airtight container and use to for another deep frying recipe.


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