For this week’s sandwich quest entry, we’re going to be talking about another classic: the fried chicken sandwich. I’ll share with you how I make my fried chicken sandwiches, but keep in mind that there are a ton of different options for customizing your own sandwiches. When in doubt, stick with the base ingredients and work from there.
A Brief History
Like most of the other sandwiches I’ve made so far, the history of the fried chicken sandwich is dark, mysterious, and filled with bits of folklore that are difficult to verify. The first records of fried chicken date back to the 1830s, but it wasn’t until a century later that people started putting their chicken between bread. From what I could find, the oldest known record of a fried chicken sandwich can be found in an ad in a Topeka newspaper called the Kansas Whip. The ad was put in the newspaper by the Booker T cafe in Topeka, Kansas. The year was 1936.
The chain restaurant Chick-fil-A claims that their founder, S. Truett Cathy was the first person to ever serve a fried chicken sandwich, but this has since been proven false. However, while Chick-fil-A didn’t make the first chicken sandwich, they were the first restaurant to mass produce fried chicken sandwiches at their locations across the United States. Up until Chick-fil-A launched their fried chicken sandwich, you could only get them at small, local cafes and restaurants.
Ingredients and Construction
One of the most interesting things about the fried chicken sandwich is its simplicity. To make one, you only need four ingredients: A bun, fried chicken, pickles, and mayonnaise. I know that when I talk about sandwiches, I say the word “simple” quite often, and you might be led to believe that all sandwiches are simple. I mean c’mon, how complex can you make a pile of meat and cheese stacked between two pieces of bread?
However, sometimes when I say “simple”, what I really mean to say is a sandwich is “easy to assemble” or “has few ingredients”. But with the fried chicken sandwich, the sandwich truly is simple. No single ingredient is particularly noteworthy in its own right, and overall the sandwich is pretty basic. There are no overpowering flavours, specialty meats, or fancy breads. Just a piece of chicken, mayonnaise and some pickles held in between a hamburger bun. All of the different flavours just seem to blend together in perfect harmony. It’s everything a sandwich needs to be.
Ok, now that I’m done ranting about what makes a sandwich simple, let’s talk about what else you can do to the fried chicken sandwich if you don’t want to make the base model. Firstly, one of the easiest things you can do is to add a slaw. A good coleslaw on top of the fried chicken adds an extra layer of crispy crunchiness. Plus, if you put a little sugar in your slaw, you get some sweetness to complement the saltiness of the chicken. Next, if you want something else on top of the sandwich besides mayonnaise, you can add some different sauces. My two personal favorites are hot sauce and maple syrup. The hot sauce adds some vinegar to the sandwich and some delicious spiciness. Adding if you don’t think the flavour of maple syrup would work well with your particular sandwich, you could also add honey for a little extra sweetness. If you don’t like any of these options, you can experiment with all kinds of different sauces.
My sandwich follows the basic fried chicken sandwich design, with a few different twists added in. One of the most major changes was the use of store bought chicken nuggets instead of actual fried chicken. I don’t have a frying machine at my house, so this was the closest I could get to fried chicken. I get my chicken nuggets from Costco and honestly, they taste just as good as regular fried chicken.
On top of my chicken, I added pickles, a honey mustard coleslaw, and some maple syrup and hot sauce. Once these ingredients were added, my sandwich was completed.
This sandwich is one of my favorites and my family consistently makes it, about once every month or so. If you’re looking for some sides to go along with this sandwich, I would recommend some french fries, tater tots, or thick cut potato chips. And as always, be sure to enjoy this sandwich with an ice cold Coke. Trust me, it just makes it that much better. If you enjoyed this post be sure to follow and subscribe to my website so that you can get email notifications whenever I post. Next week, we’ll be making a desert sandwich!