Fried Chicken Sandwich with Maple Bacon & Pimento Cheese
Makes 8 sandwiches
For the Chicken
- 4 large boneless chicken breasts
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne + 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne, divided
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Canola oil for frying
For the Pimento cheese
- 2 cups cheddar cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 cup diced pimento
- salt & pepper
- 8 burger buns
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup lettuce
- 1/2 cup dill pickles, thinly sliced
- 16 slices thick cut bacon
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Special Equipment: Deep fry thermometer
Cut each chicken breast in half and place in a large freezer bag. Cover the chicken with your buttermilk, and 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne. Shake the bag to make sure the chicken is completely coated. Refrigerate overnight.
In the base of a stand mixer, combine all of your cheese ingredients, and mix on low until combined (about 3 minutes). Transfer to an airtight container. (Cheese will keep for several days).
Preheat your oven to 350.
Line a large baking tray with parchment paper, lay out your bacon, and baste both the top and bottom with maple syrup. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning half way through, until crispy. Drain any excess grease on paper towel and set aside.
Heat 3 inches of canola oil in a deep, heavy pot to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine flour, garlic powder, sea salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and stir together. Working in batches, dredge your chicken in the flour and fry for 7 - 8 minutes, turning several times, until golden brown.
Build your chicken burgers with a tablespoon pimento cheese, one chicken filet, a slice of tomato, 2 slices of bacon, pickles, lettuce, and top with one more tablespoon of cheese.
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