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Fried chicken sammies are having a moment. But you don’t have to wait in line at Popeyes or give your hard-earned cash to an establishment with an anti-LGBTQ philanthropy record (ahem, Chick-fil-A). You don’t even have to eat meat! You can make a finger-lickin’ good fried chicken (or meatless “chicken”) sandwich right at home. 

Buttermilk Love 

Buy a couple pounds of chicken (I like boneless, skinless chicken thighs because dark meat is delicious but if you prefer breast, knock yourself out). Cover in buttermilk seasoned to your liking (my liking is a heaping smidgen of Cajun spice and a few shots of Tabasco). Marinate overnight, then dredge in killer seasoned flour mix (recipe at right). Lay on parchment-lined baking pans and refrigerate until you’re ready to fry. Fill a pot halfway with vegetable oil and heat over medium high heat until it’s “fry hot”—when a few tossed-in crumbs sizzle. 

Fry chicken in batches—do not overcrowd the pot. Use tongs to turn the chicken over after 4 or 5 minutes. When your chicken is gorgeous brown and crispy (about 9 or 10 minutes total), lay it out on paper towels to soak up some oil. Don’t be afraid to cut a piece open for a peek—if your fried chicken looks perfect on the outside but still clucking inside, shove it in the oven at 375 degrees F for a few minutes until cooked through.

Vegan Version

Start with Gardein’s Chick’n Scaloppini (they look like cutlets). Mix a heaping cup of Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce with a few shots of pickle juice. Soak cutlets for half an hour then dredge in killer seasoned flour mix. Pan fry in a quarter-inch of hot vegetable oil a few minutes per side until golden and crispy. 

Killer Seasoned Flour Mix 

Mix a couple coffee cups of flour with kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic powder, and lots of Old Bay seasoning.  

Bun, Sauces, & Toppings

I like a soft bun, but any hamburger bun will do (you can be a little extra by buttering the inside and toasting it on a hot skillet). Slather it with Sriracha mayo (mix a few good shots of Sriracha with a coffee cup of regular or vegan mayo) or honey mustard BBQ sauce (mix a plop of Dijon mustard with equal amounts of honey and your favorite BBQ sauce). I am partial to lots of sliced dill pickles. Feel free to add lettuce, tomato, and/or a nice, tangy coleslaw. 

By Chef Rossi
Photogaphed by Chelsie Craig // Food stylist: Pearl Jones
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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