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Lunch: Tyler Kord’s Perfect Chicken Sandwich

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Photo: Steve Smith, VisionFire Studios

Using Japanese panko instead of breadcrumbs is a tried-and-true chef’s trick that adds crunch, toasty colour, and texture to fried chicken.
Serves 4

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Kord, adapted from A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches

Ingredients:

For the chicken
  • 1 quart (1L) canola or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 4 small chicken breasts, cut lengthwise
  • kosher salt
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) cornstarch
  • 1 cup (500 ml) panko bread crumbs
For the pickles
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 inch (2.5 cm) piece of ginger, peeled and sliced against grain, and processed in food processor
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped several drops of sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) chilles
  • 1 cup (250 ml) white vinegar
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced into thin rounds or planks
For the mayonnaise
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (22.5 ml) white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) water
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup (355 ml) vegetable oil
For the sandwich
  • 4 hero rolls, split lengthwise
  • 8 pieces fried chicken
  • 1 cup (250 ml) drained pickles
  • 4 Tbsp (60 ml) mayonnaise

Directions:

For the chicken
  1. Heat oil in a large pot to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Season chicken slices.
  3. In small mixing bowl, combine egg whites and cornstarch, whisk until cornstarch is fully dissolved and mixture is smooth.
  4. Coat chicken in mixture, let excess drip off. Toss chicken piece by piece in bread crumbs. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  5. Fry chicken until crispy, about 5 minutes, flipping halfway. Drain on paper towel and season with additional salt.
For the pickles
  1. Stir together garlic, ginger, shallot, sesame oil, sugar, chilles, vinegar, scallions, and 1/2 Tbsp (7.5 ml) of kosher salt until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Add cucumbers and let soak for at least an hour and up to a couple of weeks. This makes more pickles than you need.
For the mayonnaise
  1. In medium mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients, except for oil, until fully dissolved and combined.
  2. Very slowly drizzle oil into bowl, whisk until oil is incorporated. If you poured too fast, add the extra water and whisk until reaching consistency.
For the sandwich
  • Spread rolls with mayonnaise, and top with chicken and pickles. Makes 4 big sandwiches.

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