Homemade Fried Chicken Sandwich

Once you see how easy it is to make this sandwich, you will be saying goodbye to your favorite drive-thru.

Fried Chicken Sandwich
Photo: Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Rishon Hanners Prop Stylist: Christina Daley
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 25 mins

To paraphrase a saying, "anything they can do we can do better," and that goes for these crispy, juicy fried chicken sandwiches. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are the perfect size to use for a chicken sandwich, because you don't have to spend time pounding the meat into shape. Marinating the chicken in buttermilk, that creamy, tangy, special sauce found in kitchens across the South, is what gives these thighs such good flavor, so don't even think about skipping that part. You can use your favorite green, but we prefer Iceberg lettuce; it adds great crunch and doesn't wilt in the sandwich. The secret to successfully frying a pan of chicken is to let your oil reach the desired temperature and then keep it there. A kitchen thermometer is hands-down the most essential kitchen utensil you can own. If the oil temperature drops between batches, let it rise again before adding your next round of thighs.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 lb.)

  • 2 cups whole buttermilk

  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (such as Crystal)

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • Canola oil, for frying

  • 2 cups (about 8 1/2 oz.) all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted

  • 4 cups shredded iceburg lettuce

  • Dill pickle chips, for serving


  1. Place chicken, buttermilk, hot sauce, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a large ziplock bag. Seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

  2. Add oil to a depth of 3/4 inch in a large cast-iron skillet. Heat over medium until a thermometer registers 350°F.

  3. Stir together flour, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a large shallow bowl. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture, letting excess drip off. Place chicken in flour mixture, turning to coat.

  4. Working in 2 batches, fry chicken in hot oil, turning occasionally, until golden brown and a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chicken registers at least 165°F, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

  5. Spread mayonnaise on each bun. Add fried chicken and lettuce. Serve with pickles.

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