My spicy chicken sandwich recipe was actually inspired by one of my favorite crispy buffalo chicken sandwiches in Boston. This particular chicken sandwich featured a spicier and less buttery buffalo sauce, giving it a little more heat. My spicy chicken sandwich is made up of fried chicken thigh drenched in homemade buffalo sauce, blue cheese coleslaw, dill pickles, fresh cilantro, and a toasted brioche bun. It’s very simple, but each component delivers distinguishable flavors that really compliment every bite.
Chicken thighs are the perfect cut of chicken for a sandwich because it’s very tender and easily pulls apart with each bite. The nooks and crannies (look out Thomas’ English Muffins) will fill with flour and create delicious crispy fried pockets. I honestly can’t think of a better lunch worth the extra effort.
The Hot Sauce
While you can absolutely use your favorite buffalo sauce, I decided to get a little creative and add some additional ingredients. I used Frank’s regular hot sauce and added sriracha, honey, and a little bit of butter. It’s hot, but not overpowering. If you’re looking for more heat, look for Frank’s Extra Hot.
Buttermilk Brined Chicken Thighs
The most important step is to marinate (brine) the chicken thighs in buttermilk for at least one hour or up to 24 hours. This process helps the buttermilk soak into the chicken and tenderize it. I like to add paprika, salt, and pepper to the mixture for additional flavor.
Most packaged chicken thighs come rolled into a circular shape. Make sure you unfold the chicken so all surface area is covered. This will also help when it comes to even fry. Once chicken thighs have marinated, we will dredge in flour and spices before deep frying.
Deep Frying Chicken Thighs
The key to the perfect fried chicken is the oil temperature. Chicken thighs will need 10-14 minutes to fully cook through, depending on the size. The balance is fully cooking the inside without totally burning the outside crust. Use a digital thermometer to ensure your oil is 350°F.
I like to use a smaller pot with just enough oil to fully submerge the chicken, eliminating the need to flip halfway through. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving and always ensure the internal chicken temperature is at least 165°F. Canola, vegetable, or peanut oil are best for frying chicken.
Blue Cheese Slaw
The blue cheese coleslaw is comprised of a simple rainbow coleslaw mix and creamy blue cheese dressing. I use blue cheese sparingly as to not overwhelm the sandwich. My only suggestion is to look for the thinnest shredded coleslaw mix you can find. Some come prepacked with small chunks of broccoli and I usually send those to the trash (or eat them, I guess).
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My perfect spicy chicken sandwich made with fried chicken thigh, homemade buffalo sauce, blue cheese coleslaw, dill pickles, fresh cilantro, and a toasted brioche bun.
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 brioche buns, oiled and toasted
- Fresh cilantro
- Dill pickle chips
- Vegetable, canola, or peanut oil for frying (enough to submerge chicken)
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of salt and pepper
Spicy Buffalo Sauce
- 1/2 cup hot sauce (I like Frank’s original)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
Blue Cheese Coleslaw
- 1 cup rainbow coleslaw mix
- 2 tablespoons creamy blue cheese dressing
- Combine chicken with buttermilk marinade ingredients. Mix well and let the chicken marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours in the fridge. Make sure chicken thighs are unfolded from the original packaged position.
- Meanwhile, mix buffalo sauce ingredients in a small bowl and coleslaw mix in another small bowl. Keep in the fridge until ready to prepare. Prep flour mixture in a shallow bowl and set aside.
- Bring oil to 350°F in a medium-sized saucepan. Target medium-high heat and check with a thermometer. Ideally, you want enough oil to fully submerge the chicken. If not, you must flip halfway through. Carefully place chicken in the oil and deep fry for 12-14 minutes. Remove and let rest/drain on a paper towel-lined plate for 10 minutes. Ensure chicken internal temp is 165°F.
- While the chicken is resting, oil or butter and toast the brioche buns on a skillet or grill. Submerge the chicken in the hot sauce and ensure it’s fully coated. Build sandwich starting with the bottom bun, coleslaw, spicy chicken thigh, 3 dill pickles, and a small bunch of cilantro (stems optional and edible). Top with the bun and serve with sweet potato fries or craft beer fries.
For frying, I like to use a smaller pot with just enough oil to fully submerge the chicken, eliminating the need to flip halfway through. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving and always ensure the internal chicken temperature is at least 165°F. Canola, vegetable, or peanut oil are best for frying chicken.
- Serving Size: 1 sandwich
- Calories: 766
- Sugar: 19.8g
- Sodium: 3343mg
- Fat: 37.7g
- Saturated Fat: 11.5g
- Carbohydrates: 59.6g
- Fiber: 2.6g
- Protein: 27.5g
- Cholesterol: 140mg
Keywords: spicy chicken sandwich, fried chicken sandwich, buffalo chicken sandwich