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My spicy chicken sandwich recipe was actually inspired by one of my favorite crispy buffalo chicken sandwiches in Boston. This particular chicken sandwich featured chicken dredged in a more traditional hot sauce rather than a buffalo sauce, giving it a little more heat and unique flavor.
My spicy chicken sandwich is made up of fried chicken thigh drenched in homemade buffalo-ish 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 complement 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 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 completely covered. This will also help when it comes to evenly frying. Once chicken thighs have finished marinating, dredge in flour and spices and then deep fry.
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 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 while also conserving oil. Let chicken 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 Coleslaw
The blue cheese coleslaw is comprised of a simple rainbow coleslaw mix and creamy blue cheese dressing. I use blue cheese sparingly so 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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Spicy Chicken Sandwich Recipe
- Prep Time: 60
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 sandwiches 1x
- Category: Lunch
- Cuisine: American, Asian
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 or up to 24 hours in the fridge. Make sure the 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.
- Remove thighs from the marinade and let excess batter drip into the bowl. Place chicken in the flour mix, flipping to fully coat. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the rest of the chicken.
- 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 the chicken internal temp is 165°F.
- While the chicken is resting, butter and toast the brioche buns on a skillet or grill. Submerge/toss the chicken in the hot sauce and ensure it’s fully coated in sauce. Build the 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.
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. The chicken will continue to cook as it cools. 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
What do I do with the flour. You say set it aside and then don’t mention it again
I’m so sorry about this – I fixed it.
Whats your favorite brand blue cheese dressing?
What restaurant was this inspired by?
Blue Dragon in Seaport
Can I bake this instead of deep frying
sure – just find a good recipe for breaded/baked chicken thighs. Just to note, I’ve never made it this way so cannot vouge for taste/texture/etc.