About once a month, my son and I take a ride over to Lexington and visit Shake Shack. My son is gluten free and Shake Shack has a great gluten free burger that he loves. I love their burgers, but I'm a much bigger fan of their Chick'n Shack Sandwich. I love the thick crispy coating on the chicken, the buttermilk herb mayo, with the crisp lettuce and salty pickles. As far as I'm concerned it is THE BEST CHICKEN SANDWICH EVER!
I recently joined a Barefoot Contessa group on Facebook and I noticed they were sharing Ina Garten's Fried Chicken Sandwiches left and right. When I started looking into it I realized that Ina bought the Shake Shack cookbook and recreated the sandwich, sharing the recipe in her Cook Like A Pro cookbook. It turns out that this chicken sandwich is also Jeffrey's favorite chicken sandwich as well.
I'm glad Jeffrey and I have similar tastes. This totally worked out in my favor.
I have been beyond excited to try my hand at this recipe at home. I read the recipe. I watched the video.
NOTE: IF YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE IT DOES REQUIRE PLANNING AHEAD! THE CHICKEN HAS TO MARINATE IN THE BUTTERMILK MIXTURE FOR AS LEAST 8 HOURS!
Also worth noting: People may chose to alter the way they assemble their sandwich. That is up to them, however, the way you assemble a sandwich affects the taste, so pay attention to the directions below when it comes to assembling. Ina refers to this as flavor build. If you don't assemble your sandwich the same, it will make a difference. Also, buy the very best potato buns you can find!
Now, I don't fry often at home for a lot of reasons, but mainly because you have to fry in batches and it is a chore to keep all the food warm so everyone can eat together at the same time, BUT....Ina keeps her fried chicken pieces warm in the oven and serves them all together, so this can totally be a meal that everyone enjoys at the same time! I found the process worked very well for me!
I find that most people love a good chicken sandwich. My family really enjoyed these sandwiches for brunch right before we decorated the tree (I like to cook. I don't like to decorate, so I've procrastinated). The potato roll is the perfect vessel for the double breaded, and very well-seasoned, extremely juicy and tender fried chicken. The buttermilk herb mayo hits all the right notes and adds so much flavor. Some crisp Bibb lettuce and some salty tangy pickles. This sandwich will have you swooning. The best part is, I don't have to leave the house for my favorite Shake Shack sandwich because this one is even better! Thanks Ina!
Fried Chicken Sandwiches with Buttermilk Herb Mayo
Adapted from Modern Comfort Food
by Ina Garten
For The Sandwiches
2 cups buttermilk, shaken
1 shallot, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced crosswise
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 jalapeno pepper (with seeds), halved lengthwise
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 small skinless, boneless chicken breasts (6 ounces each)
3-1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2-1/2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon celery salt
2 (48 ounce) bottles canola oil
6 potato hamburger buns, toasted for serving (buy the best you can find!)*
Buttermilk Herb Mayo (see recipe below)
6 Bibb lettuce leaves
Kosher dill pickles, such as Claussen, thinly sliced, for serving
Buttermilk Herb Mayo
1 cup good mayonnaise, such as Hellman's
2 tablespoons buttermilk, shaken
1 teaspoon good white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1/8 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
To Make The Buttermilk Herb Mayo: Whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk,vinegar, scallions, parsley, chives, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. TIP: Sauces are generally best made at least a few hours in advance. It helps the flavors blend and marry.
To Marinate The Chicken: (This Requires At Least 8 Hours): In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, shallot, garlic,jalapeno, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Place the chicken breasts between 2 pieces of parchment paper and with a rolling pin or a meat mallet, pound them until they are evenly 1/2 inch thick. Slice each piece of chicken in half crosswise so you have 2 pieces approximately the same size. Place the chicken in the marinade, making sure each piece is well coated, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to (but not more than) 24 hours.
When Ready To Cook The Chicken: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Set a wire rack on a sheet pan and place them in the oven. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, celery salt, 1 tablespoon salt and 1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper and set aside.
Pour oil into a medium (9-inch round x 4-1/2" high) Dutch oven such as Le Creuset, until it is 2inches deep.Clip on a candy thermometer and heat the oil over high heat tuntil it reaches 350 degrees. Meanwhile, lift the chicken from the marinade, dredge it in the flour mixture, submerge it again in the marinade, then again in the flour mixture, lightly shaking off the excess. Transfer the chicken to a plate or sheet pan until ready to fry.
When the oil is 350 degrees, carefully lower 3 pieces only into the oil with tongs and adjust the heat to keep the oil at 350 degrees. Don't crowd the chicken! Cook for 5 minutes, turning once to brown evenly. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to the sheet pan in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Sprinkle all the chicken with salt and keep warm for up to 15 minutes, until ready to serve.
To Assemble and Serve: Place the bottom of each bun on a plate, spread with some of the buttermilk herb mayo, then a lettuce leaf, 4 pickle slices, then a piece of chicken. Spread the underside of the top bun generously with more of the mayo and place on top of the chicken, mayo side down. Serve while the chicken is still warm.