Fried chicken is a classic southern favorite but we wanted to kick things up a notch! This easy version adds a kick of Creole flavor to the batter for a hint of spice combined with a creamy ranch slaw to cool things off.
This post was sponsored by Tony Chachere’s. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
There is nothing like the crisp crunch of good fried chicken. It’s a savory bite that satisfies the salty umami flavor we crave. It’s rich and indulgent and when done right, it’s magic in every single finger-licking bite.
The creamy ranch buttermilk brine soaks the chicken thighs and locks in tons of moisture while giving it a subtle kick of flavor. By seasoning the breading with Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning, it adds that heat without overpowering with too much heat.
The secret ingredient is baking powder in the coating too. This helps with that crunch by drying out the skin of the chicken and adding an extra snap to the bite. The dryer your chicken is the better the batter crisps and let’s be honest, that’s what we’re really here for.
WHAT YOU NEED
For this recipe, you are going to want to get your hands on some boneless skinless chicken thighs. I personally love this one with skin on chicken as well – and think it really adds to the crunch that makes fried chicken magic. But because the chicken is eaten as a sandwich, making sure it’s boneless is a must.
If you can’t find boneless thighs, you can debone them yourself. On a clean surface, carefully carve the bone out. Just make sure that any small bone chips are removed. These are thighs, so you don’t have to worry about making them pretty.
Other than the thighs, it’s a pretty straightforward brine of Ranch dressing and buttermilk and a simple breading of flour spiced with Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning.
I love topping these with a quick and easy creamy slaw of just cabbage, scallions, onion, jalapeno and Tony Chachere’s Creole Style Ranch Dressing just to smooth things out.
A fine bun goes a long way too. You want something that can hold up to the heft of the chicken and slaw and not become too soggy or soft while you’re eating.
If you are feeling wild, a pickle rounds out the whole experience. Just sayin’.
HOW TO MAKE
For success with this recipe, marinate the chicken in the Ranch buttermilk mix overnight. And you can make the slaw ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge for up to a day until ready to eat.
When you are ready to cook, you want to make sure your oil is hot enough to fry the chicken. If the oil isn’t 350 – 375 degrees, things will become soggy as it takes longer to cook. Testing a small piece or using an oil / candy thermometer is a way to ensure success.
Set up a batter station:
Set up a “batter station,” like a battle station, but less intense, to make the workflow easy and less messy helps too. Working from left to right, arrange a shallow bowl with the flour mix next to a baking sheet with a wire rack set over it.
This is the order you will dip the chicken and having it all in a row makes for less mess and easy work before you move on to frying.
Finish by placing the chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet to transfer to the oil.
These steps may seem silly but serve a purpose in making this dish come together quickly and with minimal mess.
Pro Tip: Leave the oven on set at 200 degrees while you work through the frying process to keep the chicken hot but not over cooking it so that you can serve hot sandwiches to everyone.
What to serve with Fried Chicken Sandwiches
It’s hard to beat a crisp potato chip with a fried chicken sandwich. But a large salad and baked beans are pretty good too. And if you are really feeling up to it, a smoked mac and cheese cools off that spicy thigh pretty well too. Heck, I’d skip the bun and put the chicken atop the mac and cheese with the slaw piled on top.
Cajun Fried Chicken Sandwich with Creamy Ranch Slaw
- dutch oven
- Cooking Oil
For the Brine:
- 1 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 2 cups Buttermilk
- 1 cup Tony Chachere’s Creole Style Ranch Dressing
For the batter:
- 1 1/2 cup Flour
- 2 tbsp Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Blend
- 1 tsp Baking powder
For the Slaw
- 1 cup Red Cabbage
- 1 cup Green Cabbage
- 1 Carrot shredded or julienned
- 2 Scallion chopped
- ¼ Onion minced
- 1 Jalapeno finely diced
- ¼ cup Ranch Dressing
- Brioche Buns
Marinate the chicken:
- Place the chicken in a resealable container with the buttermilk and Ranch dressing. Seal and allow to chill in the fridge overnight.
Make the Slaw:
- In a large bowl, toss the cabbages, scallions, onion and jalapeno together.
- Pour the Ranch dressing over top and toss to combine.
- Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Batter and Fry:
- When ready to cook the chicken, heat 3 – 4 inches of oil in a Dutch Oven making sure not to fill beyond 2 to 3 inches from the top for safety.
- Set an oil or candy thermometer in the oil and heat it to 375 degrees.
- Test a small piece of chicken to make sure it cooks, turning golden brown on the outside, in about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and repeat with the remaining chicken, making sure to maintain the oil temperature.
- Check the internal temperature of the chicken to 160 degrees for serving.
- Place the fried chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet to allow any excess oil to drip off.
- Gently sprinkle a little Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning atop the fresh chicken.
Assemble the Sandwich:
- When ready to serve, toast the buns if desired.
- Place a heaping portion of the slaw on the bottom bun. Top with hot chicken and add a pickle if that strikes your fancy and top with the remaining bun half. Serve hot.