12ozboneless, skinless, chicken breasts trimmed of any fat, cut in half crosswise, and pounded to ½" thin
2large egg whiteslightly beaten
2quartsvegetable oilor peanut oil
thinly shredded lettucepickles, and mayo for serving
Combine the salt, paprika, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, sage, and cayenne in a small jar. Season the chicken with all but 1 tablespoon of the spice mix.
Prep a baking rack with aluminum foil. Place a wire rack over foil.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and remaining 1 tbs spice mix in a large shallow bowl.
Whisk the egg whites in another large shallow bowl.
Add the water to the flour mixture and, using fingers, mix until there are shaggy pieces and it has dissolved.
Dip the chicken in the egg whites, allowing excess to drain off, then dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, patting for a nice coating. Transfer to the wire rack. Repeat until all pieces are prepped.
Place in fridge for 30 minutes up to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, pour the oil, 1 ½ inches deep, into a large heavy pot or Dutch oven (with high sides). Heat to 325 to 350.
When ready, carefully place each piece of chicken in the pot, stirring to avoid stickage.
Fry for about 4 to 5 minutes, flipping once halfway through (chicken should temp 160 degrees F).
Transfer to a wire rack to drain and cool before serving on rolls with mayo, shredded lettuce, and a pickle.