How To Make An Insanely Delicious Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

If you want to learn how to make basic food taste incredible, watch a restaurant cook make himself dinner on his night off.

Most nights Jim Stein cooks on the line at McCrady’s restaurant in Charleston, SC, where he trains under James Beard Award-winning chef Sean Brock (and makes things like Sweetbreads with Appalachian red corn, green garlic, and lovage). But on his day off, when he needs food that’s cheap and easy, Stein makes sandwiches. They cost him next to nothing, but thanks to Stein’s kitchen smarts, they taste like a million bucks. In a new series for BuzzFeed Food, the cook will share a few of his best sandwiches, including all the next-level tricks that make them so good, starting with this Buffalo Chicken BLT.

3. You will need:


Ingredients for 2 sandwiches:

For Buffalo chicken:
6 chicken tenderloins (3 for each sandwich)
3 cups vegetable or canola oil
1.5 cups milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 cups self-rising flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

For sandwich assembly:
3 slices thick-cut bacon
6 slices American cheese
2 tomatoes
4 leaves lettuce (romaine or iceberg)
1/2 cup hot sauce
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 hoagie rolls

Equipment note: It will also help if you have a thermometer to check the temperature of your oil before you start frying. If you don’t, here are three ways to check the temp without a thermometer.

First, set your oven to 350°F and get your vegetable oil in a pan that’s a) large enough to fit your chicken tenders and b) deep enough to safely hold about a half an inch of oil. Then start heating the oil over medium heat. Next, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, salt, pepper) in a bowl and mix them with a fork. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, egg and hot sauce. (There’s a full, written out recipe at the bottom of this post.)

Grab your chicken tenderloins and season them up with a pinch of salt and pepper before the breading process.

The key to a good country-fried breading session is flouring the chicken first so the wet ingredients have something to hold on to. Toss each tenderloin in the flour mixture, then soak it in the milk-egg-hot sauce mixture for a few seconds, then put it back into the flour mixture to completely cover it in delicious gluten. Now that each tender is vigorously smothered in deliciousness, it’s time to fry it.

The oil should be at around 375°F — and it helps to have a thermometer but if you don’t, here are other ways to tell. Carefully dip each breaded tenderloin into the oil and hear the satisfying hiss of frying chicken.

Once the tenders are an appropriate golden brown, place them on a baking sheet and toss them in the 350°F oven for 5-10 minutes until they’re cooked through. No one wants to eat raw chicken.

Slice your rolls and tomatoes and lay everything out just as pictured so you can assemble quickly.

Time to cook bacon: Get a pan on the stove at medium to low heat and pour about a teaspoon of oil in it. Neatly lay your bacon in three strips, and bask in the glorious aroma of sizzling pork belly. Cook them to your desired doneness.

In a separate pan make Buffalo sauce: Take 1/2 cup of hot sauce likeTexas Pete’s or Franks Red Hot and slowly bring it to a light simmer over low heat. Once it’s simmering, toss 2 or 3 tablespoons of butter into it and turn off the heat under the pan. Swirl the butter around in the pan until it’s completely melted and you’ll notice the sauce has thickened. (Congratulations, you’ve just done the culinary technique of “mounting butter.”)

By now, your tenders should be fully cooked and ready to take a dip in the newly thickened hot sauce bath. So take them out of the oven and carefully lay them in the hot sauce. Give them a quick flip in the pan (hint: it’s all in the wrist), or just baste the hot sauce over them with a spoon.

Coat your roll with mayonnaise. Then assemble part of your sandwich in this order from the ground up: bottom bun, spicy tenders, bacon, cheese.

Now STOP ASSEMBLING: Nobody likes cold cheese on a hot sandwich so before you put on the lettuce and tomato, toss the assembled bottom and the top bun on a baking sheet and pop it back in the oven for 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese.

When it’s ready to go, add the lettuce and tomato and you’ve just made your new favorite thing in the world.

23. RECIPE: Buffalo Chicken BLT Sandwiches


Makes 2 sandwiches

Recipe by Jim Stein

INGREDIENTS
For frying chicken
6 chicken tenderloins
3 cups vegetable or canola oil

2 cups self-rising flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
—-
1.5 cups milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons hot sauce

For assembly
3 slices thick-cut bacon
6 slices American cheese
2 tomatoes
4 leaves lettuce (romaine or iceberg)
1/2 cup hot sauce (like Texas Pete’s or Frank’s Red Hot)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon mayonnaise

2 hoagie rolls

PREPARATION
For frying chicken
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Heat vegetable oil in a pan large enough to fit the chicken tenders and deep enough to safely hold about a half an inch of oil.

3. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl and thoroughly mix them with a fork.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, and hot sauce.

5. Season chicken tenderloins with a pinch of kosher salt and pepper before you start breading.

6. To bread: Toss each tenderloin in the flour mixture, then soak it in the milk/egg/hot sauce mixture for a few seconds, then put it back in the flour mixture.

7. Check your oil, which should be at 375°F. Carefully dip each breaded tenderloin into the oil and fry 3-4 minutes, flipping as necessary, until the tenders are a nice golden brown.

8. Place the fried tenders on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for 5-10 minutes until they’re cooked through.

For assembly
1. Prep for assembly by slicing the rolls, slicing the tomatoes, and laying out the lettuce and cheese.

2. Cook bacon: Heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil over medium-low heat then neatly lay your bacon in three strips and cook to desired doneness.

3. As the bacon cooks, make Buffalo sauce: Bring hot sauce to a light simmer over low heat. Once it’s simmering, toss 2 or 3 tablespoons of butter into it and turn off the flame. Swirl the butter around in the pan until it’s completely melted. The sauce will thicken slightly.

4. Remove tenders from oven and carefully lay them in the hot sauce pan and coat them with sauce.

5. Assemble the bottom of your sandwich first in this order: bottom bun, spicy tenders, bacon, cheese.

6. Put the assembled bottom and the top bun on a baking sheet and pop it back in the oven for 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese.

7. Remove from the oven and add the lettuce and tomato.

EAT!

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