- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced on the bias 3/4 inch
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and
sliced on the bias 3/4 inch thick
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 8 slices of bacon
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups plain coarse bread crumbs
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Eight 7- to 8-inch-long rolls, split
- 3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 large bunch arugula, stemmed
In a large bowl, whisk the mustard with the red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup of the olive oil and a generous pinch each of salt, pepper and cayenne. Add the chicken and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the balsamic vinegar, basil and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and onion; let stand for 1 hour.
In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat until browned, about 6 minutes. Drain and coarsely chop.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry; discard the marinade. Return the chicken to the bowl, add the buttermilk and toss. Put the bread crumbs in a large plastic bag and season with salt and cayenne. Add the chicken, a few pieces at a time, seal the bag and shake to coat. Transfer the coated chicken to a large plate and press the crumbs to help them adhere.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil until shimmering. Working in batches, fry the chicken over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let the chicken cool.
Spoon the tomatoes and onions onto the bottom halves of the rolls and drizzle with any leftover marinade. Top with the chicken, blue cheese, bacon and arugula. Close the sandwiches and serve.