Fried Chicken Sandwiches with Hot Sauce Aioli


This is one damn-good sandwich from Larry McGuire and Tom Moorman. The chicken is tender and crisp, and it's topped with a crunchy, tangy slaw and spicy aioli. It's messy and delicious and completely irresistible.

Fried Chicken Sandwiches with Hot Sauce Aioli
Photo: © Douglas Friedman
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins



  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • 2 thyme sprigs

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • Cayenne

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • Two 4- to 5-ounce chicken cutlets, cut in half and lightly pounded


  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley

  • 1 teaspoon ranch dressing powder, such as Hidden Valley Ranch

  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice

  • 4 cups shredded cabbage

  • 1 medium kohlrabi, peeled and julienned

  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and julienned

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, preferably Cholula, plus more for drizzling

  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest plus 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

  • 1/2 garlic clove, finely grated

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • Canola oil, for frying

  • 4 sesame seed burger buns, split and toasted

  • Pickled jalapeños, for serving


  1. Marinate the chicken In a large bowl, mix the buttermilk with the lime juice, thyme, garlic, bay leaf and sugar. Season with cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir in the chicken, cover and refrigerate for 6 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, make the slaw In a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the mayonnaise, parsley, ranch powder and lime juice. Toss in the cabbage, kohlrabi and apple. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.

  3. Make the aioli In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the 1 tablespoon of hot sauce, the lime zest and juice and the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

  4. Make the sandwiches Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a baking sheet. In a shallow bowl, whisk the flour with the salt. Dredge the chicken in the flour. Dip the coated chicken back in the marinade, dredge again in the flour, then return to the sheet.

  5. In a large saucepan, heat 1 inch of oil to 350°. Fry the chicken, turning occasionally, until golden, about 6 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the fried chicken to paper towels.

  6. Lightly drizzle some aioli on the bun bottoms. Top with the chicken cutlets, slaw and pickled jalapeños. Drizzle with more aioli and hot sauce, close the sandwiches and serve.

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