This recipe may look simple, but getting there took two years! There were so many variables: how to season the flour, the marinade, the sauce? Spicy or sweet? Our core question was: What makes a great chicken sandwich? The chicken! Where to find enough good, all-natural meat? And how to portion it? The ideal for 4 is: 2 thinly sliced skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved crosswise, about 6 oz. each. At the Shacks we steep the chicken in a tenderizing sous vide bath; at home, it’s a buttermilk marinade. Buttermilk Marinade:
2 cups buttermilk
1 small shallot, peeled and sliced
1/2 small jalapeño, halved
1/2 small clove garlic, peeled and smashed
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Seasoned Flour:
3 1/2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon celery salt
2 thinly sliced, skinless boneless chicken breasts, about 6 oz. each, halved crosswise
Canola oil for deep-frying
4 tablespoons Buttermilk Herb Mayo (recipe follows)
4 hamburger potato buns, buttered and toasted
12 round kosher dill pickle slices
2 pieces green leaf lettuce, shredded in long strips 1. For the Buttermilk Marinade:
mix together all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside. 2. For the Seasoned Flour:
whisk together all ingredients in a deep wide dish. Set aside. 3.
Add the chicken breasts to the bowl of buttermilk marinade. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.
Lift one piece of chicken at a time from the marinade, and dredge really well in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess flour.
Return the chicken to the marinade, fully submerge one more time, then dredge again in the seasoned flour. Shake off excess flour and set aside. Discard the marinade.
Pour the oil into a heavy, deep pot to a depth of 4 inches. Heat over medium heat until the temperature of the oil reaches 350°F on a candy thermometer.
Use a wire spider or slotted spoon to carefully lower the chicken into the hot oil. Fry 2 pieces of chicken at a time until the crust is deep golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to paper towels to drain.
Spread the Buttermilk Herb Mayo on the bottom of the bun. Add 3 pickle slices and a quarter of the shredded lettuce. Transfer the chicken to the prepared buns and serve.
Buttermilk Herb Mayo
Makes 2 cups
2 cups Hellman’s mayonnaise
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped chives
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Put all the ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
Copyright © 2017 by Randy Garutti & Mark Rosati, Introduction by Danny Meyer. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.