Soaking the chicken overnight in buttermilk renders the end chicken juicy and tender beyond belief. This yummy sandwich is at its sublime-ist when local tomatoes are in season and you’ve got access to incredible bacon, like western North Carolina’s Hickory Nut Gap or bacon from Alan “The Bacon King” Benton in east Tennessee. Combining these flavors on a summer night will make you swoon.
2 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups buttermilk
4 slices bacon
2 cups canola oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 artisan hoagie rolls
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
4 teaspoons Dijonnaise (recipe below)
1 red ripe tomato, sliced
1. Place the chicken in a small nonreactive bowl and cover with the buttermilk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to marinate overnight or for at least 1 hour.
2. In a cast-iron skillet, cook the bacon until crisp, transferring to paper towels when done. Add the canola oil to the bacon drippings in the skillet and increase the heat to medium or 350 degrees, until the oil begins to bubble.
3. In a second bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper, mixing thoroughly. With kitchen tongs, remove the chicken breasts from the buttermilk and dredge in the dry ingredients mixture until the chicken is completely coated. Carefully place the chicken, using tongs, into the hot oil and brown for about 5 minutes per side, or unti the breast is golden brown and crispy. Remove the chicken from the hot oil and drain on paper towels.
4. Slice the rolls in half and lightly butter each side before place butter side down in a sauté pan or skillet over medium heat until grilled.
5. Build your sandwich like this: on the bottom roll, put 1 teaspoon dijonnaise, then layer lettuce. Place 1 teaspoon dijonnaise on top of the lettuce and alternate dijonnaise with the remaining ingredients in this order: tomato, chicken, and bacon. Cover with the top half of the hoagie roll. Layering the dijonnaise will help keep this mondo sandwich together.
Makes 2 servings
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.
Makes 2 servings