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  • I'm Kristen, a clumsy but determined home cook and crafter living in the Boston area with my husband, B, and I have an interest in all things food and craft.

    This blog was created to keep track of my various projects and adventures. They may not all be successes, but my goal is to remain unintimidated by whatever engages my curiosity.



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Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich is one of my fast food favorites, so I was intrigued by this copycat recipe and decided to include it as part of a “fast food at home” dinner to see just how close it came to the original. I don’t usually expect these types of recipes to come out exactly like the originals because I know that I could never exactly duplicate the conditions in a restaurant kitchen, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. My hope is that I’ll come out with something close, made with fresher ingredients, that I won’t have to worry as much about when it comes to the state of my waistline.

This recipe made a pretty darn tasty sandwich, and there were even a couple of bites where I thought that I might be eating at Wendy’s. I don’t recall tasting any hint of Frank’s Red Hot in the original, but it added a nice flavor to the crispy coating in this recipe. I also added an egg to the hot sauce/water mixture so the breading would stick better to the chicken. For the sake of experimentation, I made some sandwiches by dredging in the flour mixture and egg only (minus the hot sauce). I actually thought those sandwiches tasted closer to Wendy’s version.

Tip: If you don’t want to bother with the setup and cleanup that deep frying entails, you can do what I did and pan fry the chicken in about 1/2 inch of oil.

Wendy’s-like Spicy Chicken Sandwiches
adapted from Recipezaar

Ingredients

6-8 cups vegetable oil (if deep frying)
1 1/2-2 cups vegetable oil (if pan frying)
1/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
1/3 cup water
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets
hamburger buns
mayonnaise
tomato
lettuce

Directions

1. If deep frying, in a deep fryer or cast iron pot, heat 6-8 cups of oil to 375 degrees. If pan frying, heat 1 1/2-2 cups oil (about 1/2 inch in the pan) in a large, heavy bottomed frying pan.

2. In a large bowl or pie pan, whisk together hot sauce, water, and egg.

3. In a shallow bowl or pie pan, combine flour, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, onion powder, paprika, and garlic powder.

4. Pound each chicken breast with a mallet/tenderizer until about 3/8 inch thick. The chicken may be much larger than the bun when it’s pounded thin. If so, you may want to cut the breast in half before breading to make the chicken fit better on the bun.

5. Coat each fillet in the flour, then in the hot sauce/water/egg mixture, then in the flour again. Repeat the dredge if you would like a thicker coating.

6. After all of the chicken is coated, deep fry for 8 to 12 minutes, or pan fry 4 to 6 minutes on each side. After frying, drain excess oil from the chicken by placing it on a cooling rack or on a plate covered with paper towels.

7. Grill the faces of the hamburger buns on a griddle or in a dry skillet (optional) and prepare sandwiches with chicken, mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato.

Posted in Food, Sandwiches | 3 Comments »

3 Responses

  1. Keith says:

    A question, actually – In your opinion, would broiling the chicken (as opposed to frying it) produce satisfactory results? I know it wouldn’t be the same, but “somewhat close” would be nice.



  2. Kristen says:

    Keith, I think that broiling the entire time would probably end up burning the breading outside and leaving some raw interior due to the high heat. However, I think that you could try breading as normal and spritzing the breading with some canola or vegetable oil before baking it in the oven. Then, you could turn the oven to broil for several minutes at the end of the cooking time to crisp and brown the breading.

    Let me know if you try this, as I think it would be healthier and make for less cleanup!



  3. Chrissy says:

    My boyfriend and I gave this a try tonight, and it was delicious! I’m personally a huge fan of the Jack in the Box Spicy Chicken Sandwich, but trying to steer clear of fast food joints. This was the perfect recipe to satisfy my craving. We made it almost exactly as listed above, but replaced the lettuce with more-nutritious mixed greens and used safflower oil instead of vegetable oil. Next time, we’re going to try baking instead of frying by just brushing some oil on each side first. We’ll also give it a try with whole wheat buns, and we’ll try using Vegenaise instead of regular, full-fat mayo.

    Thank you so much for posting this!



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