Cast Iron Fried Chicken Sandwiches


Kosher salt and pepper
teaspoon paprika
teaspoon garlic powder
teaspoon dried sage
teaspoon cayenne pepper
(6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and halved crosswise
1 ½
cups all-purpose flour
teaspoon baking powder
tablespoons Water
large egg whites
cups peanut or vegetable oil
cup mayonnaise
cup dill pickle chips, patted dry and chopped fine, plus ½ teaspoon brine
teaspoons yellow mustard
hamburger buns


NOTE FROM THE TEST KITCHEN You will need a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with at least 2-inch sides for this recipe. Covering the skillet with a splatter screen will reduce the mess that frying inevitably makes. Serve with shredded iceberg lettuce and sliced tomato.
1. Combine 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, paprika, garlic powder, sage, and cayenne in bowl. Measure out and reserve 1 tablespoon spice mixture. Cover chicken with plastic wrap and pound to even 1/2-inch thickness. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle with remaining spice mixture.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and reserved spice mixture together in large bowl. Add water and rub into flour mixture using your hands until evenly incorporated and small clumps form. Lightly beat egg whites in shallow dish.
3. Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, dip chicken in egg whites, then dredge in flour mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Transfer chicken to plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
4. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet. Add oil to 12-inch cast-iron skillet until it measures about ¾ inch deep and heat over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Carefully place chicken in oil. Fry, stirring gently to prevent pieces from sticking together, until chicken is golden brown and registers 160 degrees, 4 to 6 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through frying. Adjust burner, if necessary, to maintain oil temperature between 350 and 375 degrees. Transfer chicken to prepared rack and let rest while making sauce.
5. Combine mayonnaise, pickles and brine, mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in bowl. Serve chicken with buns and sauce.

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