The Buffalo chicken sandwich, with its irresistible interplay of hot, crisp chicken; squishy bun; zingy, buttery hot sauce; and tangy blue cheese, has the potential for brilliance—but not if the chicken loses its craggy crunch when it’s doused in sauce.
It's Spicy. It's Tangy. It's Crunchy as Heck. Meet Our Buffalo Fried Chicken Sandwiches
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My version starts with chicken breasts; the lean white meat is an ideal canvas for the rich and fiery accoutrements. I halve them horizontally and pound them thin to maximize surface area for the utmost crunch per bite. Then, for the coating, I call on flour for sturdiness, cornstarch for crispness, and baking powder to lighten things up. A drizzle of buttermilk creates a shaggy blend that is pressed onto the cutlets and allowed to set. Next, it’s time to deep-fry—and delight in the way the mixture coalesces into a substantial crackly shell.
A sauce that’s thick enough to be brushed onto the chicken is also key for crunch preservation. I increase the potency of a classic wing sauce by spiking Frank’s RedHot sauce with more cayenne and decreasing the butter before reducing it in a saucepan to make it viscous. A shot of cider vinegar supplements the acidity.
Lastly, I mash blue cheese with a fork and stir in mayonnaise, buttermilk, and vinegar. Shredded iceberg lettuce provides a cool contrast to the spicy, piquant chicken and the milky blue cheese spread. This is a package that’s well worth a little frying.