Sambal Hot Chicken Sandwich

This chicken is prepared like a Popeye’s or Chick-fil-a chicken sandwich with the infusion of sambal oelek (a must have garlic-chili sauce). Juicy and complex. You got this. 

Scroll down for the recipe



4 chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
3/4 cup of pickle juice
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp sambal oelek
1 Tbsp garlic paste or minced garlic
1 Tbsp salt
Lots of black pepper

Flour Dredge

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp salt
Lots of black pepper


Potato buns
Pickled red onions (do it.)



To prepare chicken breasts, we need them flatter than usual. Put one chicken breast on a cutting board and place some plastic wrap over it. Now use a mallet or the side of a canned good (I used a can of tomatoes) and pound on the chicken breast to flatten the thicker parts to about ½-¾ inch. Don’t hit too hard! It will rip.


In a wide shallow pan (like a baking pan), add all of the brining ingredients (other than chicken). Mix well then add the flattened chicken pieces. Let this brine for at least 6 hours or overnight. Don’t let it brine for longer than 24 hours. The chicken might begin to deteriorate from the acidity.


When you’re ready to fry, take out your brined chicken and let it sit out at room temp for 30 min before frying. You can prepare the dredging flour in this time aka the crispy coating!


Combine the dredging ingredients in another shallow pan (pie pan)? 


Fill a dutch oven or skillet with at least 1.5 inches of canola/vegetable oil. Set to medium heat. To know if the oil is ready, test a small tidbit of chicken to see if it immediately starts bubbling. 


To prepare the chicken: 1. take a piece of chicken and let the excess buttermilk brine drip off. 2. Place the chicken flat down in the dredging mix. Press on the chicken to ensure the flour sticks onto every nook and cranny. Dredge both sides of the chicken then shake off excess flour. 3. Place ONE side of the dredged chicken back into the brine then quickly return back to the dredge. Got that? Flour. Brine. Flour. Double dipped.


Once again, shake off excess flour and place chicken into the oil. Let one side fry for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown. Using tongs, flip and fry the second side for another 5 minutes. Remove from oil and let cool on a wire rack (to prevent the chicken from steaming onto itself and getting soggy).


Once they’re all fried, you’re ready to assemble your dreamy sandwich! Be generous with your mayo on both sides of the bun. Pickles everywhere. You’re welcome.

What if I don't have...

pickle juice?
You can throw in ½ cup of rice vinegar +¼ cup white sugar in place of the magic that is pickle juice.

sambal oelek?
Buy it.

Tell me if you maked this!

Direct any questions or comments you have to my instagram at: @reeniekarim