These Crispy Chicken Burgers are mouthwatering deliciousness! The chicken tenderizes in a buttermilk marinade and is fried into a Southern Classic. Slap it onto a buttery brioche bun with a few pickles for the Best Crispy Chicken Sandwich.
Oh my goodness, it doesn't get better than this Chicken Burger! It reminds me of an original Chic-fil-a sandwich, but with a better bun. Sorry, I said it.
This burger pairs extraordinarily well with my Hot Honey, Homemade Honey Mustard, Wing Stop Ranch or Chipotle Mayo. The honey mustard recipe has a spicy or regular version. Just as a note, this sandwich is so good, it doesn't necessarily need sauce, but I'm a big fan of all things saucy!
Why You'll Love This Recipe:
- The Crispy Crunchy edges will transport you into flavor town!
- It's tenderized and marinated in a buttermilk mixture to make the perfect juicy chicken.
- The recipe is really simple to follow with easy instructions.
- Get ready to impress your family and friends with this amazing Southern Fried Classic.
Chicken Breasts: Chicken breasts are pounded into an even thickness and get nice and juicy from the buttermilk marinade. Because they are fried, they don't get dried out. I believe the chicken breast brand really matters. I personally love the brand Bell and Evans, from Whole Foods, and my absolute favorite is Smart Chicken. Their chicken breast are always tender and super clean, to where there is hardly any need for trimming.
All Purpose Flour, Cornstarch and Spices: Creates the crunchy, crispy breading on the outside of the chicken. You might be saying, why cornstarch? Cornstarch creates an extra crunchiness and golden color to the breading. An article from Bon Appetit, titled 4 Brilliant Ways to Cook with Cornstarch, states that substituting cornstarch for half of the flour for fried chicken brings in a golden color that the flour is unable to do on its own. In this recipe, I didn't do a 50/50 mixture, but I can assure you that the cornstarch did it's job and it makes a nice golden crust. In this recipe, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder and salt are used in combination for a smoky, sweet, and spicy flavor profile.
Vegetable Oil- Used for frying. Vegetable oil's high burning point and neutral taste make it a great option for frying chicken. Peanut Oil also works for this recipe.
Brioche Buns and Pickles- For completing the chicken sandwich. Brioche buns are buttery and amazing. They are 100% worth the extra cost. I get really serious about my pickles for chicken burgers. I usually look for them in the deli, where the high class pickles live. These were Boar's Head Kosher Dill Pickle Chips and I highly recommend.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions & Variations:
- You can use chicken thighs in this recipe, but I prefer chicken breast because it's easier to trim up and it's only white meat. I tested the thighs, and they were very tender and yummy too, but I got a couple of bites where there were evidence of veins or tendons. I'm sure if you trim them better than I did, this could be avoided, but I prefer breasts in this recipe.
- Missing buttermilk? This article from Tastes Better from Scratch has lots of options on How to Make Buttermilk at home with different variations.
- If you don't like using vegetable oil, peanut oil is a good option.
- Looking to spice these up? Double the chili powder and add additional hot sauce to the buttermilk batter. Really like heat? Once they come out of the fryer, drizzle on some hot honey. YUM!
- An American Cheese slice with a few strips of bacon on each sandwich is also delicious.
How to Make Fried Crispy Chicken Burgers:
Here are the Step by Step Instructions to make these Chicken Burgers.
**Leave the chicken breast on the countertop for 30 minutes prior to starting the recipe. This is to allow it to become room temperature. If we dip the cold chicken into the oil, it will cause the oil temperature to drop quickly.
Step 1: Prepare the Chicken
Trim the excess fat, veins and tendons off the chicken. Remove the super thin ends, so everything cooks evenly. Using a meat tenderizer, pound the thickest portion of chicken breast between 20 and 30 times to make it more even in thickness.
Step 2: Season Chicken
Pat dry and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Step 3: Prepare the Buttermilk Marinade
Into a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and hot sauce. Place chicken in the marinade and allow it to soak for 30 minutes.
Step 4: Prepare the Batter
Into another large bowl, prepare the breading mixture by whisking together the flour, cornstarch, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder and salt. Set aside.Dredge 2 pieces of chicken into the breading and coat both sides. You want the chicken completely covered. Leave the remaining breast in the buttermilk for now.
Step 5: Heat the Oil.
Pour the vegetable oil into a large dutch oven over medium heat. Allow the temperature to reach 370 degrees. *A thermometer is must have for this recipe! I like using a candy thermometer. It is extremely important to allow the temperature to reach 370 degrees before adding the chicken. If the oil is not hot enough, you will end up with an oily, soggy mess.
Step 6: Fry the Chicken
Carefully place the 2 breaded chicken breasts into the dutch oven. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes on one side, then 2 to 4 minutes on the other side. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, then remove onto rack.
*Important Note: Make sure to keep checking on the oil temperature. If it drops below 330, you need to turn the heat up a bit. It should stay between 330 and 350 degrees while they are cooking.
Step 7: Cooking the Next Batch
Before starting the next batch, allow the heat to reach 370 degrees before adding chicken. Dredge chicken in breading and add to dutch oven. *I like to wait to add breading right before it goes in for frying. When testing the recipe first, I allowed it to sit on a plate during the first batch, and it wasn't as crispy this way.
Step 8: Cool on rack
Place on baking rack to allow any access grease to drip off. Serve on a bun with pickles to complete this Crunchy Chicken Burger!
- My favorite trick for using a meat tenderizer is to cover the whole entire cutting board with the chicken in plastic wrap, tucking the edges around the back of the cutting board. This is more sanitary and helps you keep a nice clean kitchen. Nobody wants flying chicken juice. (See photo above in step 1)
- The oil temperature is everything in this recipe. You need to start each batch with a temperature of 370-375 degrees and do not let the oil drop below 330 degrees while cooking. It's important to have a thermometer ready. I used a candy thermometer, which is great for deep frying.
- It's a MUST to remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes prior to starting the recipe, so it can come to room temperature. This will help keep the oil temperature higher.
- When moving through batches, I like to dredge the chicken breast in the breading right before it goes in for frying. Just leave the chicken in the buttermilk until the oil reaches between 370 and 375 degrees again.
Yes! Using cornstarch along with all purpose flour creates a nice, crispy and golden crust on fried chicken.
Maybe we should say secrets. Here are some of my top tips..
1. It's all about the oil temperature. If it's not hot enough, you will get soggy, oily chicken and fast. Use a thermometer, pretty much the whole time. I like a candy thermometer for deep frying and I use a digital instant read just to double check it.
2. Use buttermilk for the marinade. It helps to tenderize the chicken.
3. Trim up the meat and pound it into even thickness. This helps the chicken stay juicy and cook evenly.
4. Don't put cold chicken into the fryer or overcrowd the fryer. It will cause the oil temp to drop.
5. Use a neutral oil like vegetable oil with a high burning point.
6. Mixing a bit of cornstarch into the flour breading will allow for a nice crispy exterior.
7. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then add more seasoning to the breading...Lots more!
With an oil temperature at 370 degrees, chicken breast that is fully submerged in oil will fry for about 5 minutes on one side, then 3 to 4 on the other side, for a total of 8 to 9 minutes. Chicken will be cooked fully when the internal temperature reads 165 degrees.
In the South, it's a pickle and a bun and call it a day. Seriously though, you can add any burger toppings from guacamole to cheese and bacon, to lettuce, onion and tomato. Whatever goes!
What to Serve with Buttermilk Fried Chicken Burgers:
The possibilities are endless with these Fried Chicken Burgers. A lot of times, I will be in a hurry and throw some frozen fries in the air fryer or these easy Air Fryer Mini Potatoes or Skillet Mac and Cheese. I also love simple sides you can prep ahead of time like my pulled pork coleslaw, party potatoes and Hawaiian macaroni salad.
If you are looking for healthier sides, try my Parmesan Bacon Brussel Sprout Salad. This salad is fabulous with my honey mustard recipe, so you could make a big batch and use it for the salad and chicken burgers.
Burger Sauces You Will Love:
If you tried this Chicken Burger Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!Print