Chicken Panini

Marinated in buttermilk and fried, then topped with some smoky cheese and a spicy jalapeño sauce. This isn't your average chicken sandwich.

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Mar 27 2018, 9:00pm

Servings: 6
Prep: 4 hours 15 minutes
Total: 4 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

for the marinade:
4 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup fine cooking salt
6 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs

for the hot sauce:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 garlic cloves, smashed
6 jalapeños, stemmed and roughly chopped
2 yellow onions, sliced
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup light brown sugar

for cooking the chicken:
canola oil, for frying
1 1/2 cups rice flour
1 1/2 cups cornstarch

for the sandwich:
melted butter
6 soft milk buns, halved
12 slices smoked cheese
1-2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
green lettuce
mayonnaise

Directions

1. Marinate the chicken: In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sugar, and salt. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

2. Make the hot sauce: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add the garlic, jalapeños, and onions and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add in the vinegar and sugar, and cook an additional 8 minutes, or until very soft. Transfer to a food processor and purée until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with extra salt and sugar if needed.

3. Cook the chicken: Heat 2-inches oil in a large saucepan until a thermometer reaches 320°F|160°C. In a large bowl, mix the flours together and add the chicken, tossing to coat. Working in batches, cook the chicken for 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Increase the oil temperature to 350°F|180°C and cook the chicken for an additional 2 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken has reached 165°F. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.

4. To assemble the sandwiches, heat the butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add the buns and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Smear the bottom half of the bun with mayonnaise and the top half with the hot sauce. Lay a piece of cheese on the bottom half of the bun and top with a piece of chicken. Melt a piece of cheese over the top of the chicken and top with a slice or 2 of tomato and some lettuce.