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Joy Bauer's Crispy Chicken Sandwich with Tangy Mustard Sauce

Joy Bauer


Chicken Sandwich
  • 2 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup pickle juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, preferably whole-grain
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 whole-grain buns
  • lettuce, sliced tomato and pickles
  • Tangy mustard sauce (makes 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey (optional)
  • Chef notes

    This health-ified version of the classic sandwich is simple to make and seriously competes with the classic deep-fried version. First, I marinate the chicken in pickle juice and then dredge it in a combo of egg, light mayo and well-seasoned breadcrumbs. I find the egg-mayo mixture helps the breading stick better. Finally, I place the chicken on a baking sheet, mist the tops with oil spray and roast 'em on high heat. The finished fillets come out crispy on the outside and super tender on the inside. If you have a wire oven rack handy, I suggest using it on top of your baking sheet to allow the underneath sides to crisp up, too. Oh, and let's not forget the special sauce: a crazy-good combo of mustard, barbecue sauce, lemon juice and light mayo that  takes this masterpiece over the top. You can also add a dash of honey for a sweeter rendition, because, let's face it: You are the sauce boss.

    Swap options: You can use buttermilk instead of pickle juice and gluten-free or panko breadcrumbs instead of whole=grain breadcrumbs.


    For the Chicken Sandwiches:


    Place chicken breasts on a cutting board between large sheets of parchment or wax paper. Using a meat tenderizer or soup can, pound each chicken breast until it's no more than 1/2-inch thick all around. Cut each piece into two, for a total of 4 pieces. Place in a plastic bag or bowl with pickle juice and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to overnight.


    When chicken is done marinating, preheat oven to 450 F and liberally mist a baking sheet with nonstick oil spray or line with aluminum foil. If you have a wire baking rack, I recommend using it on top of the sheets for crispier chicken. Set aside.


    Set up your dredging station: In one shallow wide bowl, add the egg and mayo and mix until well-combined. In a second shallow, wide bowl, add the breadcrumbs and seasonings and mix until well-combined. One at a time, lift each piece of chicken out of the pickle juice and shake off excess liquid.


    Submerge into the egg-mayo mixture. Then, place into the breadcrumbs bowl and pat all over to fully coat. Place on the prepared baking sheet (or on wire rack, if using). Mist the breaded chicken tops with oil spray and lightly sprinkle on some additional kosher salt. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F and the tops are crispy and brown.

    For the Tangy Mustard Sauce:

    While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.

    To serve:

    Remove chicken from oven and build your sandwich: Layer your bottom bun with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and your chicken cutlet. Top with Tangy Mustard Sauce and dig in!