July 2, 2021

Nigella Lawson’s Fried Chicken Sandwich

Recipe: Nigella Lawson

Try this Fried Chicken Sandwich from the new cookbook, Cook, Eat, Repeat.

Deep-frying one single chicken thigh is a very much less hot and bothersome activity than you might fear. I use my nine-inch heavy-based pan for this, but do use a wok if you prefer.



  • 5 tbsp kefir, buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • 3⁄4 tsp hot smoked paprika, divided
  • 3⁄4 tsp fine sea salt, divided
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1⁄2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 fat clove of garlic
  • 1 small skinless, boneless chicken thigh
  • 4–5 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Sunflower oil for frying, approx. 6 cups for a 9″ saucepan, more for a wok

For Assembling

  • 1⁄4 cup garlic mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Chili Crisp oil or other chili sauce
  • 1⁄4 tsp honey
  • 1 burger bun, or 2 slices of white bread
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Kimchi or pickles of your choice
  • Pink-pickled Onions (see Cherry Tomato Salad recipe)


Yield: Serves 1

Marinate Chicken

  1. Pour kefir or buttermilk or yogurt into a small dish and stir in 1⁄2 tsp of hot smoked paprika, 1⁄2 tsp of salt, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and maple syrup. Peel garlic and mince or grate it in, too. Give a good stir, then add chicken thigh and turn it in the marinade to make sure it’s well-coated.
  2. Cover the dish, then leave for at least 4 hours, or up to 2 days in the fridge. (If you simply cannot wait that long, leave the chicken in its marinade out on the kitchen counter for 20 to 40 minutes.) Take the chicken, in its marinade, out of the fridge in good time to get to room temperature before you start to cook it.
  3. In shallow dish, mix flour with the remaining 1⁄4 tsp each of hot smoked paprika and salt. Lift the chicken out of the marinade, but don’t try and shake it off. Dredge both sides of chicken in the seasoned flour, then dip briefly back into the marinade and dredge again. This double-dredging is essential to get a thick, shaggy coating. You can leave the coated chicken in the flour dish until you fry.
  4. Mix garlic mayonnaise with Chili Crisp oil and honey, and spread both pieces of split burger bun (or a couple of slices of bread) with it.

Fry Chicken

  1. Put a plate lined with paper towels by (but not dangerously near) the stove, if you want to get rid of any excess fat once the chicken’s cooked.
  2. Pour enough oil into your chosen pan to come about 1 1⁄2″ up the sides. Heat until a small piece of bread becomes golden and crisp almost instantly; if you want to be precise, then you want the fat to be at 375°F when the chicken goes in (and at about 350°F as it cooks).
  3. Using tongs, gently lower the chicken thigh into the hot oil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, by which time the coating should be deep gold, very crisp and chicken completely cooked through.
  4. Remove to a waiting paper-lined plate, remembering to take the pan of oil off the heat, and leave the chicken to stand for a couple of minutes while you shred iceberg lettuce and get out your pickles.

Assemble Sandwich

  1. Put a handful of shredded lettuce on top of the mayo on your bottom slice, top with fried chicken, add kimchi, Pink-pickled Onions and any other pickles you want. Scatter with a bit more lettuce and squidge on the top bun or second slice of bread. Go in cautiously: I have more than once burned my mouth.

Recipes from Cook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients, Recipes, and Stories by Nigella Lawson. ©2021 by Nigella Lawson. Photography ©2020 by Jonathan Lovekin. Published in Canada by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.