Pimento Cheese Fried Chicken Sandwich

I’m still fairly new to the whole pimento cheese thing – it’s definitely more of a Southern custom and I am a Jersey girl - but after trying this cheese spread on top of a crispy piece of chicken and light and airy brioche bread you will be addicted too. There’s a reason it’s referred to as “the caviar of the South”! Pimento cheese isn’t actually a type of cheese, it’s a cheese spread made of a combination of pimento peppers, Cheddar cheese, mayonnaise and cream cheese. I gently fold the cheese into the mixture so that it is still chunky and the cheese is visible rather than puréed. It’s an addicting spread – I had to refrain from eating the pimento cheese with my hands as I was making it (I’m a savage!). It makes for the perfect topping on this fried chicken sandwich with thinly sliced heirloom tomato, tender butter lettuce and a brioche bun.

 

Ingredients: 

For the fried chicken:

Vegetable oil, as needed, for frying 

1½ cup all-purpose flour 

1 teaspoon kosher salt 

1 teaspoon paprika 

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 

1 egg, lightly beaten 

1 cup low-fat buttermilk 

1 teaspoon Tabasco hot sauce 

4 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs, about 1 pound

 

For the pimento cheese: 

¼ cup cream cheese, at room temperature 

¼ cup mayonnaise 

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 

1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons chopped jarred pimento peppers 

1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onion


For serving: 

4 brioche buns, split in half, toasted 

1 heirloom tomato, thinly sliced 

4 butter lettuce leaves 

8 strips cooked bacon, halved

 

Instructions: 

For the fried chicken:

Fill a large cast iron pan with vegetable oil so it reaches 2-inches up the pan. Heat the oil to 350°F.

In a medium shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt, paprika, pepper and cayenne. Whisk the buttermilk, egg and hot sauce together in a medium bowl. Once piece at a time, dip chicken in the buttermilk mixture then dredge in the flour. 

Shake off any excess flour and fry in the oil, flipping once, until the chicken is golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove the chicken and allow to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. 

 

For the pimento cheese: 

In a medium mixing bowl stir together the cream cheese, mayonnaise and Worcestershire until completely combined. Fold in the cheese, pimentos and green onion until evenly distributed. 


For serving: 

Spread 2 tablespoons of the pimento cheese mixture on the bottom half of each of the buns and top with a piece of the fried chicken, bacon, tomato and lettuce. Close the sandwich and repeat with the remaining ingredients. 

 

Makes 4 sandwiches. 

 

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