Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

southern fried chicken club with fresh basil

Recipe by
Alix E
The terminally messy desk, TX

I wanted a summertime recipe that used some of the loads of wonderful fresh basil in our garden, but which didn't require a great deal of cooking. This fit the bill in all respects! The summery goodness of fried chicken, the salty kick of bacon plus the yummy freshness of tomatoes, mozzarella, avocado and crisp, fresh basil on fresh bread made for a substantial and incredibly flavorful sandwich. Would be perfect for serving several at lunch or, as we did, as a satisfying garden-flavored dinner with our favorite iced tea on a hot summer night.

yield 4 -6
prep time 20 Min
cook time 10 Min
method Pan Fry

Ingredients For southern fried chicken club with fresh basil

  • 1
    loaf fresh, sturdy bread (baguette, country, ciabatta, whatever you prefer)
  • 2
    tomatoes, thinly sliced (preferably heirloom or fresh garden tomatoes)
  • 1 lb
    boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 6 slice
    bacon, preferably thick sliced, fried to desired crispness and drained
  • 2
    large balls fresh mozzarella
  • 15-20
    large fresh basil leaves
  • 1 c
    seasoned flour (kentucky kernel recommended)
  • 2
    beaten eggs
  • 1
  • 3 Tbsp
  • dash
    seasoned salt
  • dash
    sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp
  • 2 Tbsp
    olive oil

How To Make southern fried chicken club with fresh basil

  • 1
    Pound chicken thighs to uniform thickness. Submerge in bowl of warm water with a pinch of sea salt for 15 minutes.
  • 2
    Put butter and olive oil in frying pan with lid. There should be enough room in the pan for all the chicken to fit without touching.
  • 3
    Slice tomatoes and mozzarella to desired thickness and set aside. We found relatively thin slices worked best (this is a thick sandwich!) Tear off basil leaves, wash, pat dry, and set aside. Do not bruise.
  • 4
    Add a dash of seasoned salt to the avocado and mash it with mayonnaise to form a chunky paste. Set aside. (Alternatively, you could just mash up two avocados into a spreadable paste; I didn't have two.)
  • 5
    Whisk eggs and put into a shallow bowl for dipping. Put flour in another bowl. If you do not have seasoned flour, you can add a teaspoon of sea salt and a half teaspoon of black pepper and stir thoroughly.
  • 6
    After 15 minutes, remove chicken from the brine and pat dry. Heat oil and butter in skillet until sputtering and butter is just short of browning.
  • 7
    While oil is heating, dredge chicken in egg and then in flour, making sure to coat it thoroughly.
  • 8
    Drop chicken into hot oil and fry for 60 seconds. Turn and fry for another 60 seconds. The flour should form a crisp, slightly brown crust. Turn chicken again, cover with lid, lower heat and cook for 3 minutes. Flip chicken, cover pan with lid and cook for another 3 minutes. Chicken should be crispy brown on both sides, with juices running clear when you stick a fork into it.
  • 9
    While your chicken is cooking, cut your bread to desired serving length. I used a large boule of French country bread. (I would have preferred baking my own, but it's hideously hot and we were under a power advisory, and part of the whole point was not to heat up the kitchen/house!) Toast the outer side of the bread quickly under broiler or in toaster oven.
  • 10
    When chicken is finished, drain on paper towels.
  • 11
    Assemble your sandwiches. Spread avocado/mayo mix on the untoasted side of both pieces of bread. Layer fried chicken on one side, add two slices of crispy bacon. Add slices of fresh mozzarella, then tomatoes. Salt tomatoes. Layer tomatoes with fresh basil leaves, breaking the spines to bruise them and release the flavor. You'll want five or six large leaves. This may sound like a lot, but the flavor's mild and delicate, and that's enough to give it a lettuce crunch without the blandness of most lettuce. Top with the other slice of bread.
  • 12
    Slice sandwich in half, serve and enjoy! I served this with tall, cold glasses of homemade spearmint sweet tea, and it was delicious. If you've got huge eaters in your house, you could throw a handful of crisp kettle chips or something on the side, but these sandwiches are big enough that I'm betting you won't have to do so.