Believe it or not, there’s an art behind crafting the perfect fried chicken sandwich. Sure, any two-bit hamburger joint can throw a piece of poultry in the deep-fryer, slap it on a bun, and people will eat it. But when a fried chicken sandwich is perfectly executed—substituting all the grease and fat for a crisp shell and juicy middle—the experience can border on the divine.
For the last year or so, chicken sandwiches have been en vogue in New York City, even capturing the imagination of Michelin-starred chef David Chang at Manhattan’s Fuku. Now in Season 5 of PBS’ popular docuseries, The Mind of a Chef, lauded French restaurateur Ludo Lefebvre, reveals the technique behind his own signature chicken sandwich, the LudoBird.
First, the chicken is brined overnight, before getting coated in flour and spice. One of Lefebvre’s secrets is to add the some buttermilk to the flour to give the chicken an extra, crispy layer. After frying the birds (“Golden brown, crispy, and not greasy!”), the chef tops the sandwich with cole slaw, tapping into his French roots by mixing the vegetables with vinaigrette. From there, the whole mess is thrown in a brioche bun and slathered in Lefebvre’s “secret” thousand island sauce.
The best part, though? Each sandwich comes with not one, but two pieces of Lefebvre’s perfectly fried poultry.