Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sourdough Sandwich With Black-Garlic Mayo

“When I do my food I always think about the balance; about the balance of the sweetness, the saltiness and the acid in it,” says Barry Susanto, chef and co-owner of Richmond’s Indonesian-influenced sandwich shop Warkop. “Sometimes you eat food that’s a bit too rich or too light – it doesn’t feel like you’re really full.”

There should be no such problems here, with Susanto’s fried-chicken sandwich perfectly balancing the dialled-up flavors of crispy chicken, zingy kohlrabi pickle and the intense umami of black-garlic mayonnaise.

The night before

Susanto recommends prepping a few of the components the day before. Start by splitting and brining the chicken thigh – this allows time for the buttermilk to work its magic. “Buttermilk gives tenderness to the chicken and a little bit of creaminess as well,” says Susanto. “I put salt and pepper in the brine as well, and that helps so that the chicken isn’t bland.”

It’s best to give the pickled kohlrabi a night in the fridge too, allowing all those flavors to really penetrate. It’s often overlooked, but Susanto loves kohlrabi for its robust crunch, even when pickled. “I feel like kohlrabi is underrated,” says Susanto. “When I think of kohlrabi, you mix an apple and a cabbage – the texture is quite firm and juicy.” The pickle should keep for up to a week in the fridge.

The mayonnaise can be done ahead of time or on the day, but whichever way you go you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the star of the mayo show: black garlic. “The black garlic is quite sweet and has a lot of umami in there,” says Susanto. Add your peeled black-garlic cloves to some Kewpie mayonnaise (the superior choice, according to Susanto) and blend. Use a hand blender if you’ve got one, but a standard blender is fine too. Remember to only add the tarragon once the garlic and mayonnaise are blended – the machine will bruise the delicate herb.

Sandwich day

With the prep done, everything comes together quickly the next day. You can use a deep-fryer if you have one, but a sturdy saucepan is fine too. “Don’t forget to season your chicken after you fry it, too” Susanto says. “While it’s hot, put some salt and pepper on so it sticks, because when it’s cold it’s not sticking anymore.” For maximally melted cheese, Susanto recommends adding the slice to the chicken while it’s cooling on the rack.

Finally, assemble. Susanto is building his sandwich on two fresh slices of Abbott’s Bakery sourdough with grains and seeds. “I feel like when it’s on plain sourdough or plain rye it’s nice, but I really like the texture in the grain and seeds.”

Buttermilk-chicken sourdough sandwich

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 chicken thigh fillet (approx. 130g)

330ml buttermilk

1 pinch white pepper

70g plain flour

2 eggs, beaten

250g panko crumb, seasoned with flake salt and white pepper

1 slice of American cheddar cheese

2 slices of Abbott’s Bakery Sourdough Grains & Seeds

Pickled kohlrabi

250ml white wine vinegar

125ml beaver sugar

150ml water

black peppercorn

thyme

1 kohlrabi, cut into matchsticks (you can use radish or cabbage instead)

Black-garlic-and-tarragon mayonnaise (Serves 5)

4 cloves black garlic

250g Kewpie mayo

1 sprig of fresh tarragon, chopped

Method:

Prepare the chicken thigh, pickle and mayonnaise the day before. Add buttermilk, salt and pepper to a bowl. Butterfly and flatten the chicken thigh with a meat mallet or rolling pin. Brine it overnight in the buttermilk mix.

To make the pickle brine, add white-wine vinegar, sugar and water to a pot and bring it to a boil.

While waiting for it to boil, peel and cut the kohlrabi into matchsticks and place in a heat safe container. Once the pickling liquid has boiled, pour the liquid over your matchstick-sized kohlrabi and put it in the fridge.

For the mayonnaise, peel black garlic and put it in a measuring jug. Using a hand blender, blend it with the Kewpie and add tarragon.

On the day, prepare the crumbing mix using 3 different vessels for flour, egg and panko crumbs.

Shake off the excess buttermilk liquid and roll the chicken in the flour, then the egg mix, and finally the breadcrumbs. Fry the chicken at 160°C for 3 minutes. Ensure temperature in the thickest part of the chicken reaches 73°C. Put the chicken on a tray with paper towel and season it with flaked salt and white pepper while it’s hot.

To assemble, put a dollop of black-garlic-and-tarragon mayo on both sides of the Abbott’s Bakery Sourdough Seeds & Grains and spread evenly. Place fried chicken on the bread, and top with American cheddar cheese and pickled kohlrabi. Place the other slice on top and serve.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Abbott’s Bakery.

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