Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich with red pepper aoli

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Sometimes nothing will satisfy you like a good sandwich.  That’s exactly what I was thinking about when out the inevetible “what’s for dinner?” came calling from the living room.  I thought about making thin pork chops, Milanese style, with just a little lemon squeezed over to brighten them up.  But that just didn’t sound good.  It’s not that we’ve had them in awhile; it’s been quite some time in fact.  Still, my mind kept veering back toward a sandwich.

I hadn’t purchased anything for it though, so I rumaged through the fridge to see what I could salvage to make an outstanding sandwich.  I had chicken breasts from the other night (Cilantro Chicken Kabobs) that I forgot to freeze, various cheese and arugula from a rocket salad.  I also found a couple of nice heirloom tomatoes from the farmers’ market, a sweet onion and a nice ciabatta type bread I had bought.  This had the makings of an incredible sandwich.

I knew I wanted it with a spicy kick so I gazed into my spice cabinet and started grabbing.  It needed something more though.  And it hit me-a spicy aoli with roasted red pepper.  Now that I had my recipe decided, it was time to get to work.  Oh, one last thing.  “We’re having chicken sandwiches for dinner,” I yelled back into the living room.  Enjoy!


I butterflied each chicken breast horizontally into 2 halves so I ended up with 2 thin filets from each.

In a bowl I mixed together 3 teaspoons smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons New Mexico chile powder, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon granulated garlic, 1 teaspoon granulated onion, 3/4 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard.  I seasoned the breasts on both sides with a little of the seasoning mix.

I poured 1 cup of flour into a pie pan and added 4 teaspoons of the seasoning mix into the flour then stirred to combine.

I whirled 4 slices of sandwich bread in the food processor until I had bread crumbs.  I added them to a pan and seasoned with 2 teaspoons of the spice mix and stirred to combine.  I beat 3 eggs and put them in another pie pan.  I breaded each breast by dredging in the seasoned flour, then the egg wash and finally the seasoned bread crumbs.  I layed them in a foil lined pan and let them rest in the refridgerator for 30 minutes before frying.

While the chicken was resting in the refridgerator, I cooked a red bell pepper on the grill until it was thoroughly blackened about 25 minutes.  I put it in a bowl and covered with foil.  After 15 minutes I peeled, seeded and roughly chopped it and added to a blender.  I added 1/2 tablespoons chile paste, 1 1/2 cup mayonaisse and a pinch of salt then blended it until well incorporated and then put it in the refridgerator.

This is what the aoli looks like when done.

I sliced some heirloom tomatoes from the farmers’ market and an onion.  The tomatoes were nicer looking than the onion, so that’s what you bgot a photo of.  I tossed a couple handfulls of arugula with 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons olive oil, pinch of sugar and salt along with a few twists of pepper from the grinder.  I added 1/4 inch of canola oil to a wide fry pan over medium high heat.  QWhen it was hot I fried 2 breasts at a time for 2 1/2 minutes/side and drained on paper towels.  I topped each with 1 1/2 slices of swiss cheese and toasted them under the broiler for 2 minutes to melt the cheese.  I cut a rustic pane bread (ciabatta or any flat bread will work) into four equal pieces then cut each piece horizontally into two sandwich slices.  I toasted them under the broiler for 2 minutes and removed.  I spread 2 teaspoons of the aoli on the bottom slice and 2 teaspoons on the top slice of bread along with a drizzle of dijon on the bottom one. I added a chicken breast followed by the tomato, the arugula mix and onion.

And this is the end result served with homemade onion rings.  One heck of a way to satisfy a craving.  Enjoy!

Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich w/ red pepper aoli
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The perfect crispy sandwich to satisfy your cravings.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
Spice Mix
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons New Mexico chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 4 chicken breasts butterflied into 8 thin filets about 2 pounds
  • 1 red bell pepper blackened, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1½ tablespoons chile paste
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4-5 slices sandwich bread ground into breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • oil for frying
  • ½ sweet onion sliced
  • 2 tomatoes sliced
  • 2 handfulls arugula
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper
  1. Mix all the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl. Season the chicken with about 1 teaspoon of the spice mix. Put the flour, egg and breadcrumbs in three separate pie pans. Season the flour with 4 teaspoons of the spice mix and season the breadcrumbs with 2 teaspoons of the spice mix.
  2. Dredge each breast in the flour then egg and then the breadcrumbs. Place on foil lined pan and refridgerate for 3o minutes. To make the aoli add the red bell, mayonnaise and chile paste to a blender and whirl until combined then season with salt and refridgerate.
  3. Toss the arugula with the dressing.
  4. Add enough oil to come to ¼ inch in a wide fry pan over medium-medium high heat. Add the chicken two at atime and fry 2½ minutes per side then drain on paper towels. Top each with 1½ slices of cheese. Toast under the broiler for 2 minutes until cheese melts then remove. Toast bread slices for 2 minutes until lightly browned.
  5. Spread each slice of bread with 2 teaspoons of the aoli, add a little dijon to the bottom slice, top with a chicken breast, tomato slices, arugula, onion and the top.



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