Some are over the fried chicken sandwich wars, simply exhausted by the onslaught of fast food chains rolling out take-after-take on the humble sandwich that Chick-fil-A dubiously takes credit for inventing. There are others, however, who can't get enough of crispy, juicy fried chicken on a bun. But even those in the latter camp may find themselves fatigued with preparations that seem to mirror each other.
For those folks who still go hard for fried chicken sandwiches and want to make them at home, there is a sweet, spicy, umami-forward ingredient that can help reimagine what the hearty sandwich can be — gochujang. Hailing from Korea, gochujang is a paste of fiery Korean chili powder, glutinous rice, fermented soybean powder, barley malt powder, and salt. The result is a thick, sticky, smoky, and sweet red condiment with a smoldering heat that creeps up on you.
While it could be spread directly on a bun, it more ably serves a fried chicken sandwich as a star component of a sauce. There are many ways to go about this, from creating an intoxicating glaze for the poultry itself to making a more straightforward condiment, helping you unlock untold levels of fried chicken sandwich goodness.
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Stir Up The Spice
A lot of fried chicken sandwiches that aren't going the austere route hinge on a secret sauce to make the whole affair pop. That could be a punchy honey mustard, a smoky barbecue sauce, or a tangy Buffalo sauce. Gochujang, bold and assertive, stands toe-to-toe with these classics, and making a proper sauce from it couldn't be easier — with the obvious move being Gochujang mayo.
But before you attempt to whip the two together, keep in mind that gochujang is thick, so you may want to thin it with a bit of warm water, rice wine vinegar, or lime juice to avoid it clumping in your mayonnaise. You can also gently warm the gochujang in the microwave for a few seconds to loosen it up a bit, just take care not to heat it so much it may cause the mayonnaise to separate. However, if mayonnaise isn't your bag, take gochujang in the direction of a teriyaki or barbecue sauce.
Ingredients like soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, or even ketchup add complexity and depth that is slathered over a crunchy breast or thigh. Play around with proportions to find what works for you, be that a touch more spice, sweetness, or acidic tang. A sauce such as this can also be heated through and tossed with the fried chicken to create a sticky glaze. To serve, pile a crunchy Napa cabbage slaw on top, and enjoy a nicely spiced fried chicken delight.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.