What Your Homemade Chicken Sandwich Is Missing, According To Joshua Weissman - Exclusive

Yes, you can singlehandedly win the chicken sandwich wars, even if DJ Khaled and his fast-food chain, Another Wing, are now in the running and KFC's got a tempting new bacon-loaded chicken sandwich (available exclusively in Singapore). But, if you follow Joshua Weissman's advice on building your own supreme version, you're guaranteed gold. Weissman, for the record, should really be an Honorary Fast Foodies host. He is, after all, YouTube famous for replicating fast-food classics — from Chipotle burritos to Subway's Meatball sub. But, as for his most popular video to date? The former Uchiko chef has taught more than 11 million YouTube users how to one-up Popeye's at its formidable chicken sandwich game. 

In a recent exclusive interview with Mashed, Weissman gave us the keys to the kingdom. First — as DJ Khaled must also intuit — Weissman forbids you from skimping on the sauce. "You've got to have a good go-to sauce that you feel good about, a nice chicken sauce, whatever that is," he told Mashed. The YouTube phenomenon is big on mayo-based versions, and wouldn't hate it if you went for a homemade In-N-Out spread. Sauce might feel like an obvious pointer, but Weissman's second and third tips are not.   

Joshua Weissman thinks your chicken sandwich needs more of this

The second path to chicken sandwich glory, as noted by Weissman, is bread. "That is where so many sandwiches go wrong. Everyone overlooks the bun," he said. "They're so focused on what's inside the bun and then they just go buy buns, but it's like, wait a minute. You're ignoring 50% of the eating experience, which is the bun. That's 50-60% of the sandwich. I would argue that's possibly just as important as anything else on the sandwich."

Last, but very certainly not least, your meat might need more sodium than you think. "You've got to season, when you fry [your chicken]," Weissman suggested. "You've got your seasoned flour and your seasoned buttermilk, you should always put more salt than you think you need. There's nothing worse than under-salted fried chicken." Per Weissman, fast food chains don't rule the chicken sandwich wars because of super-secret ingredients. It's because they're kings at salting to perfection. "One of the reasons why people like KFC, people like Chick-fil-A, people like Popeye's, isn't just because their fried chicken. It's because they go hard on the salt," Weissman explained. "[Fried chicken] needs a lot of salt to really sustain the flavor. Because flour has no seasoning or flavor at all really when you fry it."

You can find Weissman's exact recipe for his "Better Than Popeye's Chicken Sandwich" in his New York Times best-selling "An Unapologetic Cookbook," available for sale here.