for Memorial Day: Fried Chicken Sandwich with Old Bay Aioli and Pickled Ramps

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Amidst piles, and piles of boxes we decided to make a couple of Memorial Day appropriate recipes while we're still in our little nest. Our weekend will be spent at the shore for a wedding, a little get away that I am very much looking forward to before the craziness of our move begins. 

If you're going to indulge on a holiday, this is the way I would do it. Robert made thin sliced fried chicken cutlets, stacked high with pickled ramps, shredded lettuce and old bay aioli on toasty bread. The result? Maybe the dreamiest fried chicken sandwich I've ever had. I was sneaking pickled ramps out of the jar as we went, and was so happy we had some leftover. What a great way to preserve ramps since we only see them for such a short time each year! The fingerling potato salad gets dressed with the most delicious mint pistachio pesto, another one that I was having a hard time not sampling before I started shooting. We hope you get some summer party inspiration here, or have found the best excuse to make fried chicken. 

Fingerling Potato Salad with Pistachio Mint Pesto
24 oz fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/2’’ slices
1/2 cup pistachio mint peso (recipe to follow)
1 tbs white vinegar
olive oil for serving
salt and pepper

  • Add potatoes and enough water to cover them to a large saucepan. Stir in vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Remove potatoes from heat, strain off water and set on a rimmed baking sheet to cool. 
  • Let potatoes cool about 10 minutes, then add to a large mixing bowl. Add pesto and gently stir to combine. Season to taste with additional salt pepper or olive oil as necessary. 

Pistachio Mint Pesto
2 bunches of mint, stems removed
1/2 cup parsley leaves
2/3 cup shelled pistachio
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

  • In a food processor, combine mint, parsley and pistachios. Pulse to combine until a coarse paste forms. Scrape down sides and continue to blend, slowly drizzling in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add any additional olive oil for serving.

Fried Chicken Sandwiches with Pickled Ramps
and Old Bay Aioli

recipe serves 2

4 slices country white bread
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
pickled ramps (recipe to follow) 
old bay aioli (recipe to follow) 
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 eggs, whisked
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cub breadcrumbs
1/2 cup AP flour
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tbs butter, divided
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp white pepper
2 tsp old bay
salt and pepper

  • In a large bowl, stir to combine panko breadcrumbs, standard breadcrumbs, garlic powder, white pepper, and old bay seasoning. To prepare for frying, setup 3 large bowls. Working from left to right fill bowls with AP flour, eggs, and breadcrumb mixture. 
  • Place individual chicken thighs between two sheets of plastic wrap and using a mallet or rolling pin, gently flatten thighs until they are approximately 1/4’’ uniform consistency. Place on baking sheet and set aside. 
  • To bread chicken thighs, working left to right place in AP flour, shaking off excess, transfer to egg mixture, coating thoroughly and shaking off excess and finally in breadcrumb mixture, again shaking off excess. When breaded, set on a cooling rack placed atop a rimmed baking sheet. 
  • In a deep walled skillet or dutch oven, warm oil over medium-high heat to 350°. When oil is hot, working in batches with 2 thighs at a time, gently place in oil. Allow to cook, undisturbed for 2-3 minutes or until a brown crust is formed on the underside. Flip thigh and fry an additional 2-3 minutes or until a golden brown crust is formed. Remove from oil and let cool on rack. Repeat with remaining thighs.
  • When chicken is cooling, butter both sides of bread and brown on a hot griddle until toasted. 
  • To assemble sandwich, spread old bay aioli on bread, top with 2 thighs per sandwich, add pickled ramps and top with shredded lettuce. 

 



Pickled Ramps
8 oz ramps, cleaned and greens separated from bulbs
1 tsp pink peppercorn
1 tsp black peppercorn
1 tsp fennel
1 clove garlic, sliced thin
1 bay leaf
1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar

In a pint sized mason jar, combine ramp bulbs and spices. 

In a small saucepan over high heat, bring water, vinegar and sugar to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar and remove from stovetop. Pour over ramps and stir to combine in mason jar. Let cool and refrigerate at least 12 hours and up to 2 weeks. 

Old Bay Aioli
1/4 cup mayo
1 tsp old bay seasoning

  • In a small, nonreactive bowl, whisk to combine.