Healthy “fried” chicken sandwich with a panko crusted chicken cutlet, homemade healthy ranch sauce, toasted buns & piled with thinly sliced red onion, tomato and arugula for a delicious, easy chicken sandwich without the deep-fryer!
How to Cut the Chicken
A major key in cutting the chicken for these sandwiches is to have a very sharp knife. Set the chicken breast on a cutting board and first trim off any excess fat and discard. Using the knife and your hand on top of the chicken, cut the chicken breast lengthwise (butterflying it, but cutting all the way through) so that you have two, equal-sized thin chicken cutlets.
Then, cut those pieces in half height wise so that you have 4 equal-sized, square/circular cutlets of chicken.
Using a meat hammer, gently pound the chicken cutlets so that they are even in height, about ½ inch. If you don’t have a meat hammer, 1. You should get one! And 2. You can use a glass the same way, just gently pound the chicken. This also tenderizes the meat. Making sure the chicken is thin is key to the fast cooking time and golden outside.
Dredging the Chicken
Since we aren’t actually frying the chicken (it’s more of a katsu chicken situation), we’ll dredge the chicken in egg and panko bread crumbs. I like to smash some of the panko up a bit so that there’s some of it that’s more of a flour consistency so that it coats the entire piece of chicken.
First take an egg and crack it into a shallow bowl. Using a fork, whisk the egg and set aside for your dredging station. On a plate, spread out the panko bread crumbs and season with ½ tsp salt and pepper. Mix it with a fork until well combined.
Using tongs or your fingers, pick up a piece of chicken and dip it in the egg wash, then the panko. Shake off excess (it will get crispier this way) and set aside on a plate.
Cooking the Chicken
To cook the chicken, heat a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. It may get smoky in your home, so I suggest turning on your oven fan and opening a window.
After the skillet has been heating for 5 minutes, add a small layer (a couple tablespoons) of oil into the pan. Allow it to heat for another minute and then add the chicken cutlets to the skillet, being careful not to overcrowd- you may need to do it in batches.
Because the chicken is so thin, it doesn’t take long for them to cook. Sear on both sides until golden brown, about 2.5-3 minutes per side.
Homemade 3-Ingredient Ranch
The homemade ranch in this Healthy “Fried” Chicken Sandwich is just dynamite- and so easy to make! I simply took ½ cup plain Greek yogurt and added the juice of 1 lemon. I then added 1-2 tsp of Simply Organic Peppercorn Ranch Seasoning. If you don’t have or can’t find that seasoning, you can add any ranch seasoning packet, or use ranch spices like a combination of dried dill, garlic and parsley.
If you want a bit of heat, mix in some sriracha!
Assembling the Sandwich
To assemble the sandwich, I like to first toast the bun in a skillet face side down for a couple of minutes. Keep an eye on it because it can burn easily.
Then, I smear both sides of the bun with the homemade 3-ingredient ranch, then add a chicken cutlet. On top of that, add the sliced tomato and thinly sliced red onion. With the tomato and red onion, it’s important to have them sliced very thinly. I like to use a mandolin slicer to achieve uniform, even slices. Then top with some arugula and top with the other half of the bun!
What to Eat with the Healthy "Fried" Chicken Sandwich
Healthy "Fried" Chicken Sandwich with 3-Ingredient Ranch
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 1 egg
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 4 brioche buns
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 lemon
- 1-2 tsp Simply Organic Peppercorn Ranch seasoning
- 1/2 red onion, sliced very thinly
- 1 beefsteak tomato, sliced
- Take the chicken breast and slice it lengthwise (similar to butterflying it) so that there are two, equal-sized, thin cutlets. Then cut those in half again, height wise, so that you have 4 semi square/round pieces of chicken.
- Using a meat hammer (use a large glass if you don’t have one), gently pound the meat so that it is about ½ inch thin.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk the egg. On a separate plate, spread out the panko and season with the salt and pepper.
- Take the chicken cutlets and dip them in the egg, then coat in the panko, shake off excess and place on a separate plate.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes- it may get smoky, so turn on your oven fans/open a window. Add 2 tbsp oil (a thin layer) and add the chicken cutlets. Allow to cook for 2.5-3 minutes per side, until golden brown.
- In a small bowl, mix together the plain Greek yogurt, ranch seasoning and lemon juice.
- Before assembling the sandwich, toast the buns face down in a pan over medium heat for a minute or so. Keep your eye on it. Smear both side of the bun with the homemade ranch then place the chicken, tomato, red onion and arugula on top.