baked spicy chicken sandwiches (wendy’s inspired)
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about my favorite junk food. I mentioned that my favorite fast food sandwich out there was the Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich. In the comments, lots of you chimed in saying that you loved it, too! And a few even requested that I make a copycat cleaned up version. Well, ask and ye shall receive.
I’m not sure a baked version will ever completely compare with the crunchy shell of a deep-fried sandwich from a fast food restaurant, but thanks to a highly-seasoned panko breading, this sandwich is pretty darn close! The panko gets nice and crunchy in the oven and the three-layer breading adds tons of spice and flavor. We are totally in love with these sandwiches.
One of my favorite things about these sandwiches is that they are a great way to stretch out chicken. So often, recipes call for one chicken breast per serving, but by pounding these out thin, you get two sandwiches per normal-sized chicken breast. Pounding out chicken is an easy way to get the most bang for your buck.
We like to think that a chicken breast is a single serving, but a regular grocery store chicken breast can be 2-3 times the three ounce serving size for chicken. By pounding them out, the chicken cooks more quickly, you get an accurate serving size and you save some cash. Awesome, right?
Baked Spicy Chicken Sandwiches
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 4 sandwiches
- Cooking spray
- 2 chicken breasts (6-8 ounces each)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons red pepper sauce (like Tabasco)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2-1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- Lettuce, tomato and hamburger buns
- Preheat oven to 350°. Place a wire baking rack on a baking sheet and spray liberally with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place each chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat tenderizer or a glass, pound the chicken breasts until about 1/2″-3/4″ thick. Slice both chicken breasts in half to make four, sandwich-sized chicken pieces.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together flour, salt and pepper. In a second shallow dish, whisk together red pepper sauce, milk and egg. In a third shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, paprika and onion powder.
- Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, followed by red pepper sauce mixture, and then finally, press into breadcrumb mixture. Shake off extra and place on prepared baking rack. Repeat with remaining pieces. Spray tops of chicken with cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is browned and crunchy.
- Meanwhile, combine yogurt, dijon and minced garlic in a small bowl. Spread evenly on each of four hamburger buns. Serve chicken on buns with tomato slices and lettuce leaves.