There are chicken sandwiches, and then there are chicken sandwiches. If you're living in the bay area (and consider yourself a foodie or someone with a fine taste for cuisine) and have not yet had a chance to visit Bakesale Betty's, then consider yourself a poseur, with a capital “O”. I stumbled across BB while I was unemployed and a recent transplant from Los Angeles (Summer 2007). Rana and I found her little kiosk at the Oakland Farmer's Market (near the DMV in Temescal Triangle). We (Rana) were first suckered in by the smell of scones. We tasted a sample and were hooked! Probably one of the best scones we've had. Our favorite was the candied ginger scone. I'd have pictures to show you, but, we ate them so fast (and I was unemployed so I did not have a camera). Betty herself, told us that they also made delicious lunchtime foods, but that we'd have to visit the store location. We vowed to one-day check out the actual store front which was nearby.
So then a few weeks later after I was on a server restart break from saving the world of Azeroth, I decided to stretch my legs (from a 5hr session) and get something to eat. I IM'd Rana and asked her what I should do for lunch, and she reminded me about BB's. So that is where I decided to go for lunch, and give the blue-haired baker a whirl.
And yes that sandwich was good. Fast-forward 3years later. Now I find my self between jobs; technically “unemployed,” so I actually have the free time to check out BB's again for lunch. This is why I've now called this sandwich the “Unemplo' Boy,” due to the fact that I can only seem to get it while I have no job. And judging by the line of people that starts queuing up before 1130AM, I think everyone else is unemployed too! It also seems to be a second enclave for the hipster youth from across the pond, as the line wraps around the block! Anywho, I called my order in, so that I could run in and run out, and I am glad I did. The pictures in this post are from today's lunch fun! Oh I also stumbled across her actual recipe for the sandwich, should you want to synthesize it for yourself. Enjoy!
Here's the recipe: (this is a repost, thanks to SF GATE)
You'll have some breading left over, even after dipping twice. This makes a hefty sandwich in all regards - you'll need two hands to eat it.
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each Kosher salt to taste 1 quart buttermilk
The vinaigrette 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
The coleslaw 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced 1 cup red wine vinegar 2 jalapenos, seeded, cut in half and sliced crosswise 1/4 cup chopped parsley 1/2 green cabbage, core and outer leaves removed, and very thinly sliced Kosher salt
The breading 1 pound all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon kosher salt + more to taste 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying 4 Acme Bakery torpedo rolls, sliced lengthwise
Instructions: Season chicken breasts with kosher salt. Let sit at least 5 minutes. Fill a wide, shallow nonreactive bowl or casserole dish with buttermilk. Add the chicken and soak in the refrigerator for 1 hour up to overnight.
For the vinaigrette: Combine mustard, vinegar and salt in a bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil until well blended.
For the coleslaw: Macerate onions in red wine vinegar, and let sit at least 20 minutes. Remove onions and discard vinegar. Toss onions with jalapeno, parsley, cabbage and salt. Toss with vinaigrette until evenly coated.
To fry chicken: Pour vegetable oil into a large stockpot. Do not fill up more than halfway, or the oil could splatter. Bring oil up to 365°, using a digital thermometer/candy thermometer to monitor the heat. Prepare the the breading while waiting for oil to heat up.
In a wide shallow bowl, mix flour, cayenne, salt and pepper. Pull a chicken breast out of the buttermilk one by one, letting excess drip off, and dredge completely in flour. To create a thick crust, place in buttermilk and dredge in flour a second time. Do not drain or shake off excess buttermilk or flour during the breading process.
When the oil is at 365°, carefully place chicken pieces into oil one by one. Let it cook for a minute before disturbing chicken, then help it "swim" in the oil with tongs, until it is evenly cooked, about 5-7 minutes. Remove chicken from oil and drain on paper towels. Season immediately with salt.
For the sandwich: Place fried chicken breast on bottom of torpedo roll and top generously with coleslaw.
Per serving: 995 calories, 52 g protein, 63 g carbohydrate, 58 g fat (8 g saturated), 95 mg cholesterol, 1,497 mg sodium, 6 g fiber.