Recipe Sponsored by Oregon Berries
I first got hooked on Oregon Berries when my close friend moved to Portland and wouldn’t stop talking about how good the berries were. He sent me a beer called Blueberry Muffin by Great Notion that was loaded with Oregon Blueberries and it was one of the best things I have ever tasted. Since then, I have always tried to buy Oregon Berries and have been inspired to use them in smoothies and acai bowls, but never did much cooking with them.
That changed a few months ago when I was lucky enough to join a cooking class with Dorie Greenspan all about using Oregon Berries! We made a few things together, but a Thai influenced blackberry sauce really stuck out in my mind. The flavors of soy sauce and chili paste really combined so well with the blackberries to create a deeply flavored sauce.
I was inspired to use a blackberry sauce in my own cooking and decided it would taste great on a fried chicken sandwich. Hot honey is super popular right now on fried chicken so I knew I wanted to add lots of honey and some hot peppers. I love pairing habaneros with fruit because it always brings out the tropical fruity flavors in the habanero that can too easily be lost among the intense heat. After I had the sauce plan, I decided to finish out the sandwich with some mayo, pickled red onion and fresh basil leaves.
This is from the original class with Dorie Greenspan, making the sauce that helped inspire the sauce I am making today.
Berries, garlic, and lots of habanero. I love using frozen blackberries because they have a long shelf life in the freezer, and they are pickled at the peak of ripeness so I don’t have to question the perfect moment to use them. I am the type of person that buys fresh berries with the best intentions but forgets to use them in time!
Then I added some vinegar and lots of honey.
After it cooked for a half hour, I gently blended it and then strained it to remove the seeds.
Meanwhile, I coated the chicken with some flour and egg.
I have been frying outside on my grill lately to avoid my house smelling like fried food for days. You could also make this in an air fryer if you prefer, the only thing you need to change is to use skin-on chicken thighs instead of the skinless chicken breast I used here. You need the extra fat inside the chicken to really help it stay juicy and brown up nicely.
Pour that luscious spicy and sweet sauce all over the chicken!
Top with basil and quick pickled onion slices and serve!
Oregon has the best climate for growing blackberries and you can really taste it in any dish you use them in, and they are grown on local family farms who promote environmentally sustainable practices. Can’t go wrong with that!
This sandwich was incredible. The sauce had so much sweetness to balance the heat from the habaneros and paired perfectly with the crispy juicy chicken. The basil and pickled onion added a bright freshness to round the whole thing out.
Recipe makes 2 sandwiches with extra sauce. I used the sauce on several things throughout the week, including as a pizza sauce, and everything it touched turned to gold.
Fried Chicken Sandwich with Blackberry Habanero Honey
- 2 cups frozen Oregon blackberries
- 6 habaneros stems and seeds removed
- 1 clove garlic peeled and cut in half
- 1 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 small red onion shaved into thin half circles
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large chicken breast cut in half to form sandwich sized pieces. (If air frying, use 2 boneless chicken thighs with the skin on)
- oil for frying
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pinch paprika
- 1 pinch garlic powder
- 1 egg beaten
- about 10 basil leaves
- 2 brioche buns lightly toasted
- Make the sauce - Mix the blackberries, habaneros, garlic, honey, vinegar, and salt in a sauce pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce to low and cook for about a half hour. Allow to cool slightly and blend for about 30 seconds with a hand blender until mostly smooth. Strain through a mesh strainer into a container to store until ready to use. If making ahead of time, store in the fridge for up to a week.
- Make the quick pickled onions - Put the onions into a container, in a microwave safe measuring cup, mix together the vinegar, sugar, and salt and microwave for about 1 minute until hot. Pour this mixture over the onions, top with a little water, cover, and set aside until ready to use. If making ahead of time, store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Marinate the chicken- Mix the buttermilk, garlic, and salt in a zip top bag and add the chicken. Set aside in the fridge for an hour.
- Cook the chicken - Preheat the oil to 350 or air fryer to high/400. Mix the flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder together in one shallow bowl. In another, beat the egg. One by one, remove a chicken piece from the marinade, draining off excess liquid, and dip it into the flour mix. Then shake off excess flour and dip it into the egg, then back to the flour. Set aside and repeat with the other chicken.
- Put the chicken into the fryer or air fryer and cook. In the fryer this will take about 5 minutes, in the air fryer, about 30. I like to lightly brush some warm oil on the chicken in the air fryer at about the halfway point. Cook until the outside is crispy and browned and the inside is at 155 degrees.
- Build the sandwich - Toast the buns if desired. Spread a thin layer of mayo on the top and bottom bun. Add the chicken next, followed by the blackberry habanero honey. Top with a few slices of the pickled onion, and a few leaves of basil. Serve.