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healthy friend chicken sandwich

Healthy Fried Chicken Sandwich (with a vegetarian option!)

  • Author: Liz Moody


For the quick-pickled veggies

  • 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced (if you can’t find Persian, use half of a normal cucumber)
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, divided

For the fried chicken

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, divided
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken tender
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup arrowroot flour (this is the brand I use at home)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Avocado oil, to pan-fry

To assemble

  • 4 buns of choice (gluten-free if necessary, but I love a pretzel bun)
  • Hot honey (purchased, or use the recipe in my book)


  1. Make the pickled veggies: Add the cucumbers to a small bowl, and top with 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1/2 teaspoon of fine grain sea salt. In a separate bowl, add the red onion, and top with remaining 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1/2 teaspoon of fine grain sea salt. Set aside.
  2. Make the chicken: stir together the almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let sit for 10 minutes, then add the chicken, ensuring its submerged. Cover with plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the arrowroot flour, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt. 
  4. Set up a frying station next to the stove with the beaten egg in a wide shallow bowl and the arrowroot powder next to it. Pour avocado oil until it’s about 1/4″ deep on a large skillet. Warm over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
  5. Remove chicken tenders piece by piece from the buttermilk mixture, shaking them dry before dipping them in the egg to cover, and then the arrowroot.
  6. Place in pan, and repeat with the next piece, leaving a good amount of room between chicken pieces (you may need to do a few batches). Cook for 5-7 minutes per side, until brown and crispy before turning. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. 
  7. To assemble, toast the buns, then smear with hot honey. Add fried chicken. Drain the pickled veggies and add a generous amount of both on top. Serves 4.