Rich fried chicken needs a full-bodied wine match, and fruity, floral Viognier fits the bill. Prep and Cook Time: about 1 hour.

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Recipe Summary

Makes 6 sandwiches


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a bowl, combine cabbage, carrot, mint, cilantro, and chile. Stir in lime juice and olive oil and season to taste with salt.

  • In a pie plate mix flour, cornmeal, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and cayenne. In a medium bowl, whisk buttermilk and egg to combine. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, dip into buttermilk mixture, then return to flour mixture, turning to coat all sides.

  • Pour 1 in. of oil into a 5- or 6-qt. pan over medium-high heat. When oil reaches 350°, add chicken in a single layer (in batches if necessary), and cook until well browned all over and no longer pink in the center (cut to test), about 6 minutes per batch. As chicken is done, transfer to paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt.

  • Spread sandwich rolls with mayonnaise. Divide chicken among rolls and top generously with slaw.

  • Wine note: Typically full of honeyed tangerine, peach, and honeysuckle, Viognier--the great white grown in France's Rhône Valley--is rich but, at its best, crisp and minerally too. It pairs well with creamy sauces and aromatic spices. Leaner versions stand up to spicy Thai and Vietnamese flavors; richer ones are good matches for nuts, cheese, mild Indian curries, and sweet shellfish.

  • Our picks:

  • Alban Viognier 2005 (Central Coast; $23). An orchard full of peach-blossom aromas followed by orange-honey flavors wrap around the chicken sandwiches.

  • Clos LaChance Estate Viognier 2005 (Central Coast; $20). A peachy, citrusy minerality--call it wet stones--picks up on the mint and cilantro in the slaw on the sandwiches.

  • Note: Nutritional analysis is per sandwich.

Nutrition Facts

554 calories; calories from fat 29%; protein 37g; fat 18g; saturated fat 3.1g; carbohydrates 58g; fiber 4.1g; sodium 1151mg; cholesterol 103mg.