When I think about a Labor Day weekend menu, I think about fun foods that you can eat with your hands; but I also think about one last, fleeting opportunity to celebrate all of the best of summer deliciousness.
So I thought this Country-Style Oven”Fried” Chicken Sandwich was perfect for this time of the year.
With creamy coleslaw, fresh juicy tomato, and sweet-yet-tart pickles, it’s a comforting, picnic-like chicken dinner between two burger buns.
I had no idea that the combo of crispy-chicken-plus-coleslaw-plus-pickles worked so well until Meat-and-Potatoes-Guy described a “picnic burger” with those ingredients that he tried in a restaurant.
That was the inspiration for this recipe and, wow, the combination really, really works.
It creates a chicken sandwich that is flavorful and savory and rich and fresh and crisp all in one.
And, with whole wheat burger buns (flavored with garlic powder and sesame seeds), fresh cabbage and tomato, and flavorful, crispy chicken that’s baked in the oven instead of fried, it’s an indulgent-tasting chicken burger with a healthy and highly nutritious preparation too!
Here’s the complete recipe for Country Picnic Oven “Fried” Chicken Sandwich:
- Serving size: 4
- Calories: 439
- Fat: 14.8g
- Saturated fat: 2.2g
- Carbohydrates: 59.2g
- Sugar: 13.1g
- Sodium: 611mg
- Fiber: 10.9g
- Protein: 24.1g
- Cholesterol: 36mg
Prep: 13 minutes
Cook: 22 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 organic, pastured skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved
- ⅓ cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon organic Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 2 teaspoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 16 bread & butter pickle chips
- 3 cups shredded cabbage coleslaw blend
- ¼ cup organic mayonnaise
- 4 organic whole wheat burger buns
- ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Add the panko breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and the thyme to a large plate or platter. Season well with salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
- Brush a thin layer of Dijon all over each side of each chicken breast (about 2 teaspoons Dijon in total). Place each chicken breast half in the breadcrumb mixture and flip, continuing until all sides are well coated with breadcrumbs.
- Arrange chicken breast halves on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Measure about 2 teaspoons olive oil and drizzle oil all over the tops of each chicken breast half. Cook for about 17-19 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are crisp and golden and chicken is cooked to the center.
- Meanwhile, to a mixing bowl, add the shredded cabbage, mayonnaise, and 1 tablespoon Dijon. Season well with salt and pepper, and stir until well combined.
- Slice each burger bun in half and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet so that no two are overlapping. Measure about 2 teaspoons of olive oil and, using a basting brush, brush oil over each bun top. Sprinkle garlic powder (about ½ teaspoon in total) and sesame seeds (about ½ teaspoon in total) all over each bun top.
- Place the baking sheet under the broiler and toast until burger buns are golden, about 2-3 minutes.
- Arrange each sandwich by placing one chicken breast half on each bottom bun. Add first heaping spoonfuls of coleslaw, and then tomato and pickle slices. Top each with a bun top, and serve immediately.
*I calculate nutrition information at Calorie Count.
And for the step-by-step:
Begin with these key ingredients.
Next, grab a large plate or platter and add some whole wheat panko breadcrumbs, along with some onion powder, garlic powder and dried thyme for plenty of delicious flavor.
Season well with salt and pepper, and stir it all up.
Next grab a couple of organic, pastured skinless, boneless chicken breasts and cut them in half (so they’ll easily fit in a burger bun).
Then spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard all over each side of each chicken breast half.
Toss each chicken breast half in the breadcrumb mixture and flip, continuing until all sides are well coated with breadcrumbs.
You won’t really taste the Dijon in the final sandwich, its purpose is to give the breadcrumbs something to cling to.
Place the breaded chicken on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Then measure about 2 teaspoons of olive oil and drizzle it all over the tops of each piece of chicken.
The olive oil is the key to getting the breadcrumbs browned and crispy.
Toss the chicken into the oven to cook until the breadcrumbs turn golden and the chicken is cooked through to the center.
Meanwhile, as the chicken is cooking away, grab a mixing bowl and toss in some shredded cabbage, some organic mayonnaise, and a bit of Dijon.
Season well with salt and pepper, and stir until everything is nicely combined.
Then slice up a large tomato.
Also set out plenty of bread and butter pickle chips.
I love using bread and butter pickles in this recipe because they’re slightly acidic and slightly sweet.
That tart-sweet combo adds so much flavor to the chicken sandwich so, surprisingly, the pickles are an important key ingredient!
Lastly, grab some whole wheat burger buns, slice each in half and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet so that no two are overlapping.
Measure out about 2 teaspoons of olive oil and, using a basting brush, brush oil over each bun top.
Sprinkle a bit of garlic powder and some sesame seeds all over each bun top.
The oil and seasonings add tons of yummy flavor to the burger buns!
Place the baking sheet under the broiler and toast until the burger buns are golden.
Warning: this can happen in under two minutes, so watch those burger buns closely!
Arrange each sandwich by placing one chicken breast half on each bottom bun.
Then add heaping spoonfuls of coleslaw (don’t be shy – this sandwich is meant to be fun and a little messy!), followed by the sliced tomato and pickles.
Top each with a bun top, and serve immediately.
Now this is healthy comfort food!
The chicken is crispy and full of flavor, the pickles add a hint of sweetness, and the coleslaw adds lots of creaminess and freshness.
It’s the ultimate summertime indulgent-tasting, country-picnic-style chicken sandwich!
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