Spicy & Crispy Chicken Caesar Club, For When I Want My Fast Food Slowed Down A Bit

Spicy & Crispy Chicken Caesar Club, For When I Want My Fast Food Slowed Down A Bit post image

Even though as a personal chef and recipe developer I predominantly rely on whole foods and healthful ingredients when preparing meals for my clients and my own family, or when developing recipes to share here on the site, I have a little confession to make: I love the taste of fast food.

Spicy & Crispy Chicken Caesar Club

Spicy & Crispy Chicken Caesar Club

Now, I’m tempted to call it my “guilty pleasure”, as if there should be some shame associated with that particular little admission; but the thing is, there isn’t any. Not one iota. I’m owning my love for the taste of certain fast foods outright, fully and proudly. And because so much of my time is spent in either my own kitchen or someone else’s, every once in a while, maybe twice a month or so, sheer laziness gets the better of me, and I really appreciate the ease of simply ordering up and wrapping my mouth around something that has all of those savory, creamy, meaty and cheesy flavors layered with a little crunch of greens and tang of fresh tomato, or some other equally tasty toppings, all piled up between two soft and pillowy buns.

And then…then there are those special occasions when I want my fast food “slowed down” a bit, and I’m even willing to prepare it myself. So when that’s the case, back into that kitchen I go!

Spicy & Crispy Chicken Caesar Club

As I write this post, I’m totally craving one of my go-to faves (which just happens to be a Spicy Asiago Ranch Chicken Club from Wendy’s—ever had one?), and I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to get creative with my own take on a crispy chicken sandwich that would be equally delectable, yet made from scratch with fresh, homemade ingredients, and prepared in a more take-my-time-with-it kind of way.

You getting hungry yet? I know I sure am.

Spicy & Crispy Chicken Caesar Club

I have so much fun taking inspiration from some of the simple things in life that I love, and a hot, crispy chicken sandwich is definitely one of them. Fresh out of the fryer and topped with melty cheese, drizzled with a creamy sauce and layered with fresh toppings, I think that a tasty little sandwich like this is definitely worth making at home in my own kitchen. I thought about what it was that I loved about the one from Wendy’s, and it was that combination of creamy, tangy and salty “juiciness”—that perfect combination of flavors that goes hand in hand with a succulent, crispy-fried chicken breast.

Sea Salt Oven Fries

Sea Salt Oven Fries

For my take, I thought I’d go with some of those bold and zippy flavors from a chicken caesar salad that I love so much, like a tangy and creamy garlic-parmesan sauce, and then combine those with the gooeyness of mozzarella, the kick from parmesan, fresh greens and sliced tomato, and add in that deliciously crispy-salty aspect of a strip or two of bacon that I like on the fast food version. It’s the slower, slightly healthier version of my fast food fave, and it’d be something I could make in my kitchen whenever the craving for it came. (And mine even comes complete with Sea Salt Oven Fries! What could be better?)

Spicy & Crispy Chicken Caesar Club

I love not having to go out to get fast food in order to be able to enjoy some of those particular flavors that I get hungry for on occasion. And while it’s perfectly fine (not to mention convenient) to go through the drive-thru and order up some food from the window every now and again, I kinda like the idea of being able to take the “fast” out of “fast food” and slow it down in order to get an even fuller and more nuanced flavor, not to mention something that’s a little on the fresher and healthier side, as well.

This Spicy & Crispy Chicken Caesar Club is my own homemade version of one of my favorite fast food sandwiches; the only thing is, don’t be surprised if just one bite of this hot, crispy little sandwich leaves you asking, “Wendy? Who the heck’s Wendy?”

Taste what’s good and pass it on.

Ingrid

P.S. We love you, Wendy! ;)





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{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Elizabeth March 3, 2014, 9:10 am

    I don’t like Wendy’s, but if this is similar to their chicken sandwich that so many ppl love, I would definitely make my own, at home!

    • The Cozy Apron March 3, 2014, 3:43 pm

      Hey Elizabeth! You have to give this recipe a try if you’re at all into crispy chicken sandwiches with loads of flavor, Wendy’s fan or not. My husband and I enjoyed these so much, that just yesterday he told me that he kinda felt like he didn’t get quite enough of ‘em, so I may just have to prepare another batch again soon. Hope you give these a try!

  • Lynda Rice March 4, 2014, 12:00 pm

    I never, ever should have read this recipe at work, on top of looking at those succulent, colorful photo’s just before lunch. I can hardly wait to surprise my husband with your wonderful recipe.

    • The Cozy Apron March 4, 2014, 2:36 pm

      Haha…I love that! (Are you drooling all over your keyboard? :-) I really hope you do surprise him with this recipe; neither one of you will be sorry! (You can even the leave those pesky veggies off, if you prefer…) Thanks for your comment!

  • Stephanie March 7, 2014, 8:29 pm

    Yum! Cannot wait to try this… I am pregnant and am hungry all the time. Burgers and fries sound awesome. This would be healthier than the fast food too :)

  • The Cozy Apron March 8, 2014, 8:03 am

    Hi Stephanie! Congratulations on your pregnancy! And yes—this recipe would be perfect for your cravings. When prepared at home, you know that it’s healthier for you (and your baby), but totally takes care of those cravings for the flavors you’re looking for in the fast food. Hope you enjoy! :-)

  • Andrea March 9, 2014, 1:22 pm

    Thank You Ingrid for posting this! My boyfriend loves that same Asiago Chicken Sandwich from Wendy’s… Now I know what to cook him for his birthday!

    • The Cozy Apron March 9, 2014, 5:04 pm

      Oh my goodness, Andrea—I’m so excited to read that! Yes, perfect for his B-day, and since it’s homemade, full of YOUR love! ;-) I truly hope that you both enjoy this.

  • Kevin @ Closet Cooking March 18, 2014, 6:41 pm

    That sandwich looks so good!

  • Alisha April 24, 2014, 6:48 pm

    I made this earlier in the week and wow, these sandwiches are delicious! I don’t eat fast food, but I imagine these are much better than anything Wendy’s has. Especially when you make them yourself and can pick your own fresh organic produce and chicken. I’m actually going to make this again next week, because it was that good! I forgot the sour cream and substituted Greek yogurt in the sauce and it came out really good.

    • The Cozy Apron April 25, 2014, 4:38 pm

      Hi Alisha, I am so excited to read that! I’m always happy when a recipe turns out as tasty and enjoyable for someone else as it was for me and my family; and you’re right—you really can’t beat getting all natural and fresh ingredients. I’m stoked you’re making these again next week! (Funny enough, I, too, ended up making another batch of these the following week as we didn’t quite seem to get enough of ‘em. :-) ) Thanks of sharing me!

  • Blanca Braun May 13, 2014, 5:20 am

    This looks heavenly! Cant wait to make it! Can i substitute beer instead of buttermilk for someone who can’t consume lactose??

    • The Cozy Apron May 13, 2014, 2:41 pm

      Hi Blanca! You can certainly try, I’m just not sure if marinating the chicken in beer would work, to be honest. You won’t actually be consuming the buttermilk, only marinating the chicken in it, in order to tenderize and flavor it just a tad. (If you pat the pieces dry, there won’t even be any left on the chicken, and skip the step of sprinkling it in the flour, as well.) The main thing is to season the chicken—as long as you do that, you can go right to dredging and frying. :-)

      • blanca braun May 14, 2014, 9:00 am

        Thank you for your response! Do you think almond milk with a little lemon juice would be better??

        • The Cozy Apron May 14, 2014, 3:48 pm

          You know, that may not be bad! Try it out—what’s the worst that can happen? :-)

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