Copycat Big Mary Chicken Sandwich and Taters. A great homemade copycat recipe for a well loved chicken sandwich from Mary Browns Famous Chicken and Taters.
What’s a Big Mary, you ask? For those of you outside Newfoundland and parts of Canada who don’t know Mary Browns Famous Chicken and Taters, it is a much loved fried chicken franchise which started here in Newfoundland many years ago.
I’ve eaten fried chicken all over North America including many, many places in the southern US and believe me, Mary Browns is still one of the very best I’ve ever tasted. It is very juicy and tender with a thick, not too heavily seasoned, super crunchy crust.
One of their most famous offerings is their much-loved Big Mary; a boneless chicken breast with mayo and lettuce on a soft burger bun. It’s hard to replicate the delicate flavour of the herb and spice flour dredge used to make Mary Browns Chicken.
I don’t have any inside information on the secret formula, believe me, but I thought I’d borrow a couple of flavour characteristics from my own Oven Fried Chicken recipe, along with some elements from my extremely popular Double Crunch Chicken recipe, to give it a try. I think the result is as close as you are likely to come in a homemade version of one of Newfoundland’s all time take-out favourites.
For those of you who’ve never tried Mary Browns, give the recipe a try and for those of you transplanted Newfoundlanders who are longing for a little taste from home, I think you’ll enjoy this version very much indeed.
This one’s for you Teresa. 😉 Loves it, I do.
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- 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- canola oil for frying
- 2 eggs
- 4 tbsp water
- 3 lbs potatoes washed and cut into thick wedges
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp dry mustard powder
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground sage
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 cup plain mayo
- 2 tsp sriracha sauce or another favourite hot sauce
- 1 tsp chipotle powder or chili powder
Pound the chicken breasts out to an even thickness; about a half inch. Lightly season them with salt.
Mix all of the ingredients in the flour dredge together well. I like to use a whisk in a round bottom bowl to make sure everything is evenly mixed. A food processor also will mix them up well.
Make an egg wash by whisking together the eggs and water.
One at a time dip the breast pieces in the flour and spice mixture, then dip quickly into the eggwash and then a final time into the flour and spice mix, pressing the mix firmly into the meat to get good contact.
Heat a skillet on the stove with about a half inch of canola oil covering the bottom. You will want to carefully regulate the temperature here so that the chicken does not brown too quickly. The thinness of the breast meat practically guarantees that it will be fully cooked by the time the outside is browned. I find just below medium heat works well. I use a burner setting of about 4½ out of 10 on the dial and fry them gently for about 4 or 5 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy. (You can, of course, use a deep fryer fro the chicken if you prefer.Keep the heat at 350 degrees until they are golden brown. About 8 -10 minutes)
Drain on a wire rack for a couple of minutes before making the sandwiches. Use plain mayo or the spicy mayo on both the un-toasted top and bottom buns, adding just fresh lettuce to the sandwich and a pickle slice on top. A club sandwich version adding bacon and tomato is also excellent!
Toss the potato wedges in the milk and drain the milk off. Toss the wedges in the remaining flour and spice mix and deep fry for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and fully cooked. Alternatively, you can lightly oil a cookie sheet and place the taters on it, drizzling a little extra oil over the top. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about a half hour. Turn them half way through the cooking time
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