Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Fried Chicken and Pimento Cheese Sandwich inspired by Abridged Beer Company

[FTC Standard Disclosure] I received no compensation for this post. I am a Thermoworks affiliate, so I get a portion of any sales from links in this post.

Abridged Beer Company in Knoxville is known for their excellent pub food as much as they are their brewery. Their burgers are made with locally sourced brisket, and the nachos are piled as high as Mount Le Conte with goodies. You can get a fried chicken sandwich one of three ways - Maple, Buffalo, or Pimento. 

During our last visit there, my youngest son got the Fried Chicken Sandwich with their spicy pimento cheese. My food was also good, but I have been craving a fried chicken sandwich with pimento cheese since that visit for a few weeks. This week I finally did something about that craving and made this insanely good Fried Chicken and Pimento Cheese sandwich inspired by Abridged. 

Abridged puts pickles on theirs, but it turns out, I was out of our Olde Virden's Spicy Pickles. Time to make another batch.

Fried Chicken and Pimento Cheese Sandwich

Published 07/28/2021

Crispy, deep-fried chicken fillet with our spicy pimento cheese, which includes a fire-roasted poblano. 


  • 2 6-oz chicken breast fillet (see notes)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Meat Church Holy Voodoo
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup pimento cheese
  • 2 brioche buns


  1. Preheat fryer to 375°f. 
  2. Butterfly the chicken. Use a sharp boning knife to butterfly the chicken breasts.
  3. Season and double-dip. I like to season the chicken instead of just seasoning the flour, so I season the chicken on both sides with the Meat Church Holy Voodoo. Then I put the rest of the seasoning in the flour. Then dredge the chicken through the flour, give it a quick splash in the beaten egg, and then back through the flour.
  4. Deep fry the chicken. Carefully, slowly lower each breast into the frying oil and cook until it floats, turns golden, and reaches an internal temperature of 165°f. That should take about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, depending on your chicken. Remove to a resting rack and keep warm.
  5. Make the sandwich. Butter the cut side of the brioche buns and toast them in a hot skillet. Top with a fillet and about 1/4 cup of pimento cheese.
  6. Serve. Abridged serves theirs with house-made fries. We did that the first night and the second night did homemade potato chips.

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.

Cook time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.

Total time: 25 mins.

Tags: chicken, deep-fried, Knoxville


  • Chicken breast fillet - This is essential a boneless, skinless chicken breast with the tenderloin and rib meat removed. We bought Gerber's Gourmet Fillet at Food City, which comes already neatly trimmed. 
  • NMT Pimento and Poblano Cheese - Shred 4 ounces of sharp cheddar and 4 ounces of mild cheddar to yield about 2 cups of shredded cheese. Mix in 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese, 1/4 cup diced fire-roasted red bell pepper, 1 fire-roasted poblano (seeded, peeled, diced), 1/2 teaspoon NMT Southern Sweet or Meat Church Honey Hog BBQ rub, and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper. Add enough Duke's mayo to get the consistency you want (we like ours non-goopy, so just 1/4 cup for us). Taste and season with kosher salt; we use about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon.  Best when allowed to rest overnight.

How to butterfly a chicken breast
Butterflying the breast makes it cook more quickly, and it fills out the bun. Tips for doing that? 1) Wear a cut glove and lightly press down with your non-cutting hand. 2) Put the chicken in the freezer for 30 minutes before slicing. 3) Use a knife that's sharp enough to circumcise a gnat.

Meat Church Holy Voodoo
You can use just about any dry rub for the seasoning, but Meat Church Holy Voodoo is the stuff. 

The first night, we single-dredged the fillet, and the second night we did two passes through the flour. We liked the latter better because it gave a more flavorful and crispy crust.

Using a Cuisinart Deep Fryer
We've had this Cuisinart for several years now, and if it crapped out tomorrow, I'd buy the same model if I could get it. In general, fryers with the heating element submerged in the oil heat up faster and control heat better than the models with a heating element attached to the body of the fryer.

When the chicken, or any fried food, floats to the surface, it is a sign to start checking for doneness. 

Using a Thermapen to check the internal temperature
The color of the crust can be deceiving, so always check with a fast-reading food thermometer like the renowned Thermapen. They are currently being closed out at $69, $30 off the normal price. I bought my first Thermapen in 2010 and still use it to this day.

Crispy, golden, and delicious. At this point, I'll break off a small piece of crust to taste, and if needed, I'll hit it with some extra-fine salt. Popcorn salt is perfect for fried foods because it is so fine, it absorbs right in.

We did two-stage fries the first night. You fry the potatoes at a low temp to cook them through and then fry them a second time maxed out to get them crispy and golden. As always, season as soon as they come out of the fryer. Seconds count.

The poblanos and bell peppers in the pimento cheese count as "vegetables," right?

The next night all I had was red bliss potatoes, so we made potato chips instead.

Fried Chicken and Pimento Cheese Sandwich
That crispy crunch, well-seasoned chicken, spicy "paminnah", and rich bun were perfection.

Fried Chicken and Pimento Cheese Sandwich
Fantastico! It feels almost like we're sitting on Abridge's open-air dining area.

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