Eat This Now: The Magic of this Fried Chicken Sandwich is the Gluten-Free Batter that Makes it Extra Crunchy

They also sous vide the chicken at Blue Star Diner, which makes the simple sandwich maybe the best we’ve ever had.

Photograph by Jared Sych

It was a couple of years ago that a friend told me that I needed to try the fried chicken sandwich at Blue Star Diner. Not typically a fan of chicken burgers I was skeptical, but since this friend knew her food, I didn’t wait long to give it a try.

She was right. This sandwich is something special.

At first glance, Blue Star’s buttermilk fried chicken sandwich doesn’t seem like that big of a deal: you’ve got a piece of breaded fried chicken stuffed into a hamburger bun, with lettuce and tomato and a few other fixin’s. But chef Jarod Traxel has the magic touch when it comes to elevating seemingly standard dining fare.

First off, there’s the chicken. Traxel sources his chicken breast from Sunrise Farms, marinates them in buttermilk and then sous vides them so that they’re already perfectly cooked before they’re breaded and dipped in the fryer. Cooking them before frying maintains consistency (frying from raw can result in unevenly cooked chicken) and the slow, even temperature that comes with the sous vide technique ensures a juicy chicken breast.

“It covers the crunchiness. It’s got flavour. It’s got texture,” Traxel says. “It has all of those elements you need so that when you take a bite you can’t wait to take the next bite.”

And good news for gluten-free chicken fans: Traxel experimented with the breading on the chicken and found that gluten-free flour makes for a crunchier, more delicious crust, and he also makes sure to keep his fryer gluten-free. With an option for a g-f bun, Celiacs can bite into this sandwich without worry.

The chicken forms the basis of the sandwich, but the details also matter. Traxel tops the fried breast with a piece of crispy pancetta, a roasted shallot aioli, tomato, butter leaf lettuce and a smear of raw honey from the Rosebud Hutterite Colony. Order it with a side of Blue Star’s dirty fries and you’ve got yourself a guilt-free version of a classic fast-food meal.

809 1 Ave NE, 403-261-9998,

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