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Reimagining the KFC Double Down

April 30, 2014

What happens when you replace bread with high-quality ingredients? We developed a completely original sandwich to find out.

Recently KFC reintroduced the Double Down—the fast food chain’s massively popular Franken-sandwich creation. For the uninitiated, the KFC Double Down challenges the idea of what a sandwich is by completely removing bread from the equation. Instead, two pieces of fried chicken act as a bread-like vehicle for cheese, bacon, and “the Colonel’s secret sauce.” The sandwich caused quite a stir when it was first introduced in 2010—then New York Times restaurant critic Sam Sifton was even caught eating the thing. Upon receiving news that KFC was reintroducing the sandwich, we here at Epicurious started thinking about Double Down–inspired sandwiches that we would actually want to eat. What we came up with will let you live out your fast food fantasy at home. It just so happens that our fantasy involves premium ingredients and out-of-the-box sandwich ideas. But make no mistake—this isn’t a novelty sandwich, they’re delicious.

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For the fried green tomatoes:

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 dashes hot sauce
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 to 2 large green tomatoes, ends removed, cut into 4 slices, each 1/2 inch thick

for the sandwich:

  • 2 pieces green leaf lettuce
  • 2 slices red tomato
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked until crisp
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

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Fry the green tomatoes: Whisk the cornmeal, flour, garlic and onion powders, cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, stir in the buttermilk, hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Fill a large Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet with oil to a depth of 1 inch and heat carefully to 350°F. Dip the tomato slices in the buttermilk, then dredge in the cornmeal mixture. Fry until crispy and golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and drain on a wire rack placed over a sheet tray.

Assemble the sandwich: Place 1 fried green tomato on a plate and layer with 1 piece lettuce, 1 slice red tomato, half the avocado slices, 2 slices bacon, and 1 tablespoon mayonnaise. Top with another fried green tomato to form a sandwich. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make a second sandwich.

See more takes of our takes on the Double Down, exclusively at Epicurious.com.

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