Pollo Loco Sandwich

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 1 large or 2 small sandwiches
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Chicken Tenders:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs, beaten 

1 1/2 cups finely crushed nacho cheese tortilla chips 

8 ounces chicken tenders 

Vegetable oil, for frying 

Buffalo Sauce:

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

6 tablespoons vinegar-based hot sauce, such as Frank's RedHot or Crystal 

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on how hot you like it, or leave it out for a mild sauce) 


1 French bread, hoagie or sub roll

1/4 cup favorite store-bought ranch dressing 

1/2 tomato, thinly sliced 

1/4 cup dill pickle slices 

3 romaine lettuce leaves, cut into ribbons 


Special equipment:
a panini press
  1. For the chicken tenders: Place the flour, eggs and crushed tortilla chips into 3 separate shallow bowls or pie plates.
  2. Dredge the chicken tenders one at a time into the flour, shaking to remove excess. Then dip in the egg, allowing the excess to drip off and then dredge in the crushed chips, pressing to coat. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining tenders.  
  3. Heat enough oil to come 1 inch up the sides of a large heavy-bottomed straight-sided skillet. When the oil is hot (a bit of flour will sizzle and bubble up) slip the chicken tenders, 4 at a time, into the hot oil. Fry until the outside is crisp and the inside is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove with a spider to a wire-rack-lined-baking sheet. 
  4. For the buffalo sauce: Put the butter in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Stir in the hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper. Remove from the heat. 
  5. For the sandwich: Preheat a panini press. Slice the bread in half lengthwise. Spread a couple of tablespoons of ranch dressing onto each side of the bread. Add a layer of sliced tomato on one half of the bread. Dip each tender into the buffalo sauce, flipping to coat, and then place 3 or 4 pieces in a single layer on the tomatoes. Top with pickles and lettuce. Top with the other half of the bread. Place into the panini press, close and cook until the outside is toasted. Remove and slice in half. 
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