This recipe is part of Crispianity: a column devoted to all foods crispy and crunchy, two of the most underappreciated attributes of a great dish. Author Adeena Sussman is a food writer and recipe developer, pairing here with a friend, photographer Evan Sung. Sussman’s most recent cookbook, coauthored with Lee Brian Schrager, is America’s Best Breakfasts: Favorite Local Recipes From Coast to Coast (and check out their fried chicken book, too!).

In Fried and True, the fried chicken cookbook I coauthored with Lee Schrager in 2014, I explored every aspect of the crispy bird. Many of my favorite recipes began with a bone-in chicken, but I emerged from the project with an abiding love for the boneless fried chicken sandwich. Not only does making the chicken this way allow you to fry the chicken faster and more evenly, it allows you to get right down to the business of eating it without working around the bones. And anything you can eat hot and fresh, but without a knife and fork, becomes comfort food. I start with dark meat — in this case boneless, skin-on chicken thighs — and quick-brine them in a concentrated brew of sugar, salt and pepper to help make the chicken super-juicy and tender. Cloaking the chicken in buttermilk helps the dredge’s cornstarch-and-flour blend cling cooperatively, yielding the crispiest results. Once out of the fryer, I toss the chicken in a two-ingredient glaze for a sticky, spicy kick. The quick pickles and creamy mustard mayo add tons of texture and flavor without a lot of added effort (in fact, you can make those elements, in addition to the dredge, in advance). Pile it all onto soft rolls, and eat it quickly — a hot fried chicken sandwich is almost unmatched in delivering crispy, crunchy nirvana.