In a large bowl, whisk together all brine ingredients. Put the chicken strips into the buttermilk brine and allow to soak for 1 hour, or up to 24 hours. (ensure the chicken is completely covered)
In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, pepper, granulated garlic and onion, paprika, cayenne, thyme and pepper.
Dredge your chicken breasts through the seasoned flour mix, covering each side well in the flour. Set on a clean plate until all chicken is coated in flour. To make the crust extra crispy and crunchy, re-dredge by dipping back in buttermilk brine, shaking off the excess, and coating the chicken in flour once again, and allowing to rest on a plate, repeating until all the chicken is re-dredged. Let the chicken rest on the plate for ten minutes as your oil is heating up to temperature.
In a large heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven, heat 5-6 cups of vegetable oil to 325 degrees F. (If you have a fryer, even better) Have a wire rack sitting in the oven (turn oven to 200 degrees to keep chicken warm while you finish cooking all the pieces) ready for the chicken.
Once oil is to temperature, add two chicken breasts to the oil and allow to fry for 5-6 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Place on the wire rack in the oven to drain the excess oil and keep warm.
To melt cheese onto the chicken, top chicken with sliced cheese and place on a baking sheet. Put into the oven on low broil to melt the cheese. Keep an eye on it, melting won't take more than a minute or two
Assemble sandwiches with preferred toppings and extra hot sauce smeared on both buns, top and bottom. Serve hot.