Crispy, crunchy chicken fried chicken; tender on the inside and covered with rich chicken gravy.
Comfort food for the ‘boys’
At a recent small dinner party, I served up some diner food. It’s not the usual company fare but I was feeding ‘boys’ and thought some southern comfort food would be just the ticket. I heard a news report a few years ago about a guy who traveled all around the country in search of the best Chicken Fried Steak. If you’re going to eat it, might as well serve a fabulous version. My favorite is this version which is not steak at all. It’s chicken. So for all those who think Chicken Fried Steak is actually chicken, they’d be right.
Here’s what you gotta do. Pound the chicken breasts thin enough to cook in the time it takes the quasi batter to fry to a golden brown on both sides. The ‘batter’ is made by double dunkin’ the chicken in flour for extra crispy outside and tender juicy inside. Serve it with a flavor packed but ‘not too thick’ gravy so it runs over the side of the chicken and the potatoes. You really want to concentrate on the crunchy chicken bite by bite and not thick, gloppy gravy. The ‘boys’ said, “This is the best, most tender chicken I have ever eaten. It’s so tender I can cut it with a fork.” ‘Nough said unless you want to add that the girls loved it too.
2011 AniversaRecipe – Fiesta Bean Salad
Recipe: Chicken Fried Chicken
2 cups Chicken Stock
1/2 cup whole Milk
1/2 tsp fresh Thyme, finely minced
1 Pound the meat to six 3/8 to 1/2-inch thick cutlets. Season each piece with salt and pepper on both sides.
2 Place the flour in a pie plate or similar dish. Place the eggs in another pie plate. Whip the eggs until they are lightly beaten.
3 Dip the chicken in the egg and then dredge in the flour. Place on a baking sheet to rest for 15 minutes.
4 Heat the oil in a frying pan. Dredge each chicken piece in the flour a second time.
5 Working in batches, fry chicken 3-4 minutes on each side. Avoid overcrowding. Place the cooked chicken on a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack. Keep hot in a 200 degree oven until all pieces are done.
6 To make gravy, pour the oil out of the frying pan leaving behind the browned bits. Add the chicken stock and deglaze the pan pulling away the brown bits and residual flour.
7 Add the milk and thyme and continue cooking to infuse the liquid with the herb and allowing it to slightly thicken.
8 Serve the chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes on the side and the gravy over all.
Easily pound the chicken by placing pieces in a gallon zipper bag without closing it. Or place between 2 pieces of plastic wrap.
For thicker gravy, reserve two tablespoons of oil in the fry and add a tablespoon or two of flour. Stir in the chicken stock gradually to avoid lumps. Then add the milk and thyme. Simmer until it thickens.
• Exchange milk for Half & Half or cream for richer gravy.
• Exchange chicken for thin pounded round steak. Use beef stock for the gravy.
Inspiration—Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
sauces over under and through
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs by Helen Horton