Chicken Fried Chicken

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Crispy Chicken Fried Chicken smothered in a peppery cream gravy can only be described as the ultimate comfort food.

Crispy Chicken Fried Chicken smothered in a peppery cream gravy can only be described as the ultimate comfort food.

Ok, before you ask, “Isn’t chicken fried chicken just a fancy name for fried chicken?” let me give you a little history lesson.

It all started in Texas with German immigrants who brought with them their love of schnitzels. Schnitzels are an Austrian dish with meat pounded thin, breaded, and then fried to crispy perfection. The preferred meat of the German immigrants was beef because…Texas. And so was born chicken fried steak.

With the popularity of chicken – did you know that chicken is the most consumed meat in the United States? – it was inevitable that this popular meat would become a tasty substitute for beef. And that is the short story of chicken fried chicken.

Thanks to the method of pounding the meat thin like this post, the cook time is just a couple of minutes per side which means that dinner can be on the table in less time than fried chicken. Bonus!

I like to marinate the chicken breasts in the spiced buttermilk mixture for about 4 hours. You could go up to 8 hours if you wanted to start the marinating process in the morning. Or if you really don’t have the time, a minimum of 30 minutes in the buttermilk bath will add to the flavor and tenderness of the dish.

When I bread the chicken, I let any excess marinade drip into the flour mixture which creates lumps of flour and marinade that I press into the breasts. These lumps turn into delicious crispy bites once the breasts are fried.

The peppered cream gravy is made very similarly to my gravy without drippings. The changes for this country gravy include replacing the poultry seasoning with salt and pepper and adding heavy cream. And there’s no straining this gravy, all of those chunks of onion and garlic are welcome.

Every time I serve this dish, I thank those German immigrants for their perseverance in adapting schnitzels to the American landscape.

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Chicken Fried Chicken


  • Author: Leigh Olson
  • Prep Time: 15 min (+ time to marinate chicken)
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Description

Crispy Chicken Fried Chicken smothered in a peppery cream gravy can only be described as the ultimate comfort food.


Ingredients

SPICE MIX

  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

CHICKEN

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut and pounded into 4 cutlets
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

GRAVY

  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock, divided
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups peanut oil or shortening for frying

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, oregano and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg, and 1 tablespoon of spice mixture.
  3. Place the flattened chicken breasts in a gallon-size resealable freezer bag. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the chicken. Seal bag and massage to distribute the marinade evenly over the chicken. Refrigerate for 4 hours and up to 8 hours. If you just don’t have the time, allow the chicken to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  4. Make the Gravy: In a large skillet, over medium heat melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Remove from heat. Whisk in the flour. Return to heat, whisk and cook the until the flour is lightly browned.
  6. Add 1/4 cup chicken broth and stirring to loosen any bits that are stuck to the pan. Remove from heat. Whisk in the salt and pepper then whisk in the chicken broth 1/4 cup at a time, keeping everything smooth as you go. Heat over medium heat and simmer to thicken, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add the cream, whisking until distributed. Keep warm while you fry the chicken.
  8. In a shallow bowl combine the flour, the remaining spice mixture, and baking powder.
  9. Remove the chicken from the freezer bag.
  10. Move the chicken breasts to the flour mixture allowing any excess marinade to drip into the flour. Coat both sides of the chicken breasts thoroughly in the flour mixture pressing the lumps created by the marinade into the breasts creating in a thick layer.
  11. In a large skillet, heat the oil or shortening to 350˚F.
  12. Working in batches, place two breasts at a time into the fat. Fry the chicken until the bottom is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Flip the chicken breasts carefully and cook until the second side is golden brown, about 2 more minutes.
  13. Remove from the oil and transfer to a wire cooling rack placed in a rimmed baking sheet.
  14. Repeat with the last 2 breasts and serve with gravy.