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    Chicken-Fried Chicken

    Source of Recipe

    From "A Real Southern Cook in Her Savannah Kitchen" by Dora Charles

    Recipe Introduction

    "Even if you've never tried chicken-fried steak, you've probably heard all about it—a pounded piece of steak double-breaded and fried crisp, often served with gravy. But Chicken-Fried Chicken is a newer arrival, at least where I live, and it's probably from the same source, the Lone Star State. It's thin pounded chicken breasts—chicken tenders will work well, too—cooked like the steak and always served with milk gravy. The classic is served with mashed potatoes, but I like it with rice."

    List of Ingredients

    ◦ 1 cup buttermilk
    ◦ 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
    ◦ ⅛ teaspoon sweet Spanish smoked paprika
    ◦ 4 skinless, boneless single chicken breasts (about 1 pound), sliced horizontally in half and rolled thin with a rolling pin or pounded with a meat mallet
    ◦ 1 cup all-purpose flour
    ◦ ¼ cup Dora's Savannah Seasoning (recipe follows)
    ◦ ½ cup vegetable oil, for frying

    Milk Gravy:
    ◦ 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
    ◦ 2 cups milk
    ◦ 1 teaspoon Dora's Savannah Seasoning (see recipe)
    ◦ ½ teaspoon dried mint
    ◦ 1 small onion, sliced into rings


    To make the chicken:
    In a large shallow bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the garlic and paprika. Add the chicken and move the pieces around so that they're all covered with buttermilk. Put the chicken and buttermilk in a plastic freezer bag or a container with a lid and massage the buttermilk all over the chicken. Let sit in the fridge overnight if you can, or for just a few hours, if that's all the time you have.

    When you're ready to cook the chicken, mix the flour and Savannah seasoning in a medium bowl. Remove the chicken one piece at a time from the buttermilk, shaking it well, dredge it in the flour, shake off any extra flour, and put on a plate.

    Heat the oil in a large heavy cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until it's rippling. Add the chicken carefully—don't crowd the pan. You'll probably need to do this in batches, so scoop out any flour that's fallen off into the oil between batches so it won't burn. Fry until the chicken is golden brown all over, about 4 minutes for each side. Drain on paper towels and keep warm under a loose foil tent while you make the gravy.

    To make the gravy:
    Pour out all but 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil from the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Whisk in 1 cup of the milk and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens. Whisk in the second cup of milk. Stir in the mint and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Return the chicken to the gravy and add the onion. Cover the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes.

    With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a platter.
    Serve immediately, with the gravy on the side.

    Serves 4

    ❧ Dora's Savannah Seasoning:

    "I keep this basic spicy seasoning mix in a little jar by the stovetop; I use it that often. It's good with almost everything from eggs to chicken to pork and even some vegetables, and you can save yourself a little time making it up ahead. Always taste what you're cooking once it's gone in, because you may find you need a little more of one or two elements to bring up the flavor."

    ◦ ⅓ cup Lawry's Seasoned Salt
    ◦ ¼ cup salt
    ◦ 2 scant tablespoons granulated garlic or garlic powder
    ◦ 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

    In a small bowl, mix everything together very thoroughly.
    Store the seasoning in a tightly sealed glass jar. It will keep for up to three months.

    Makes about ⅔ cup




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