If you know us well at all, and have ever eaten at our house, chances are you've had our Chicken-Fried Chicken. Well, the secret recipe is being unveiled tonight! (Okay, not so secret, but we like it!) Since I was returning to favorite recipes after my dinner challenge, I had to include this one in our dinners this week. Here's how we make it. (I say we because Adam makes it at least as often as I do, and it is also a dinner we cook as a team when we have company.)
Adapted from Southern Living Magazine's Chicken Fried Steak recipe
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
38 saltine crackers, crushed
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
3/4 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1. Using a sharp, long knife fillet the chicken breasts in half, making 4 thin pieces. Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over meat.
2. Combine cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper, and red pepper.
3. Whisk together milk and eggs. Dredge chicken in crumb mixture, dip in milk mixture, and dredge in cracker mixture again. (Repeat once more if there is remaining mixture, if desired.)
4. In a large skillet, pour oil to about 1/2 inch height; heat to 360 degrees (med high). Fry about 5-8 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Turn and fry about 3-5 minutes more, being careful not to overcook. (Cooking times vary greatly--last night it only took about 8 minutes total, maybe less. Other times it has taken 15-20 minutes.)
5. Drain on paper towels. Serve with country gravy and mashed potatoes. Serves 4.
My recommendation on country gravy: buy the packet. We've tried three different recipes and failed; the packet just always comes out foolproof and delicious. As for the mashed potatoes, I've found that a little cream cheese, milk and butter whipped in with a hand beater makes lovely, creamy potatoes. Adam prefers his peels on, chunky, so when I make them "his way" it is only mashing with the masher and with just a touch of milk and extra butter, salt and pepper. Traditionally, we serve this meal with canned corn, but corn on the cob when it is in season is an extra special touch.