This summer I’ve been really good about grilling foods and eating healthier but I just fell off the wagon.  I’ve been craving comfort food and made some Chicken Fried Chicken with some of the best cream gravy I’ve ever had.  It tastes just like fried chicken but the process is a little different. Chicken fried chicken is boneless and run through an egg buttermilk bath before heading to the flour and into the fry pan.  It fries up crispy brown and topped with cream gravy which makes it taste so good.  If you’ve never had this Southern comfort, well . . .  you just don’t know what you’ve been missing!


You can use boneless chicken thighs or breasts.  If you have thick pieces you may need to cut them in half.


You’ll want to tenderize them.  You can buy steak and pork cutlets that have been tenderized at the market but with chicken I’ll just pound it out myself.


The seasoning is what makes this chicken fried chicken taste so special.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the spice blend from Paul Prudhomme’s Frontier Chicken.  It goes in the gravy too!


Whisk together an egg with 1/2 cup of buttermilk to make an egg bath to dip the chicken in. Then dredge the pieces in flour before heading into the fry pan.


Now some cooks like to go into the flour before the egg bath, but it’s a lot of flour for me.  I prefer dipping the chicken into the egg bath first, then dredging in flour.


Cast iron works great but you can use any large skillet.  Add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan maybe 1/4 inch over medium high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces to the pan.  They should fry about 3 – 4  minutes then check to see that they are getting crispy brown on the bottom.


When they look like this, turn them over to cook another 2 – 3 minutes.  Since the chicken pieces are thin they will cook quickly and the coating will keep them tender.  Once they are fully cooked, remove them to a plate lined with a paper towel.  Save your pan drippings, you’ll use it for your gravy.


To make the cream gravy with green tomatoes, dice about 1/3 – 1/2 cup and season with about 1/2 teaspoon of the spice mix.


The amount of oil left in the pan with the drippings is perfect.  Heat the oil and add the tomatoes and spices.  Stir in with the pan drippings.


Saute over medium heat stirring often until the tomatoes become soft.  Only takes 2 – 3 minutes.


It’s hard for me to definitively say how much flour to use.  It’s equal parts flour to oil so I usually estimate.  Here I used 1/4 cup of flour.  Stir the flour in to get a sticky paste like texture.  If it’s too pasty, add more oil and if to thin, add more flour.


Next, add about a cup to 1 1/2 cups of half and half.  You can substitute milk if you don’t have half and half.  Stir the mixture as it begins to thicken.  If it becomes too thick add more half and half, milk or even water to thin it.


I usually add 1/2 teaspoon or more spice blend to the gravy.  Taste and season to your taste buds.


Now this is comfort on a plate served up with a big helping of mashed potatoes on the side.


Chicken Fried Chicken with Fried Green Tomato Gravy

2 large Chicken Breasts, cut in half lengthwise and tenderized
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1 Egg
3/4 cup Flour, divided
Canola Oil for frying
1/2 cup Green Tomato, diced
Spice Blend, recipe follows
1 – 1 1/2 cups Half and Half

Spice Blend (adapted from Paul Prudhomme’s Frontier Chicken Fried Steak)

2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Paprika
3 teaspoons Ground Chile Powder (I used NM Red, Ancho Chile and Chile de Arbol)
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon White Pepper

Slice the chicken pieces in half and pound with a meat tenderizer to 1/4 inch thick.  Sprinkle each chicken piece with spice blend.  Make an egg bath by whisking the egg and buttermilk together in a medium bowl.  In another bowl add 1/2 cup flour.  Set aside.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat with enough canola oil to coat the pan about 1/4 inch.  Dip the chicken pieces  into the buttermilk bath, dredge in flour and gently lay the pieces into the skillet.  Fry until crisp and brown, about 3 – 4 minutes, turn to cook other side an additional 2 – 3  minutes or until browned.  Remove to a warming plate lined with a paper towel. Save the pan drippings.

In the same skillet with the pan drippings you’ll need about 1/4 cup of oil left in the pan.  Add more oil if necessary and re-heat.  Combine the green tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of spice blend. Saute the tomatoes 2 – 3 minutes, stirring the pan until the tomatoes become soft.  Add 1/4 cup of flour and stir.  When the mixture begins to foam and become pasty, stir in 1 cup of half and half.  The gravy will begin to thicken as it’s stirred.  If too thick add more half and half until you have the desired consistency.  Taste and add 1/2 teaspoon of spice blend if desired.

Spoon FGT gravy over chicken and serve with a side of mashed potatoes.

Serves 4