July 19, 2009

Fried Buttermilk Chicken with Sawmill Gravy


Sunday's Best


What’s your favorite recipe for Sunday dinner?

I have a very long list but I will start with this classic one, southern fried chicken filets with pepper gravy.


Fried Buttermilk Chicken with Sawmill Gravy
4 servings

Chicken:
4 -6 ounce boneless chicken breasts
2 cups buttermilk, divided
Canola oil for frying
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Gravy:
2 tablespoons bacon grease
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
Ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste

Place the chicken in a large plastic storage bag, one piece at a time, and pound with a mallet or small iron skillet to flatten to about half-an-inch. Place in a container and pour 1 cup buttermilk over the chicken to cover. Rotate the chicken to make sure the buttermilk completely covers each piece. Cover the container and store in the refrigerator overnight.
Heat the vegetable oil, about 1/2 inch deep, in a skillet or heavy pan to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper to taste. Into a separate bowl, pour about 1 cup buttermilk. Remove the chicken pieces from the soaking buttermilk (discard this liquid) and shake off the excess buttermilk. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour coating well then dip in the fresh buttermilk to coat. Dredge again in the flour to completely coat. Fry the chicken in the hot oil until brown and crispy on the outside and cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes. Drain the chicken on paper towels. Serve hot with Sawmill Gravy.

For the gravy: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the bacon grease. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring regularly for 2 to 3 minutes, longer if you want a browner gravy. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook, whisking until mixture comes to a simmer and gravy thickens. Stir in the pepper and season to taste with salt and additional pepper if desired. For a more southern flavor, use part buttermilk in the gravy.

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