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Chicken Fried Chicken with Peppered Milk Gravy

You know you’re in the South when Chicken Fried Chicken with Peppered Milk Gravy shows up on the menu. Made with boneless chicken pieces it the provides the perfect foundation for a generous drizzle of rich peppered milk pan gravy. Pair with creamy mashed potatoes, a skillet of colorful Southern succotash and basket filled with fresh from the oven buttermilk biscuits and it’s a mighty fine taste of the South in your mouth. Don’t forget the sweet tea to wash it all down and for dessert? Why pound cake, of course.

  • 6 8-oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup crushed saltine crackers crumbs or panko breadcrumbs
  • 1½ tsp seasoned salt
  • 1½ tsp onion powder
  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • Peanut or vegetable oil for frying
  • Gravy:
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tbsp pan drippings
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper divided (Adjust to your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 14-oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup whole milk plus additional as needed to thin

  1. Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken breasts to about 1/2-inch in uniform thickness. Season on both sides with seasoned salt and black pepper.
  2. Sift together the flour, cracker crumbs, 1½ tsp seasoned salt, 1½ tsp onion powder, 1½ tsp garlic powder and smoked paprika. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the buttermilk and eggs.
  4. Dip the chicken pieces into the seasoned flour, then into the egg wash, then back into the seasoned flour. Shake off any excess.
  5. Place onto a baking pan in a single layer. Refrigerate uncovered for 15 minutes or up to 1 hour to allow the breading to set.
  6. To prepare: Preheat the oven to 350°F and fit a baking rack into a rimmed baking pan.
  7. Heat 1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil in a large 12-inch cast iron skillet or similar.
  8. Brown the chicken about 2 minutes per side. Repeat frying in batches with all 6 pieces.
  9. Place browned chicken onto the rack and into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the juices run clear.
  10. Meanwhile to make the gravy: Discard all but 4 Tbsp of the drippings.
  11. Add the flour to the drippings stirring constantly over medium high heat scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. .Add the salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.
  12. Gradually add the evaporated and regular milk whisking constantly. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
  13. Lower the heat and allow the gravy to gently simmer for 3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt to your taste. Thin further with additional milk, if needed.
  14. Serve the milk gravy drizzled over the chicken fried chicken and garnish with remaining black pepper.(Adjust the amount to your taste)

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