Shaker Gourmet: Chicken-Fried-Chicken

Today officially kicks off Birthday Month! in our house, as the first one for February is today. Our oldest son is eight! Eight! I can't believe it.

Last year he requested tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for his birthday dinner. This year he requested: chicken-fried chicken, fried potatoes, maple-dilled carrots, and homemade french bread. Apparently eight is much more sophisticated than seven, LOL. So, in honor of his day, here is the main course for tonight:
Chicken-Fried-Chicken with Spicy Buttermilk Gravy

* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
* 1/2 cup + 1/3 cup buttermilk
* 1 tsp. tabasco or similar hot pepper sauce (or more to your liking)
* 1 cup flour
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 tsp black pepper
* 2/3 cup milk
* 1/2 tsp chili powder
* vegetable oil for frying

—Pound chicken breasts to a even thickness. In a pie plate, mix 1/2 cup buttermilk and 1 tsp tabasco (keep 1/3 cup buttermilk out at room temp.). In shallow dish or another pie plate mix flour, salt, and pepper. Dip each breast in buttermilk, then coat with flour mix and place on wire cake rack over a baking sheet. Refrigerate 30 minutes to
1 hour to set coating. Reserve 1.5 tablespoons of seasoned flour.

—In large skillet, heat enough oil to come up 1/4 inch up the sides over med-high heat (until very hot but not smoking). Add chicken and cook, turning halfway through cooking until golden brown (12 – 15 minutes). Adjust heat as needed so the chicken doesn't brown too quickly. Return to wire rack to drain.

—Pour oil into bowl; return 1.5 tablespoons to skillet over low heat. Whisk in reserved flour and let bubble for appx 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and chili powder and bring to simmer (the gravy will be thick). Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup buttermilk. Season with salt & tabasco to taste. Serve over chicken!
Credit for this recipe goes to this book (which has several good recipes in it).

If you'd like to participate in Shaker Gourmet, email me at: shakergourmet (at)

Bonus! French bread recipe below...

I make this several times a week. Recipe yields one loaf:
French Bread

* 3/4 cup very warm water
* 1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
* 1 tablespoon white sugar
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 cups bread flour

* egg white + tsp water, beat together for egg wash

1. In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand about 10 minutes until foamy.

2. To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 1.5 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a warm damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

3. Deflate the dough, shape, return to bowl. Cover again with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

4. After rising and before baking, put on greased cookie sheet in loaf form. Brush liberally with egg wash.

5. Bake 20 - 22 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

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