Want to know how to make chicken fried chicken? We'll tell you - plus share our tips for making it perfect!
Chicken fried chicken... isn't that the same as regular old fried chicken?
Well, not exactly! Fried chicken is pieces of on-the-bone chicken - with skin - breaded, then fried.
Chicken fried chicken is made from boneless, skinless chicken breast. It's pounded nice and thin, then breaded, fried and served with creamy gravy.
These few changes make all the difference in terms of texture and flavor! Firstly, the ratio of breading to chicken is higher. This means the coating is MUCH crunchier (and who doesn't love a crispy, crunchy coating?).
Secondly, the technique elevates chicken breast to a whole new level! People who prefer dark chicken meat tend to do so because they find the breast dry and lacking in flavor. But once it's pounded out, seasoned, battered and fried to perfection, it becomes a thing of beauty - moist and flavorful!
When you think about it, this is the same way that chicken fried steak turns a somewhat tough cube steak into something incredible!
Another great thing is that this dish cooks much more quickly than regular fried chicken, making it an easy dinner for busy weeknights.
How to make chicken fried chicken
First, you need thin pieces of chicken breast. You can either butterfly a chicken breast (cut it in half horizontally to create two thinner pieces) or simply pound it out with a meat mallet or rolling pin until 1/4" thick.
Tip: Place the breast between two sheets of plastic wrap or greaseproof paper before pounding it.
Next, take two bowls. In one, whisk together milk (or buttermilk) and egg. In the second, mix together flour, salt and the herbs and spices of your choice.
Place the chicken breast in the egg mixture, then dredge thoroughly in the flour mixture. For a crispier coating, dip it in the egg, then the flour, for a second time.
Heat around 3/4" oil in a large skillet until hot (but not smoking). Fry each piece of chicken until golden, turning once. This should take around 8 minutes or so.
Drain on a paper towel, then serve hot with creamy gravy.
How to make gravy for chicken fried chicken
There are many variations on the recipe for gravy to drizzle over chicken fried chicken. This is one of our favorites.
- After cooking the chicken, drain out all but 2 tablespoons of the oil (but make sure you leave in those tasty drippings).
- Add 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus a good pinch of salt and plenty of black pepper.
- Cook for a few minutes over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and thickened.
- Gradually stir in 1 1/4 cup of milk and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened and smooth.
Variations on chicken fried chicken
- Add a little hot sauce when whisking the egg and milk together to bring an extra pop of flavor to the dish.
- Create a crunchier coating. Crush around 30 saltine crackers and combine with 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Place in a bag. Once the chicken has been dipped in the egg, add it to the bag and shake well. Finally, really press the coating into the chicken before frying.
- For super tender chicken with maximum flavor, soak it overnight in buttermilk before cooking.
Serve chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans, or cut small and tuck inside buttermilk biscuits. Delicious!