With a side of country green beans and baked mac 'n cheese


Aahhh…even the post title can make one salivate. In my last post about chicken fried foods, I talked about the Luby’s $2 Thursdays, which I have yet to try. Since then, I found a chicken fried chicken recipe online and watched a Travel Channel “Food Paradise” episode on deep-fried foods, and it was only a matter of time before I busted out the cooking oil. And then came along my friends’ request for comfort food. Perfect.

Before we get to the anticipated recipe, did you ever gaze at a Cracker Barrel or other diner menu and wonder what the difference was between a country fried steak/chicken and a chicken fried steak/chicken? In college, (it seems I learned many things in college), I met some folks from Philadelphia who brought it to my attention that the term “chicken fried steak” is just odd. Is it a chicken? Or is it a steak? Is there such thing as chicken steak? Well, the term “chicken fried,” whatever it precedes, refers to a style of frying the food item the same way one would prepare fried chicken–that is, to batter it and then deep-fry it. Indeed, the Philadelphian folks were appalled and overwhelmed by the range of things us Southerners deep-fry: steaks, bacon, pickles, Twinkies, Oreos, Snickers, beer, Coke, butter, even shoes. Because in Texas, you deep-fry everything just because you can. But back to the original question: what’s the difference between country fried and chicken fried? According to Alton Brown, a country fried steak/chicken is dressed in brown gravy while a chicken fried steak/chicken uses white gravy. So there you have it. Consider yourself a Southern fried expert.

So without further delay, here’s the chicken fried chicken recipe I used as the entree for the birthday dinner. Not only was it delicious (what fried thing isn’t?), it was easy. So for sure, if the Blind can Cook it, you can too. Use this to impress your non-Texan friends next time they’re in town. Or throw a Southern-themed dinner party. Just make sure you have some Tums on hand.

Recipe: Chicken Fried Chicken

Summary: Original recipe from All Recipes

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2 to 3/4″ thick
  • 25 Ritz crackers
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c. oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Place Ritz crackers in a gal.-sized Ziploc bag and smash to crumbs.
  2. In a shallow bowl, mix together flour, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. In the next shallow bowl, mix together the beaten eggs with salt & pepper. In the third shallow bowl, pour the smashed Ritz crackers.
  3. Coat each side of the tenderized chicken breast halves first in flour mixture, then egg, then cracker crumbs. Double-coat in flour and egg if desired. Let sit for 10 min. or until chicken is dried before frying.
  4. Meanwhile, heat oil to med.-high heat. Fry chicken for 10 to 15 min. or until done, flipping every 5 min.

Quick Notes

Peanut oil is best for deep-frying since it has a higher smoking temperature. Other good oils for deep-frying are safflower, sunflower, or canola. (I foresee a post on deep-frying coming up.)

Variations

The original recipe didn’t call for any of the spices but I figured garlic and onion and paprika couldn’t hurt. They are, after all, what goes into good fried chicken. I used Ritz crackers since that’s what I had on hand, plus I figured the buttery flavor of the Ritz would add flavor to the chicken. But original recipe uses saltines, so those could work too.

Cooking time (duration): 45

Meal type: dinner

Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)

Microformatting by hRecipe.

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8 Discussion to this post

  1. dark mark says:

    that looks pretty awesome, though to be honest, i'm ogling that mac & cheese more than the chicken…mmmmmmmm. i think you need to do a post on beer battered something b/c i've never had success with it.

    also, how'd you make the gravy? mine is pretty runny.

  2. the Blind Cook says:

    dark mark: You're in luck; the baked mac 'n cheese recipe is going to reveal itself Monday. And as for beer batter, what have you tried beer-battering? I don't think I've ever tried that yet. Lastly, thanks for asking about and calling me out on the gravy. That is the ONE thing I did not make from scratch because with all the other things on my plate (no pun intended), I didn't want to risk screwing up the gravy by trying to make it from scratch for the first time on a night we were entertaining. So thanks, McCormick, for a yummy gravy mix.

  3. dark mark says:

    beer battered chicken strips a la mel's country cafe in tomball…mmmm. has a HINT of beer taste in the batter but mine seem to have TOO much beer in it..heheh.plus it never looks/fries as nicely as restaurant strips.

    also for a potential future post…baking breaded stuff. recipes usually say to 'bake till golden brown', but my stuff has never turned out golden anything. just looks like light brown dried breadcrumbs on chicken/pork. blah

  4. the Blind Cook says:

    dark mark: You know I have yet to dine at Mel's in Tomball? Recently, it was brought up in a sermon by a pastor during service, then other friends mentioned their acquaintances keep talking about this place called Mel's. It made me think back to high school when I read about it in Ken Hoffman's column in the paper, and all of you made the trip to Tomball to try it, and I never did. Laziness, in this case, did not pay off. I started that Supper Club recently, and we wanted to switch it up a bit by trying a new restaurant that won't put a dent in our wallets, so Mel's is at the top of the list.

  5. […] a hefty scoop of mashed potatoes would go wonderful with this birthday meal #2 next to the chicken fried chicken and the baked mac ‘n cheese, but I decided to “healthen” it up a bit and cook […]

  6. […] oil is ideal for deep-frying because it has a high smoking […]

  7. Renita says:

    This was absolutely delicious !!

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