Monday, March 20, 2006

Sunday dinner rocks...

One of my favorite dinners is Fried Chicken with Mash Potatoes and Gravy. It is one of my favorites because I love to both make it and eat it. My recipe would make anyone who calls the South home run the other direction but that’s the beauty of being from Idaho ~I can cook any way I want to the only rule I have to follow it to take my potatoes seriously ~oh and I do.

Fried Chicken
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 Cups Flour
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Pepper
½ tsp Paprika ~the child of Salt & Pepper
½ tsp Onion Powder
½ tsp Garlic Powder
The Colonel adds eleven herbs and spices but I have decided that is a bit of an over kill but if there are six more herbs and spices in your cupboard you want to add go right ahead El Colonel.

Turn your oven on the Warm setting ~it helps keep the dinner warm, this meal is a little tricky to have one person get it all warm all at the same time but the oven helps you put it on the table all nice and hot.

In a large skillet ~cast iron if you have it add about a ¼ “ of oil ~if for even a second you thought of getting out a ruler you are no friend of mine. Heat oil on medium. ~also make sure you have a lid or plate or something to cover the top of the skillet during the cooking.

In a large plastic baggie or brown paper sandwich bag, add flour and seasoning, close top of bag and mix ingredients by shaking. Now take your chicken ~cut off all of the nasty fat and tendons left on it so no one finds them in their dinner, also cut the pieces in half so they can be arranged a little nicer in the pan.

Add four pieces of chicken to the bag with the flour mixture in it, the chicken needs to be a bit slimy for this to work well so either use the chicken before it dries out at all or add it to a little bit of milk or water to give it a nice slimy feel ~shake it making sure all of the chicken gets well coated ~this was my job when I was little and my mother made this meal for dinner. Add the four pieces of chicken to the hot oil cover and leave it alone for five minutes. Using either a fork or a pair of tongs turn the chicken over and forget about it for another five minutes. Now remove those first four pieces and transfer them to the oven on a plate. Repeat this process with the other for pieces of chicken. Throw out the bag of flour it has raw chicken germs in it and can not be used to make gravy. When you have finished cooking them for the second five minutes remove pieces from the oven, turn the pieces in the pan and add the oven pieces and cook them for two minutes on each side, now choose the fattest piece and cut into it to check for doneness ~if the juice runs clear and all of the pinkness is gone you are good to go ~other wise keep repeating the two minute intervals until it is done. Now remove chicken from pan and plate it ~put it in the oven to keep it warm while you make the gravy.

1 ½ Cups Flour
Salt & Pepper
To make the gravy use a good whisk to keep it from getting too lumpy, turn the heat down just a number or two, add flour to the oil and stir. Once the flour is all mixed into the oil start adding milk ~I never get this next part just right so I end up scooping a bunch of the mixture out and throwing it away so there is a reasonable amount of gravy and I don’t use two gallons of milk to make gravy. How much milk you use is based on how much gravy you want and what consistency you want. So I add that first cup of milk and see what the gravy does ~usually it makes a horrid paste and I am pretty sure I have just ruined the meal but as I say I just scoop about half the mixture out and start adding milk again, once the consistency looks right I then season the gravy with salt & pepper to taste.

Mashed Potatoes

1 potato per person ~you can’t have too many potatoes
1 15 oz can of corn.
1 cube butter
Sour Cream
Garlic Powder

Set a large pot of water to boil on High. Peal, the potatoes as you please and quarter, add to water. ~Do this before you start the chicken because the potatoes take longer. Periodically test the potatoes for doneness by sticking a fork in them ~when there isn’t any resistances to the fork the potatoes are done. Drain them, add the can of corn, and butter along with various amounts of the other ingredients to get the consistency and flavor you are looking for. You can use either a masher or a set of beaters to make these but as I said I am from Idaho and we mash there and lumps are a sign of honor. I often have to put them in the oven to keep them warm while I make the gravy.

I promise this meal is a little easier than this recipe may lead you to believe but this meal has never disappointed so it is worth any effort in my opinion.


Erin said...

Oh Ann, that sounds so good I think you should invite me over for dinner just so I can be sure.

Sam said...

Yum! Sounds just like my mom made - that was always my "birthday request" dinner.