Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Easy Fried Chicken w/Mushroom Gravy

This isn't your typical fried chicken, it's more like fried chicken meets chicken strips. The more adult version of the childhood favorite. I like to soak my chicken in buttermilk overnight, so it's nice and juicy and with a little extra flavor.
You can make this recipe without soaking it of coarse, if it's a meal you get home and decide to make on the fly just skip the buttermilk step. This recipe calls for dry white wine (for the gravy), now I'm not much of a white wine drinker so I have found it best (so you don't waste your money or the wine) to get the little bottles of Chardonnay that you can find at any little market. The size gives a tad bit over what you need, but they usually only cost $2-3 so you don't have to feel bad about tossing the last tiny bit...or you could use the last little bit to make a vinegrette or some sort of dessert sauce.

Medium Glass Bowl
Plastic Wrap
Deep Cast Iron Pan (electric fryer is fine too)
Shallow Bowl (for dredging)
Spider* (slotted spoon is fine)
Clean Plate
Paper Towels (or kitchen towel as long as it isn't terry cloth and doesn't smell funky)
Cutting Board
Large Saute Pan
Sharp Knife
Wet Measuring Cup (at least 1 cup size)
Small Glass Bowl
1/4 Cup

3 Boneless-Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 1/2C Buttermilk
1-2C Seasoned Bread Crumbs (you can of coarse season your own, this is just the quick way)
3-4C Peanut Oil (my preferred frying oil)
2Tbl Unsalted Butter (salted is fine, unsalted just allows you to control the salt)
1 Shallot, minced
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1C Dry white wine
2 1/2C Chicken Stock (feel free to add more or some water if it's too thick)
2 1/2Tbl Flour
1/4C Heavy Cream
Mushrooms...the amount is completely up to you, depending on how "mushroomy" you would like the gravy. I used 4 large cremini mushrooms.

*Before you begin cooking!! If you don't know what a Spider is (the kitchen verity, NOT the 8 legged friend) here is a picture. It is a Japanese tool used mostly for Tempura, it is a wonderful tool that can be used in any cuisine. They are inexpensive as well and readily available.

On with the cooking.

So, if you are planning on soaking your chicken overnight here's the skinny. Trim and rinse your chicken and pat dry, cut it into nice thick strips (chunks are fine too) and submerge in buttermilk in a glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in fridge overnight, you can even put it in the fridge in the morning before work and pull it out that night.

Heat your cast iron skillet with the oil, on medium heat.

While the skillet is heating up prepare your shallots and garlic, set aside. In a large saute pan, melt butter in medium heat. When butter is melted toss in shallots and garlic, cook until just softened (about 2 minutes) then add in wine. Allow wine to cook down by half (if you don't let the wine cook down you will end up with a very harsh flavor). While Wine is reducing, in a bowl whisk together flour and whipping cream and set aside. When wine has reduced whisk in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and whisk in flour/cream mixture, make sure to whisk well to get out all the lumps. Allow this to simmer for 10 minutes or so, stirring as needed. While your gravy is simmering remove chicken from buttermilk and wipe of excess, do NOT rinse the chicken. Pour bread crumbs in shallow bowl with some added salt for flavor. Your oil should be hot and glistening by now. Dredge chicken in bread crumbs and carefully add to skillet (do not crowd pain, cook in batches if needed). Cook chicken for 8-10 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through. If your oil is sputtering and flying about, it's WAY to hot and will burn your chicken on the outside leaving it raw in the middle..
While chicken is cooking clean and slice your mushrooms and add to the gravy. They will cook through with the gravy on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to avoid clumping. If the gravy begins to bubble, just turn it down a bit.
When chicken is cooked, use your spider (or slotted spoon) to transfer chicken to plate with paper towels to drain excess oil.

Now you may plate your chicken, and pour some lustrous mushroom gravy over the top and serve with the side of your desire.