At the end of June, the bf and I embarked on a little cross-country vacation. I flew from LA to my hometown of NYC with my pup while the bf drove from LA to meet us in NYC. We spent about a week in NY and then after a one day trip to Boston, headed to his hometown of St. Louis. While I was home in NYC I ate at a lot of the same places I used to, hot dogs and cheese fries at Nathan’s in Coney Island, a meal at my favorite restaurant Southern Hospitality, bagels, pizza, the usual. Before we left for the trip I did some research into food chains that weren’t in NYC or LA but may be on our route. I found a couple I wanted to try and made bf promise that we’d go.
The two main places I wanted to go were Sonic and Cracker Barrel. We get Sonic commercials here in LA even though the closest one is like 25 miles away or something crazy. The food itself wasn’t anything to write home about but their shakes are insanely good. I got a chocolate covered strawberry the first time and strawberry cheesecake the second. I love strawberry. While Sonic was nothing special, Cracker Barrel on the other hand was AMAZING!! I love country style cooking so I was insanely excited when we finally went. I got the chicken fried chicken (I’m not a huge fan of chicken fried steak mainly because I like my steaks thick) and it came with three sides so I got corn, green beans and mashed potatoes. When the waitress asked what kind of gravy I wanted on my potatoes I chose white gravy. Mainly because I never really had it before but I had heard wonderful things. And it was absolutely wonderful.
Ever since I’ve been craving a re-creation of that meal. Once I got home and settled I decided I would just make it myself. I didn’t find any satisfactory recipes on my go to, the Food Network website so I just Googled chicken fried chicken and white gravy. Chicken fried chicken is incredibly easy; its basically a chicken cutlet breaded with flour instead of breadcrumbs. You just have to pound the chicken breast really thin. I think next time I make it, I may add a little Panko or breadcrumbs just to give the coating a little crunch. But it was still great. The gravy on the other hand was a bit of a challenge. Thank god I told bf to get the gallon of milk. When I tried to follow one recipe I found and make it in the same pan I made the chicken in, it didn’t work. I don’t know if there was too much grease or not enough but it just tasted like flour and wasn’t that pure white I was looking for. So I went back to the internet and found another recipe that makes it on the stove top. It makes a lot so be prepared to have some leftover for another few meals. You could probably freeze it; I have it refrigerated right now. When you reheat it, just add milk to thin it out again. You can find the gravy recipe here.
Now, since this is a typical southern country meal, I knew it needed some typical country sides. I served my chicken with mashed potatoes, corn and macaroni and cheese. You can find the recipe for the mashed potatoes and mac and cheese here on my blog. The corn was just frozen corn, nothing special to prepare there. I only made two chicken breasts but you can make however many you need. That being said, here are the recipes!
Chicken Fried Chicken
boneless skinless chicken breasts
flour to dredge (about 1/2 cup)
salt, garlic powder and poultry seasoning to season flour
oil for frying
Pound breasts to flatten. You want them about 1/4 inch thick. Season flour with spices. Crack egg in a separate container; beat with a fork.
Dredge chicken in egg, then flour mixture then egg again. Heat oil in pan on medium heat. Don’t make it too high or your oil will get too hot and your breading will burn.
Add chicken to heated oil. Cook until golden brown on each side, about 8 minutes total.
Remove and place on paper towel to drain excess oil
White Country Gravy
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Melt butter in saucepan over low heat.
Add flour, Stir until smooth and bubble. Add salt and pepper
Add milk and bring to medium heat, whisking constantly. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Let boil for one minute.
Chicken covered in white gravy!
Full meal: chicken, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and corn!