Down-home main dish (Easy Chicken Fried Chicken)

I grew up in the Midwest, on and around farms, so the food I ate growing up would probably be classified as “meat and potatoes”. My grandma occasionally made some chicken fried steak, but it was still pretty healthy and bore little resemblance to the super Southern comfort food chicken fried steak I experienced when I moved to Atlanta. And that’s when my great love of chicken fried steak began. It is possibly one of the best foods in the world.

When I was in Dallas a few weeks ago, my friend and I decided to make a big cooked-from-scratch dinner for a couple friends, so we perused recipes on Pinterest and in some magazines to get ideas. She insisted on some kind of cheesy potatoes, so we decided to go with the whole “down home cooking” theme and have chicken fried steak for our main dish—but since she already had chicken breasts on hand, we switched to chicken fried chicken.

I’ve always been a little afraid of frying things (plus lazy, since that’s a lot of extra work and mess), but this was super easy. We looked at a few recipes, but ended up kind of making it up as we went along. This recipe is super easy, takes only a couple of ingredients (all of which you should already have on hand), and is basically foolproof. Plus, it’s really not that horrible for you, diet-wise.

Thaw your chicken breasts in the microwave or by leaving them covered in the fridge for a long time. Not on the counter, that’s gross and breeds bacteria. No one wants to be responsible for making everyone else sick.

Next we take a trip to pound-town. Not in the gross way. Put a chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap, and pound them to an even thinness. They don’t need to be paper-thin (not like scallopini), but they do need to be even and thinner than most come from the store. That way they’ll cook quickly and evenly. We didn’t have a chicken pounder/meat tenderizer (who does?) so we used a can of broth.

Once all the cutlets are equal thickness, season them with salt and pepper (helps the seasoning stick to them).

Set up your “dipping” stations, and heat the oil to medium-high. We used vegetable oil, but canola (or probably corn) would work as well. You’ll want to have one bowl/pan of egg mixed with a little milk, and one with a mixture of flour and spices. I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, and some paprika. You can experiment with others if you like.

Once the oil is hot enough, dip the first chicken breast in the flour mixture, in the egg mixture, then back in the flour mixture. The double-dredging helps the flour stick better and be a little thicker (which makes the coating yummier!).

Fry the chicken until equally golden on each side. Cut into one of the thickest parts to make sure they’re done.

When you remove from the oil, I’d place on some paper towel to blot the excess oil.

Golden crispy deliciousness!

We served with muenster scalloped potatoes, roasted asparagus, sauteed kale, and some lovely wine. Between the four of us, we used a variety of dipping sauces—honey, honey mustard, barbecue sauce, and ketchup. It’s great on its own though too!

Easy Chicken Fried Chicken

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded to uniform thickness)
  • 1-2 eggs + a little milk (for egg wash)
  • Flour & spices for dredging
  • Oil for frying

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