Chicken is preferred to traditional cube steak simply because its healthier, more tender, and we have bags of chicken breast in the freezer at any given moment...plus....who doesn't love fried chicken in general?!
In this recipe, we flatten out the chicken by pounding it out to allow for even cooking, season and coat it with breadcrumbs, and shallow fry for quick and delicious comfort food.
2 cups flour
1/2 cup corn starch (optional but gives a better crunch)
3-4 Tbsp creole seasoning or your favorite mix
or 2 Tbsp salt, 1 Tbsp each - pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder
2 chicken breasts
1 cup milk
Gravy (This will make enough for 2-4 servings depending on how much you love gravy)
1 Tbsp Pepper
1 tsp Salt or seasoning mix
1 Tbsp Flour from dredging or fresh flour
1 Tbsp oil from frying pan or fresh oil
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp better than beef or chicken base (optional)
Lets get cooking
1. Cut the chicken down the middle to butterfly them. This will make them thin and even so that when you fry them, they cook evenly. You can also cover them with saran wrap and smash them with the bottom of a pan or meat tenderizer to thin them out. It is easier to thin them out with the tenderizer after you butterfly them first however. You could also cut them in half longways if you want smaller portion sizes. Season the breasts with the 1 Tbsp seasoning mix or the recommended mix.
2. Dredging process:
a. Place the flour, corn starch, 1-2 Tbsp seasoning mix in one container or shallow dish that will fit the breast like one shown below, and combine with a fork or whisk.
b. Crack 1 egg , milk, and 1 Tbsp seasoning mix into another container and whisk together with a fork or whisk, ensuring the egg is thoroughly combined.
c. With tongs or your hands, place the chicken in the dry mix and turn it to coat all sides, then shake. Then use your other hand, as the wet hand, to transfer it to the egg mix and flip to coat all sides with the egg mixture, then place the chicken back to the flour mixture for the final coating. If you like super thick, crunchy coating you can dunk it back into the egg mixture then flour one more time.
d. If you are pressed for time, you can go ahead and place the chicken in the pan to start frying, or let them rest in the fridge for 10-20 minutes uncovered. This will allow the batter to hydrate and thicken up, making it stick to the chicken better.
3. Once you are ready to fry, place enough oil to coat the bottom of a shallow frying pan on medium high heat. Once the oil starts to shimmer, place the chicken in the pan with tongs slowly so you dont cause the oil to spatter.
4. Keep the chicken on that side for at least 3-5 minutes, if your oil is starting to smoke, turn the heat down a little. Check the bottom of the chicken by picking up a corner and peeking, if its browning well, go ahead and flip to the other side, and cook for another 3-4 minutes. You want the chicken to cook to 160-165 degrees inside.
If you are cooking several batches, have a wire rack on a cookie sheet ready so you can place the fried chicken there, which will prevent it from getting soggy. You can then place them in an oven at 200 degrees to keep them warm and crunchy as you finish your batches.
5. If you are serving with gravy, follow these steps to make the gravy, otherwise throw some mayo on a bun, add some pickles, hot sauce, and eat up!
Strain out the oil and leave 1 Tbsp of oil and the brown bits at the bottom of the pan (be careful - the oil is hot, you can wait until it cools to do this part, or use fresh oil and a new pan as well)
Heat the pan back to medium high heat, and add the oil and flour. Stir them together with a whisk until they become a paste like consistency, and turn the heat down to medium low, add the beef base here if you are using it. Keep stirring as you slowly drizzle the heavy cream to the mixture until well combined. Add the pepper and salt/seasoning mix to the gravy and stir well. Now slowly add the milk and stir constantly while pouring. Let the gravy cook for another 2-3 minutes to thicken up and then you are done!