The phrases “chicken friend chicken” and “chicken fried steak” are weird to me for more than one reason. First, I think the phrases are interchangeable while at the same time sounding like different things (like flammable and inflammable). Second, this dish isn’t something I grew up eating. Let me rephrase that. I have yet to eat this dish. This is the ultimate man meal in my recipe collection.
I don’t really follow a recipe when making this. I just make sure spice is a major component – otherwise I wouldn’t get those smiles of approval from C. I start off marinating a chicken breast in buttermilk for a few hours. And when I say buttermilk, I mean milk + white vinegar. I’ve never actually bought buttermilk.
After a few hours in the refrigerator, I turn on my oven to 350° and heat a pan to medium high. I start by flattening a chicken breast with the flat side of my meat tenderizer. Then I set up my two stations – flour/lots of cayenne and other spices/dried parsley/freshly ground black pepper in my 8″ round cake pan (haha!) and my egg wash(with 1 raw egg, scrambled, salt, fresh ground black pepper, and a dash of hot sauce) is my second station and hangs out in my glass pie dish.
I dip the chicken in egg, then the flour mixture, then repeat (who doesn’t love a good double breading?). I make sure my pan is really hot before placing the chicken in. I sear a few minutes on each side then throw it into the oven (350 for 10ish minutes) to make sure the middle is cooked through. Since my chicken marinated in that milk and vinegar, I can trust the vinegar tore down muscle and made them tender and the milk has made it moist and juicy. I don’t worry that a few minutes extra in the oven will ruin the taste.
After the chicken is in the oven (in a glass baking dish), I use this time to put flour and water in a small glass and shake them. I learned this from my MIL. I pour small amounts into my pan with brown bits left in it. Using a whisk, I pour flour/water while scraping those off the bottom. Somehow, this turns into magical gravy. Poured on top of mashed potatoes and the chicken fried steak, I always get those smiling eyes of approval. Enjoy!