Join me in welcoming my most excellent and talented friend, Jane Bonacci from The Heritage Cook, for a delicious recipe that will take you right back to your grandmother’s kitchen: fried chicken cutlets with herb gravy. And if you’ve never met Jane, please do go visit. She is an incredible gluten-free blogger, features a chocolate recipe every Monday, and has a (affiliate link) gluten free bread machine cookbook you need if you are gluten free. Thank you, Jane!
Today while helping my friend Jenni during her recuperation, I am sharing an homage to my grandmother, Fried Chicken Cutlets with Herb Gravy. This is very similar to Mimi’s fried chicken with cream gravy, but a bit easier and a lot quicker to make.
I have always loved fried chicken, especially when cooked in a cast iron skillet by my grandmother. She would pack the skillet with chicken and then we would have to wait for what seemed forever until it was done and ready to eat. It was agonizing.
Contrary to popular tradition, we never use buttermilk in our fried chicken. Mimi was from Indiana and I think it is the difference between Midwestern and Southern styles. I prefer the simple preparation Mimi taught me.
Mimi’s seasoning was never more than just salt and pepper and she used a lot of vegetable shortening, so much that the chicken was submerged halfway in the fat. I wanted to make a dish that was reminiscent of my childhood memories, but better tasting, a bit healthier, faster to make, and with touches that make it my own: fried chicken cutlets with herb gravy.
Boneless chicken pounded to the same thickness cooks much more quickly than thicker pieces, especially versus bone-in. You can have dinner on the table in a fraction of the time it took Mimi to finish her skillet of bone-in chicken. Breadcrumbs (regular or gluten-free) add a nice crunch to the crust and adding some herbs really boosts the flavor.
I put my spin on the gravy too. By sautéing shallots before adding the flour (or gluten-free flour) to the fat in the pan, you get a lovely subtle onion-like flavor and a little texture. A little wine always makes everything taste better (or use more stock) and the thyme adds a classic French nuance to an old-fashioned, traditional comfort food meal.
When serving batter-fried foods with gravies, it is best to put the gravy on the plate first and then set the fried food on top. This helps keep the coating crunchy. You can pass the remaining gravy at the table in case anyone wants to add more.
I hope you enjoy this taste of my childhood. Enjoy!
Note these next sections. Jane adds these into all of her posts. Tips and Hints as well as Gluten-Free Tips both make that much easier to follow her already very clearly written recipes. Yay!
Fried Chicken Cutlets with Herb Gravy
Jane’s Tips and Hints
Using a combination of butter and olive oil raises the smoke point of the butter and helps keep it from burning while frying foods. The butter adds flavor and the olive oil is healthy for you. It is a winning combination!
Making the gravy before frying the chicken may seem backwards, but it is doubly beneficial. By making the gravy first and keeping it warm, the chicken is piping hot when you serve it. And stirring the remaining butter and browned bits after frying the chicken into the gravy gives you the same flavor as making it the traditional way. All the benefits with none of the hassle.
You can use your standard gluten-free flour blend to make the gravy or any individual gluten-free flour such as rice, amaranth, cornstarch, potato starch, arrowroot, etc. Some gluten-free flours require more liquid than others, so add more chicken stock as needed.
More flavor than grandma's original in less time? Yup! You will love these fried chicken cutlets with herb gravy. Make Sunday dinner any night of the week!
- 1/4 cup 1/2 stick butter
- 1/4 cup organic olive oil
- 3 shallots peeled and finely minced
- 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1 clove garlic peeled and minced
- 4 tbsp all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup Madeira wine dry sherry, or more stock
- 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
- 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs or gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 eggs well beaten
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp organic olive oil
- Sliced green onions for garnish
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the minced shallots and thyme and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the shallots are softened. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the flour and whisk until smooth with no lumps. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the flour no longer smells raw, but has not browned, whisking constantly.
- Slowly pour in the stock, wine, and cream, whisking constantly. Continue cooking, whisking until thickened and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.
Place each chicken breast, one at a time, in a resealable plastic bag and pound with the smooth side of a meat pounder until it is all one thickness. If your breasts still have the tenders attached, you can remove them prior to pounding the breasts and cook them separately. When flattened, transfer breasts to a baking sheet. Continue with remaining chicken pieces.
- Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow, flat dish (a pie dish works well) and season with the thyme, salt, and pepper. In another shallow dish place the beaten eggs. Set both containers next to the baking sheet.
- Dip the pounded chicken breasts in the beaten egg and then in the seasoned breadcrumbs. Shake off any excess and set back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil together over medium heat. When the butter is melted and the oil is hot, use tongs to add the chicken to the pan. Make sure to leave some room between the pieces so the butter and oil can brown the edges. Cook in batches if needed or use a second pan.
- Cook until well browned on the first side, then flip and cook the second side. Continue flipping occasionally, cooking until the chicken is cooked through. The timing will depend on how thick the chicken is and how hot the pan is. Mine took about 10 to 12 minutes to be cooked through. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a low oven while you finish cooking any remaining chicken.
- When all the chicken is cooked and has been transferred out of the pan, scrape any remaining butter and browned bits into the gravy. These browned bits will add tremendous flavor to the gravy. Whisk until everything is incorporated.
Sounds great, right you guys? I cannot wait to make this once I am feeling better. That creamy, herbed gravy and crispy fried cutlets? Yes please! I’m also thinking one could turn this into a sandwich by using a judicious amount of the gravy as a spread for the bread. Yowza.
I really hope you guys give these fried chicken cutlets with herb gravy a try. They sound perfect for these cold winter days where we crave comfort but don’t always have hours to make a slow-cooked dinner. Jane’s tastiness to the rescue!
Thank you for spending some time with me today, and please remember to check out Jane’s blog, The Heritage Cook. I know you’ll love what you see!
Now what? Maybe you’d like to explore my poultry archives for tasty chicken and turkey recipes.
Take care, and have a lovely day.