I’m kind of particular about chicken. If you know me, you’d probably say I was pretty particular about a lot of specific things, but chicken is a biggie. I don’t like chicken on the bone, or with skin. I don’t like dark meat. I don’t like fried chicken… wait, I’m Southern through and through, and I don’t like fried chicken? Nope. I can almost pinpoint this dislike to having fried chicken at tailgates, and using paper napkins, and having little pieces of paper stick to my hands. I think it has ruined me for life. (I’m pretty sure my disdain for boned chicken involves the kid that sat across from me at the lunch table in the third grade and ATE chicken leg bones. I’ll never get over it.)
As such, I have never fried chicken. I’m actually not much of a fryer in general, but I’ve gone out on a limb a time or two. My mom never fried much growing up, and it was just not ever something I had a taste for. My husband, on the other hand, grew up with fried everything – he’s a Pee Dee boy, after all. Fry it or barbeque it, and that’s about all you need in life. Needless to say, when he came home from work late one Friday night recently and I was about to start frying some chicken, he about died. It may have been the greatest day of his life, and it was indeed one of my culinary crowning achievements. I was so proud of this dish, and I talked about it for weeks afterwards.
Make it. It’s not an every week sort of dish but it’s well worth the effort.
pecan chicken with bourbon maple cream sauce.
via Spicy Southern Kitchen.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup buttermilk
¾ cup pecan halves, chopped finely
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Bourbon Maple Cream Sauce
3 bacon slices, chopped
¼ cup chopped shallots
2½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
⅓ cup maple syrup
¼ cup whole grain Creole mustard
¼ cup bourbon
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1½ cups heavy cream
Combine chicken and buttermilk in a large zip-top bag and place in refrigerator for 4-6 hours, or overnight.
Pour 1 inch of Vegetable oil in a large, deep skillet or sauté pan. Heat oil to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, pecans and 2 teaspoons of salt in a shallow pie plate. Remove chicken from buttermilk and dredge chicken in pecan-flour mixture, turning to coat both sides well.
Fry in oil 10-12 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Place on wire rack to drain off oil. Keep warm.
Bourbon Maple Cream Sauce.
Cook bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat until crispy. Remove to paper towel-lined plate to cool.
Add shallots to bacon drippings and sauté over medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook, stirring continuously for 2 minutes. Whisk in maple syrup, mustards, boubon salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Gradually whisk in cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently for 5 to 8 minutes, or until thickened. If too thick, thin with a little milk.
To serve, top chicken with gravy and sprinkle with bacon crumbles.
And now I want to make this again,