Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Easy Chicken Fried Chicken with Country Gravy: Budget Dinner

So...since I graduated from UNCW in December money has been pretty tight. As I mentioned before, the job market here in Wilmington isn't the greatest. Therefore, I have been forced to stretch my dollars in every aspect of my life. No going out to eat, no going out for drinks, no shopping (sad), $20 of gas in my car at a time, and budget grocery shopping.

I bought a bag of frozen chicken breasts at Wal-Mart for about $7. These bags usually have about 8-10 breasts.. depending on their size. This is a great value (no pun intended.. as that is Wal-Mart's store brand..) and I see a lot of chicken dishes in my future.

This recipe uses a McCormick packet of country gravy. I LOVE these packets, usually found in the spice aisle. They make life easier, and often cut down ingredients you would have to buy separately. Like I said, I'm all about budgeting, and McCormick packet sauces and seasonings help me stay within said budget. (No! I am not in anyway endorsed by McCormick.......but I can't help but profess my love). Also, I can say I've been saved from the "what to make?" monster by browsing through through these packets. Sometimes the pictures on the front inspire. Just sayin'....

I served this chicken with some mashed potatoes, frozen corn with butter, and easy homemade drop biscuits (recipe to follow). Easy down home meal for not a lot of money!

1/2 c flour
1 large egg
1 T milk
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 c oil
2 T butter
salt and pepper
1 package McCormick Country Gravy


1. Between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, pound chicken with the smooth side of a meat mallet until about 1/2 to 1/4 inch thick. Set aside.
2. Place flour in a shallow dish. Season liberally with salt and pepper then mix with a fork.
3. In another shallow dish, beat the egg with the tablespoon of milk.
4. Make an assembly line with an empty plate for your dredged chicken at the end. 
5. Place chicken in the flour, then in the egg mixture, then back in the flour mixture. Make sure to use one hand for the wet and one hand for the dry ingredients to avoid a huge gloopy mess.
6. Stick the chicken in the fridge for 20 minutes or so to solidify the coating.
7. Preheat a large skillet with the oil and butter over Medium-Medium High heat (depends on how hot your stove gets).
8. Fry each breast for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Do not crowd the pan, fry the chicken in batches. As you finish one batch, place on a plate in a 200* oven to keep warm. (I kept the already cooked biscuits warm on a different plate at the same time).
9.After your last batch, prepare your country gravy. I used 1 c water and 1 c milk for a more creamy gravy. At this time I also heated up the potatoes and corn.
10. Place your chicken on the plate and top with gravy. Feel free to put the gravy on your potatoes and biscuits too....thats what Mr. Picky did!

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