There’s more! I’ll tell you in a minute, first, humor me.
I was down to the last chicken breast I purchased for the V-Day recipes and I didn’t know what to do with it. I had the chicken and some asparagus left. You may remember I mentioned not preferring chicken breast. I find it dull, dry and almost flavorless. What can I say? I’m a dark meat kinda girl.
But, I had a chicken breast leftover. As I drove home from work, I kept pondering my options. It wasn’t enough for Hubby’s yummy chicken tenders. Scratch. I’m trying to keep my carb intake down, so adding it to pasta was not an option. Scratch that too. But something with a crunch is what my brain wanted. Then, lightbulb! How ’bout Chicken Fried Chicken(ish), Gravy and Asparagus.
I came up with Chicken Fried Chicken with Asparagus and Bacon Gravy. Don’t ask me how that happened, but you’ll be glad it did! Here’s the awesome recipe.
Chicken Fried Chicken
For the chicken:
1 chicken breast, skinless & boneless
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp Herbs d’Provence
1-1/2 cps panko crumbs
Let’s make that lonely chicken breast multiple, shall we? Butterfly that breast, why don’t you! The idea is to split the breast in half and even it out. Make sure your knife is very sharp. Carefully work the knife through the breast, you now have 2 halves.
Now that it’s butterflied, you will need to even out the thickness. Cut 2 sides of a large ziploc bag. Lay the breast down on one side of the bag, top it with the other end then use a mallet or a flat heavy pan to flatten the breasts out. This is also known as Paillard.
This is what it looks like before:
And this is it after:
Now that the chicken breast has been thinned out, combine the oil, S&P, garlic and Herbs dProvence in a bowl and add the breast meat. Spin it around to coat all sides and set aside.
For the Bacon Asparagus Gravy:
3 slices bacon, finely chopped
Bacon drippings, about 2 tbsp
3 tbsp flour
10 asparagus spears, chopped
2-1/2 cps whole milk
Sea salt & Fresh pepper
Dash of nutmeg
Brown the bacon in a medium pan. Once golden brown, remove the bacon to a bowl. Drain out most of the drippings, but do not discard the fat, you will need it to make the gravy.
After you’ve peeled and trimmed the asparagus, cut them to pieces that are about 1-inch long. Heat the pan you cooked the bacon in and add the asparagus, throw in a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss the asparagus around a few times, then cover with a tight-fitting lid. Allow it to cook for about 2-3 minutes, just until the asparagus is al dente. Remove and add to the bowl with the bacon. Set aside.
In that same pan, add the rest of the bacon fat over medium heat. When it is hot, add the flour and stir with a whisk. You’re now making a roux. This is a white gravy, so the flour shouldn’t brown. However, in order to improve the taste of the gravy, you need to make sure the flour is cooked. The color should be that of light honey.
Once the roux is the right color, slowly begin to add the milk. Make sure you’re stirring while you add the milk or you’ll end up with lumps. Once all the milk has been added, continue stirring and allow it to come to a boil.
Once it boils, lower the temperature and stir some more until it thickens. When it reaches the consistency you’re looking for, add the asparagus and bacon. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Set aside.
Now is time to cook the chicken. In a medium skillet, heat enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Spread out the panko crumbs on wax paper and dip the chicken pieces in it. Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken pieces to a golden brown. Remember the chicken is very thin now and will not need to cook for long, probably 2 minutes per side. Remove and drain.
To plate, place a piece of chicken on a plate, then add the gravy right next or on top of the chicken. Enjoy it!