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BVC Eats: Ya mutha’s chicken

This was one of my mother’s foolproof recipes. All Mom’s most edible dishes contained either corn or pork, except this one. I think she learned it while her parents were touring Appalachia in their Airstream trailer stuffed full of kids and dogs and cameras. In some parts of the country this is called Smothered Chicken and is served with fresh biscuits. Mom’s biscuits were pretty good, although mine are better. I’ll post that recipe one of these days.

1 fryer chicken, cut up, rinsed and patted dry
optional: minced chicken liver
1/2 c flour plus 2 T flour
salt, pepper, and paprika to taste

2 to 4 T butter
1 c milk or more

Shake the dry chicken pieces in a paper bag with 1/2 c flour and the seasonings. In a heavy pan, sauté coated the chicken in the butter two or three pieces at a time over moderate heat. Remove when the chicken looks browned, and when blood starts showing at the cut ends. Remove the chicken from pan.

Put a rack in the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking or burning. Add the chicken, then add enough water to cover the rack about 1/2 inch deep. Cover the pan tightly and cook the chicken on medium heat on stovetop 45 minutes or until juices run clear. Do not let the pan cook dry.

To prepare the gravy, remove the chicken and rack from pan. Do not drain the fat! Add 1 T water to deglaze the pan, cooking gently and scraping  the pan to loosen the drippings. Add butter until you have about 4 T fat total in the pan. Add 2 T flour and whisk into the hot grease, cooking until the flour is browned. Add the milk. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until all the drippings are released from the pan and the gravy has thickened. Serve over biscuits or mashed potatoes. Serves four.

Personally I like this with minced chicken liver sautéed into the roux, but my husband despises liver. I’m wearing him down.

You can quarter a couple of big baking potatoes and put them into the pot with the chicken before you smother it. Then your potatoes will be all tasty and ready to be smashed and gravied!


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