Fried chicken with a thyme-mushroom cream sauce, served with white and wild rice, and no-salt-added corn.

I saw this recipe on Youtube at one point, and it looked absolutely delicious.  If I remember correctly, it was this videofrom The Thuggin’ Chef.  It looked simple, but exceedingly tasty.  Of course, I had to make it.  Recipe to follow.

Like a lot of chefs, you make adjustments and changes according to what you think you or your guest/partner will like, or what you have on hand.

My chicken is breaded in a different manner than Mr. Thuggin’ Chef’s chicken.  I use more than just a dredging of flour.  I use a blend of eleven spices added to the flour, along with…matzo meal!  Matzo meal gives the breading a nice crunch after it’s fried.  I also use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rather than the skin-on chicken Mr. Thuggin’ Chef uses, in the interest of cutting the fat down in this dish.  Since the chicken breasts are going to be fried in oil, you gotta cut corners where you can, and I assure you, this does not impact the flavor at all.

I also used sliced button mushrooms.  Mat is choosy when it comes to his mushrooms, and I know if they are cooked properly, Mat will happily eat button mushrooms.  The thyme I used (this time) was also dried, as I had no fresh thyme on hand, and I only really have it during the winter, when I throw fresh thyme into everything.

A lot of people have an aversion to fried foods because of the higher fat content.  The thing is about fried food is it is not inherently fatty.  Higher in calories than just pan sautéed chicken, yes, but it does not have to be on par with McDonalds or KFC.  You have to make sure the oil is hot, though.  If it’s not hot enough, or you add too many pieces of chicken at once, the oil cools, does not fry at the proper temperature, and the oil soaks into the breading, making it soggy, oily, and calorie laden.  I will fry, at most, three pieces of chicken in a skillet at once, best if you keep it to two.  When you are done frying the chicken, put those babies on some paper towels.  I, myself, use newspaper paper, which hasn’t been printed on.  I had a ton of it, since it is used to pack some things I order all the time.  This will pull the excess oil off your chicken and drastically reduce the calorie load.

Normally, I’d use fat-free half-n-half for this recipe, but all I had was heavy whipping cream.  (I hang my head in shame, I assure you.)  It works just as well, but it is very calorie-loaded, so if you are looking to cut your corners, use fat-free half-n-half.

As for the oils, don’t just use extra virgin olive oil!!  EVOO has a very low burning temperature, and cannot be used to fry things because of this.  If you add an oil with a higher burning temperature, such as vegetable oil, this raises the overall burning temperature and makes olive oil suitable to fry.  Use a one to one (1:1) ratio of extra virgin olive oil and vegetable oil, for the best results.

One of the best things about this recipe is the sauce can be ladled over egg noodles (or yolk-free egg noodles) for a scrumptious side-dish!

Recipe, altered from the original recipe posted at the link above:

2 chicken breasts, trimmed and patted dry

1/3 cup of All Purpose flour

1/4 cup matzo meal

sprinkle of salt and pepper

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup of vegetable oil (I use canola.)

4 oz sliced button mushrooms

1/3 cup white wine (optional)

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/3 cup of half-n-half

1/2 tsp thyme

1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water

Trim and pat your chicken breasts dry.  Mix together your flour and matzo meal.  At this time, put your oils into your wide, deep skillet and begin to heat it.  sprinkle salt and pepper over each side of your chicken breasts and dredge them in the flour/matzo mixture.  When the oil is hot enough (test by sprinkling some of the flour/matzo mixture into the oil, and if it begins to sizzle and brown, it’s ready.  If it doesn’t quite sizzle, give it a minute and try again), gentle put the chicken into the oil and let it fry until golden brown on one side.  When it’s nice and crispy brown on that side, flip over and cook on that side.  Flip once more and re-fry on that side for about three minutes, and repeat for the other side.  Remove onto some paper towers or newspaper.

Take your pan and drain off the oil except for about two tablespoons of oil.  Don’t drain off the crispy brown stuff at the bottom!  That’s good tasting stuff, and you want that stuff.  Be extra sure to mop up any oil that spills down the outer side of the pan, as it can be a fire hazard, especially if you cook on a gas range.  Put the skillet back on the burner and add your mushrooms.  Stir them around until they begin to cook down, then add the whine, if you choose to use it.  If not, that’s okay, add the chicken broth.  If you did use the wine, let the wine cook down until the alcohol evaporates, constantly pushing the mushrooms around to deglaze the bottom of the pan and stir up all that crunchy tasties at the bottom of your skillet.  When the wine has reduced, add the chicken broth.  Allow the mushroom and chicken broth mixture to cook for a while until the  broth reduces some.

When the broth has reduced, add the half-n-half.  Stir it in, then add your thyme.  Allow to cook for about thirty seconds.  Ad the cornstarch mixture and stir until the sauce has thickened.  Ladle this sauce over the chicken breasts, and over noodles, if you prefer.  Enjoy!

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