Edna Lewis-Inspired Pan Fried Chicken with Cream Gravy

by Chef

Serves: 4


1 pound unsalted butter, clari ed (melted, skimmed, and no milk solids) Lard for frying
21?2-3 pounds fresh chicken, rinsed and cut into 8 pieces
3 cups buttermilk
4 cups all-purpose our, plus 4 tablespoons for cream gravy
1 cup rice our
5 tablespoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons ground black pepper
3 tablespoons granulated garlic
1/2 pound smoked bacon, sliced
1 pint heavy whipping cream
Pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large mixing bowls
Large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven Heavy-duty oil thermometer
Wire baking rack


Method: To prepare the skillet or Dutch oven for frying, add the lard and butter, and heat to 360°F. Place cut-up chicken in a large mixing bowl. Pour buttermilk over chicken and let soak for 1 hour before placing in the our mixture.

Prepare our mixture by sifting ours, salt, pepper, and garlic into another large mixing bowl. Remove chicken pieces from buttermilk and place into the seasoned our. Cover completely, and then shake o excess our. Place on a wire rack to let excess our drop, and air dry for 10 minutes.

Place coated chicken breasts in hot oil, skin side down; reduce heat to maintain a temperature of 340°F. Cook 10 minutes before adding the remaining smaller cuts of chicken. Turn chicken and fry 15 additional minutes. Add slices of bacon to the hot oil as you fry in batches. Use up all the bacon. Total cook time should be 25 minutes for chicken breasts. Remove bacon from the oil when browned, and then let drain (nibble on the crispy bacon as you go or serve with the fried chicken). Chicken will be crispy and mahogany in color. Place chicken on a wire rack with paper towels underneath to catch any drippings.

Pour o 4 to 5 tablespoons of the cooking-fat mixture into a small saucepot. Stir in 4 tablespoons of our and whisk over low heat until light brown in color. Slowly add the cream and let simmer gently 10 to 12 minutes, or until thickened to your liking. Whisk frequently. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve chicken with gravy on the side.