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Black Pepper Southern Gravy over Seared Chicken & Mashed Potatoes




If you're from the south, you know all about chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. Here I feature one of my favorite southern gravies, black pepper white gravy. This hot yet creamy gravy is a derivative of a milk sausage gravy served often in the south.


We quickly pan fry the chicken to brown it (as many chefs have said to me...no color, no flavor), then finish it in a hot oven. Remove the chicken, deglaze, and proceed to make a gravy you would (or will) eat on its own. Or maybe slather (yes, I said slather) over my mom's recipe for the perfect biscuit linked here, Southern Buttermilk Biscuits.


To see the recipe in action, here is the link to the YouTube Video: www.paulanaumcheff.com


I highly recommend Bell & Evans organic chicken breasts. They have a superior flavor and texture, due to the way they raise and "harvest" their chickens. A highly reputable, humane, longstanding company.


And if you're a serious cook, it is imperative that you have high quality cookware. It affects the induction and even distribution of heat, discouraging early burn and bad results. May be initially expensive, but your investment will last a LIFETIME. I am an All-Clad fanatic. I've had this badass cookware for 25 years, it truly will level up your kitchen antics.


Recipe:


Makes 6 Generous Servings


INGREDIENTS:


3 large skinless boneless chicken breasts, marinated overnight, or at least 4 hours, dried thoroughly, and pounded to 1/2 inch thick.


The Marinade:


1/2 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2+ teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon white sugar

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

dash of hot sauce (optional)


Mix chicken with ingredients in a non-reactive food safe container, and marinate overnight, or at least 4 hours.


At time of preparation, remove chicken from marinade. Discard marinade. Dry chicken thoroughly, then pound with a flat mallet to desired thickness. I prefer 1/2-3/4 inch.


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees for next steps...


Heat high quality oven proof skillet on the stove, over medium heat, adding 1/4 cup high smoke point oil, such as avocado or grapeseed.


Once oil begins to slightly shimmer, add in 1 tablespoon unsalted butter.


Place chicken in pan, and brown for 2 minutes on each side. Adjust heat as needed.


Place pan with chicken in oven for 8-12 minutes, depending on thickness. Do not overbake. Remember the chicken will continue cooking slightly after removed from heat.


Remove chicken from pan and place on a platter.


Place pan back on stovetop, set to medium heat. We will now deglaze the pan to incorporate those yummy bits of flavor into the gravy.


Let pan warm up, then add 1/4 cup white wine or chicken stock. (if you use stock, be cognizant of the salt content and adjust accordingly as recipe proceeds).


Add in 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.


Stir and scrape bottom of pan to incorporate flavorings with the liquid. Continue to do this during entire cooking time.


Cook for several minutes, until it comes to a low simmer, then add in a slurry of 1 tablespoon flour and 2 tablespoons water. Allow to simmer for an additional few minutes, whisking and scraping pan.


Once sauce has thickened slightly, add in 1 cup of whole milk, 2 teaspoons of course black pepper, and 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter.


Continue to stir and cook the gravy. You will notice steam which is the gravy releasing moisture. Taste and adjust for salt and heat.


Once it has thickened to desired consistency, immediately take pan off heat. If not, the sauce will continue to thicken rapidly and not be desirable.


Place chicken breasts on a mound of mashed potatoes (try Kalamata olives in your mash!). Pour gravy on top.


You're a rockstar cook. Enjoy!




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