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Fried Chicken with Cream Gravy

ingredients

serves 4
1/4 pt/140 ml chicken stock,warmed
2 tbsp double cream (heavy cream)
optional salt
3 1/2 lb/1.6 kg chicken, jointed into 8 small pieces
3 oz/85 g flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten in a shallow basin

for the cream gravy

1/4 cup (1 oz) 30 g plain flour (All purpose)
1 tbsp (1/2 oz) butter
pepper
1/4 pt/140 ml full cream milk

to garnish:

parsley or Watercress (salad cress)

method

1. Heat a heavy frying pan over medium heat. Place the chicken pieces, skin side down, in a single layer in the pan. Cook gently for 10-15 minutes, turning once most of the fat has been rendered.

2. Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and, when cool enough to handle, skin the pieces.

3. Sift the flour and seasoning together. Dredge the chicken in flour then dip in egg and finally in the flour again.

4. Raise the heat under the frying pan and fry the chicken pieces until golden brown and cooked through. Test with a skewer or knife point inserted into a thigh piece next to the bone. The juices should run clear.

5. Transfer to a heated serving platter, garnish with parsley or watercress and keep covered, but loosely so that the meat will not steam, while you make the cream gravy.

6. Sprinkle the flour on the drippings in the frying pan and cook until the flour is golden brown, adding a little butter. Add a little milk off the heat and mix thoroughly, scraping up any sediments stuck to the bottom of the pan. Gradually add the rest of the milk, stirring continuously to avoid any lumps, and cook the sauce for a few minutes. Stir in the stock until you have a smooth mixture. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 10 minutes, to completely cook the flour. Strain into a small clean saucepan. Bring back to the boil. Stir in the cream, if using it, and add salt and pepper to taste.

7. A mountain of mashed potatoes with a crater lake of cream gravy is the perfect accompaniment to fried chicken.

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