In the College Kitchen with Jenna: Valentine’s Day Chicken Fried Chicken

As I’m sure everyone knows, this Friday is Valentine’s Day! And there’s no better way to say, “I love you” than with food that’ll surely put on the pounds—of love.

I’ve always felt that food is love, and the idea of eating chicken fried chicken while listening to Michael Bublé just makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over.  Chicken fried chicken (CFC) is a Texas classic: boneless chicken breast, butterflied, fried and topped off with white gravy. The same dish topped off with brown gravy is country fried chicken—and I don’t make that because I’m oddly repulsed by brown gravy.

This dish is actually very quick and easy to make, just about everyone loves it, and leftovers are great too.

Chicken fried chicken

Start out with a butterflied chicken breast. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, this is what you do to the meat so that the piece is of near-even thickness. For the step-by-step directions, check out YouTube.


Chicken breast (enough for whoever is eating)

½ C. Crisco (shortening)

1 C. flour

1T. salt

1T. pepper

½-2/4 C. milk

1 egg


1. Melt Crisco in frying pan on medium heat (be sure your pan has a lid—but don’t put it on until you have the chicken in there or you could start a fire [I did that])

2. Meanwhile combine flour, salt and pepper into one bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and milk together.

3. Once the Crisco is melted, check the temperature by flicking some water in the pan. If it hisses, it’s hot enough.

4. In your left (or non-dominant) hand so your other hand remains non-gooey for other things such as texting, take the chicken and submerge it in the flour mixture. Make sure all sides are covered with flour, rubbing it into the creases of the meat. Then, put the same breast in the milk mixture, covering all sides, then repeat with the flour bowl. Your chicken should have three layers of deliciousness before you carefully place it in the pan and cover with a lid.

5. Cook breast until brown on bottom side (about 7 minutes) and then turn and cook the other side evenly.  Chicken is thoroughly cooked when the meat thermometer reads 180 degrees. I don’t actually have a meat thermometer, so I usually cut open the biggest piece and the thickest part to see if it’s white or pink. Pink is bad—I know, chicken doesn’t really follow our V-Day theme.

6. Remove from heat to plate covered in paper towel.


Okay, so I lied a few paragraphs back when I said this was an easy dish. CFC is an easy dish; gravy however is a great test of your patience. You just have to keep believing that it will thicken and you don’t need any more flour than you already used.


2-3 T pan drippings

¼ C. flour

2 C. milk

Salt & pepper to taste


1. After all the chicken is done, pour at least 2-3 T grease into a disposable container.

2. Over medium heat, slowly add the flour to the grease. Whisk constantly until the flour reaches a light blond color and all of the flour is added.

3. Slowly whisk in the milk until fully incorporated. Continue whisking until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for about 2 minutes, or until it reaches the desired consistency.

4. Add salt & pepper to taste.

For those interested, brown gravy is basically the same but with no milk and a little bit of water—ew.

This is a really great dish for all kinds of occasions. You can cook for one, two or many doing the same thing. It is great with mashed potatoes, green beans, mac and cheese or any classic southern starches and steamed veggies.

Have a great Valentine’s Day, and remember that feelings are edible.