W30/D: Pan Fried Chicken with Bacon and Thyme Gravy
- 3 skinless boneless chicken breasts, about 5 ounces each
- 3 thick bacon slices, chopped
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon lard or other cooking fat
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
- 2 tablespoons water
- salt and pepper, to taste
Begin by butterflying the chicken breasts. Lay a chicken breast on a cutting board in front of you, smooth side down. Remove the tenderloin, if necessary; you will probably be able to simply pull it off, although you may need to cut if free at one end. Save the tenderloin for another use.
Turn the breast over with the narrow, pointed tip facing you and the thinner side opposite your cutting hand. Place your hand on top of the breast. Carefully insert the knife into the thickest part of the breast, and draw it almost all the way through the breast. Take care to keep the breast attached on one side.
Open the breast like a book and, if needed, use the broad side of a cook’s knife or the smooth side of a meat mallet to even out the butterflied breast, by lightly pounding the flesh until it’s an even thickness. Repeat until all 3 breasts have been butterflied; season lightly with salt and pepper and set aside.
Cook bacon in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion to the drippings in the pan. Cook until soft and golden, about 3 minutes; using the same slotted spoon, remove it to the paper towel with the bacon.
Increase the heat to medium high once more and add the lard or other cooking fat at to the pan. Add the chicken to the skillet and pan-fry until browned and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a plate, cover and keep warm.
Reduce the heat to medium low and add the chicken stock, bacon, onion and thyme to the pan, stirring occasionally until the mixture is hot. In a small bowl, whisk the arrowroot into the water with a fork, and add it to the liquid in the skillet. Stir constantly until the mixture is thickened to the desired consistency; taste, season with salt and pepper if needed and remove from the heat.
Slice the chicken breasts into strips; plate and ladle the gravy over top, and serve.