Auntie Em's Guide to Life

A guide to all the important things in life- marriage, family, cooking, gardening, reading, travel, Christian living… And whatever else grabs my attention!

Auntie Em’s Country Fried Chicken and Milk Gravy

on August 24, 2012

Remember my sort-of once-a-month cooking? I sliced up some chicken breasts to make fried chicken strips, and man were they good!

I like to use a cast-iron skillet for a deep-fried food. It heats slowly, but holds the heat, which is important. A note about cast-iron: it likes lots of oil; otherwise it will start to rust. Back in the day, when people fried everything, their skillets kept a shiny black “seasoning” on them, and they were just about non-stick and would rinse clean. Nowdays, I’m more likely to sauté than fry, so I usually wipe it down with oil after each use. And don’t wash it with soap unless it really needs it. Just wipe it clean if that works- then try just water and a cloth- and as a last resort, use soap. ALWAYS dry immediately and completely, and wipe with oil if it’s not shiny black.

Before- see the dull spots?                                                 After I wiped with oil

20120824-183536.jpg           20120824-183603.jpg

So- on to the chicken.
1. Pour about 1/2 an inch of oil in your skillet. Turn heat to medium high. Use a thermometer because you know you’ll think it’s ready before it is! It needs to reach at least 360.
2. (You can do this step ahead of time.) Slice boneless, skinless chicken breasts in 1″ strips. Season to taste and cover with buttermilk. (I put them in a ziplock when I do it ahead- the strips were wonderfully tender and I don’t know if it was because they soaked in buttermilk a day, or if I just did a good job!)
3. Using a fork or tongs, unless you want a big mess on your fingers, lift each strip and let the excess buttermilk drip off- then roll them in flour till they’re covered.

4. Check your oil temperature.
4.a. Wait till it’s 360.
4.b. Wait till it’s 360. It will take a long time, especially using cast-iron!
5. When the oil reaches 360, CAREFULLY place the strips in the pan.Leave some room between the pieces; It’s better to do 2 batches than crowd them.

6. Watch it carefully- you can’t multi-task when deep-frying! Give it about 3-5 minutes, till it’s the color you like. I don’t like mine terribly crunchy.
7. Turn them over. Tongs are better than a fork.
8. Drain them on paper towels, and cover them with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel to keep them hot while you make….

1. Pour off all but a couple of tablespoons of the oil. (Think ahead for this- an old veggie can is good, or a glass cup. Don’t pour it in your trash because it’ll melt straight through!) (PS You ladies who are “of a certain age” like me, did you keep a can of oil on your stove to reuse when you fried things? Seems like I fried every night!)
2. Add about the same amount of flour and stir, stir, stir! This is tricky to get the right consistency. It needs to stay separated when you scrape the bottom, but begin to puddle back.


3. Add salt and pepper, and keep stirring. Let it cook 2-3 minutes and begin to brown. The little bits of flour left in from the chicken will get lovely crunchy brown. Let it get darker if you want brown gravy.


4. Add a little milk (or cream, or broth, depending on what you want) and stir, stir, stir!


Add some more till it’s the consistency you like.


Get it to the table fast! This gravy is excellent over mashed potatoes, the chicken, rice, toast, or even plain bread! Good gravy takes practice, so don’t give up it it’s too thick or too runny.

14 responses to “Auntie Em’s Country Fried Chicken and Milk Gravy

  1. Yum! Be right over! 🙂

  2. Jan Woddail says:

    I love my cast iron skillet!

  3. dltolley says:

    Oh, my word! That’s exactly how my mom used to make fired chicken and cream gravy. The memories!!! I had totally forgotten. I’m going to have to do this!

  4. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman says:

    Looks delicious, I never used a cast iron skillet, but my mom and dad did, maybe that is why their foods tasted better!! 🙂

  5. wholeheartedhome says:

    Thank you for the recipe and also for the tips on caring for cast iron. Looks delish!! Thanks for linking up over at WholeHearted Home this week.

  6. This looks like something I would eat every day! Comforting and delicious!
    Thank you so much for sharing this at Wednesday Extravaganza – Hope to see you there again tomorrow with more deliciousness 🙂

  7. […] tell you how I make fried chicken and milk gravy if you […]

  8. […] South, chicken is sometimes called the Holy Bird, because it was fed to so many preachers (usually fried) for Sunday dinner! (In the rural South, the midday meal is still called “dinner” and […]

  9. cynthial1956 says:

    There is nothing better than fried chicken and cream gravy! It is one of my favorites!

    Thank you for linking up to the In and Out of the Kitchen link party. I look forward to seeing what you bring next week!

    Cynthia at

  10. […] recipe called for dipping in an egg wash but I used buttermilk. (like I do for my fried chicken) I like lots of pepper too! Here is where you season them, though you can add seasons in your bread […]

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