A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 05, 2006
Chicken Fried Chicken (CFC)

First, there was chicken-fried steak. Then came “chicken-fried chicken,” or CFC. It’s the same idea, but with chicken instead of steak.


Texas Cooking
Chicken Fried Chicken with Cream Gravy
This is essentially Texas-style chicken fried steak, but it is made with chicken breasts. Be sure to make this with cream gravy.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
cooking oil or melted Crisco
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Beat together the egg and milk and set aside. Mix together the salt, black pepper, paprika and white pepper and sprinkle on both sides of chicken breasts.
Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, shaking off the excess. Then dip each piece in the egg/milk mixture, then back in the flour. (You’re going to get your hands messy here, so take your rings off.) Set chicken pieces aside on a piece of waxed paper.

Heat the cooking oil in a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Oil should be about a half-inch deep in the pan. Check the temperature with a drop of water; if it pops and spits back at you, it’s ready.

With a long-handled fork, carefully place each chicken breast into the hot oil. Protect yourself (and your kitchen) from the popping grease that results. Fry chicken breasts on both sides, turning once, until golden brown. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 15 to 18 minutes until chicken pieces are done through. Drain on paper towels.

Cream Gravy
After the chicken is removed from the pan, pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of oil, keeping as many as possible of the browned bits in the pan. Heat the oil over medium heat until hot.

Sprinkle 3 tablespoons flour (use the left-over flour from the chicken fried chicken recipe (waste not—want not) in the hot oil. Stir with a wooden spoon, quickly, to brown the flour.

Gradually stir in 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup water, mixed together, stirring constantly with the wooden spoon and mashing out any lumps. Lower heat, and gravy will begin to thicken. Continue cooking and stirring a few minutes until gravy reaches desired consistency. Check seasonings and add more salt and pepper according to your taste. 

Google Books
Buck Fever: A Blanco County, Texas Novel
by Ben Rehder
New York: St. martin’s Press
2002
Pg. 78:
Scanning the menu, the man started to groan inside. Christ, don’t they have anything here that isn’t fried in fat? Chicken-fried steak. Chicken-fried chicken. Deep-fried okra. He imagined they’d fry the pecan pie if they could find a way.

Google Books
Dishing: Great Dish—And Dishes—From America’s Most Beloved Gossip Columnist
by Liz Smith
New York: Simon & Schuster
2005
Pg. 87:
The great C.F.S. novelist, Dan Jenkins, who knows where every good C.F.S. is made in all of Texas, including his childhood favorite cafe, Massey’s, in Fort Worth, insists it should be eaten when drinking beer. Dan deplores the Rio Ranch trend, which has led to chicken-fried venison, chicken-fried rib eyes, chicken-fried tuna steaks, and, he says, the worst of all, falttened pieces of chicken-fried chicken! “Let fried chicken be fried chicken,” says Dan. “But let chicken-fried steak stand on its own.”

Google Books
The Everything Tex-Mex Cookbook:
300 Flavorful Recipes to Spice Up Your Mealtimes!
by Linda Larsen
Avon, MA: Adams Media
2006
Pg. 160:
Chicken-Fried Chicken
with Cream Gravy
Adabo sauce, masa harina, and ground red chile powder make this chicken-fried chicken spicier than classic recipes. You could leave them all out if you wish, but why would you?

Google Groups: alt.folklore.urban
From:  BRYAN MILLIGAN
Date:  Thurs, Apr 2 1992 12:47 pm

Around here chicken fried steak is a very popular menu item in public eateries.  Lately (last year or so) I’ve been seeing ‘chicken fried chicken’ offered on menus.  So far I’m the only one who thinks this is funny.

bryan “I’ll have the chicken fried steak fried chicken”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, November 05, 2006 • Permalink