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Southern Fried Chicken with Country Gravy Recipe

Ingredients

1  Fryer chicken  (2 ½ to 3 ½ lbs)
To taste,  Salt
To taste, Black pepper
1 cup Buttermilk
1 Tlb. Mustard
2 tsp. Fresh tarragon, chopped
As needed:  All purpose flour, for dredging
As needed:  Vegetable oil for pan-frying
1 cup Whole  Milk, warmed

Directions

  1. Cut the chicken into 8 serving pieces.  Trim the pieces of excess fat and season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Whisk together the buttermilk, mustard, and tarragon in a large bowl to make a marinade.  Put the marinade and chicken pieces in a resealable plastic bag, close and squeeze until all of the chicken pieces are coated evenly.  Place in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours, turning occasionally.
  3. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing any excess to drip off. Place flour in mixing bowl and dredge the chicken in the flour.
  5. Pour the oil into a skillet to a depth of ½ inch.  Heat over medium heat until it registers 350 degrees on a frying thermometer.  Add the legs, wings and thighs to the hot oil, in batches as needed.  Pan-fry until golden brown on the first side, approximately 6-7 minutes, the turn and fry on the second side until golden, approximately 7-8 minutes.  Place on a rack in a baking pan and put in the oven.  Using a slotted spoon to remove browned bits from the oil and let the oil return to 350 degrees.  Continue frying the breast pieces in the same way, and then add to the pan in the oven. Bake until the chicken is opaque throughout and a thermometer inserted into the thickest parts register 165 degrees.
  6. Meanwhile, make the gravy.  Again remove any browned bits from the oil in the pan and pour off all but 3 tsp. Then add 2 tsp. all purpose flour and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to make a roux (this thickens the sauce, paste like) for approximately 2 minutes.  Add the milk to the roux, stirring well to remove all lumps.  Cook over low heat, stirring and skimming as necessary, until thickened to a sauce like consistency, approximately 5-7 minutes.  Taste and season with salt and pepper. Strain the gravy and serve with the chicken.