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"I admit that nothing can stand in for good fried chicken," says John Currence. "But this is a hell of an impostor." He adds sweet tea to his marinade; the tannins help tenderize the poultry while the sugar gives it a light cure. The accompanying gravy gets a ton of flavor from strips of caramelized onion.
- For the Chicken:
- 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts (5 ounces each)
- 4 cups brewed sweetened iced tea
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked hot Spanish paprika (pimentón de la Vera)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- For the Gravy:
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Pinch of sugar
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a resealable plastic bag, coat the chicken with the tea, Worcestershire, Tabasco, thyme and 1 tablespoon of salt. Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl, combine the flour, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Drain the chicken, pick off the thyme and dredge in the seasoned flour.
In a large ovenproof nonstick skillet, melt the butter in the oil. Add the chicken and cook over high heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook for 2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to the oven and roast until white throughout, 5 minutes.
Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onion, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the thyme and sugar and cook until the onion is caramelized, 15 minutes. Add the sherry and cook until evaporated. Whisk in the chicken stock and dissolved cornstarch and bring to a boil, stirring, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the gravy over the chicken and serve.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.
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