Since I had halved the flan recipe, I had quite a bit of heavy cream and whole milk leftover. I wasn't about to drink either straight from a cup or pour either into a bowl of cereal, so I had to look for other ways to use them up. Considering which town I'm from and what they served in my elementary school's cafeteria, it's not surprise that mashed potatoes and country gravy immediately came to mind. What to serve them with? That was also an easy question to answer because Chicken Fried Chicken is my most favorite entree ever, and it goes wonderfully with mashed potatoes and country gravy.

I have a Vietnamese mother and a Vietnamese father, so I've always been puzzled about how exactly my love for Chicken Fried Chicken came about. My first and primary exposure to the dish was through the workings of my elementary school's cafeteria ladies. My favorite lunches were noontime dining spent savoring the crispy, fried outside and slightly salty, juicy insides. The chicken fried chicken had to be served with country gravy. Otherwise, it wouldn't be the right dish. It's really weird to think that I fell in love with cafeteria food. Shows you what poor taste I have...

I found a recipe on Allrecipes, and it seemed easy enough.


  • 26 saltine crackers
  • 6 garlic & herb flavored Ritz-like crackers
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons dry potato flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 pkg at normal, everyday grocery stores)
The first thing I did was wash the chicken breasts and patted them dry. I don't know why I always do this with chicken breasts, but it somehow seems more sanitary this way. I set the chicken aside and began to work on the crackers.

I poured all the crackers into a large, quart-sized storage bag and sealed them in. I then crushed the crackers into fine to small crumbs. To this I added the flour, potato flakes, salt, and pepper. I mixed this all up by shaking the bag vigorously for a minute or so. Now my coating was all ready to go.

I poured the vegetable oil into my largest skillet and evenly distributed it along the bottom of the pan. While the oil heated over medium-high heat, I beat the egg in a shallow bowl. Once the oil was hot, I dredged one chicken breast in the beaten egg and dropped into the bag of crumbs. I coated the chicken in crumbs by shaking and turning the bag in every direction until none of the chicken's pink was showing through. Then I placed the chicken into the skillet and let it fry on one side for about 8 minutes. Once that was done, I turned it over and fried the other side for another 8 minutes. I continued this pattern until the chicken was longer pink inside and its juices ran clear. I repeated these steps for the remaining pieces of chicken breast.

Since I had a pretty big skillet, I was able to fry two pieces of chicken at one time. Each piece took about 20 minutes to cook completely. Once they were all finished, I blotted them with some paper towels to remove the excess grease.

To make the country gravy, I used the frying oil in the pan. I added some flour, salt, pepper, heavy cream, and whole milk to the oil. I didn't use a recipe at all for this; I had remembered my friend in my high school telling me that country gravy was made of these few ingredients. I eyeballed everything and added flour and milk until I got the consistency and taste that I wanted.

I ended up serving chicken fried chicken for my family's Easter dinner. Since I had decided to peel a bag of baby carrots to make them look nice (they were kind of old and weathered on the outside) before boiling, I had a late start to making the chicken. Because each round of chicken frying took at least 20 minutes, Easter dinner was served kind of late this year. However, my parents really liked the dish and enjoyed it. It was very, very tasty in my opinion. Their only criticism was that the chicken and gravy was a little too salty. I'll have to be careful with that stuff next time; a little salt goes a long way.