This is some of the best pan-fried chicken I have ever made. I used our mother’s cast-iron frying pan; and it certainly makes a difference. My husband especially liked the crust…crispy, crunchy, and it stayed on the chicken. The seasonings gave it some punch, but the real secret is a coating made of both cornmeal and grits, which are coarser and stayed very crunchy.
This dish is gluten-free if you choose cornmeal and grits that are labeled that they are processed in a gluten-free facility.
I usually cut up chicken breasts into 5-6 ounce pieces and pound them out before I put them in the freezer, so I saved some time right before lunch. By using the thinner chicken pieces, you save on some expensive butter and oil, as well as calories, and the chicken still gets fried all the way around. As you can see, the pieces shrink some and get a little thicker as they cook. You also save time, as the thinner pieces cook more quickly.
Today, I served it with some cornbread dressing and a nice green vegetable, and had it on the table in about 30 minutes.
4 each Chicken Cutlets -- 5-6 ounces each
1 teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Pepper
1 cup Cornmeal
¼ cup Grits -- quick cooking (not instant)
1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
¼ teaspoon Ground Red Pepper
1 cup Buttermilk
1 tablespoon Mustard -- grainy
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 tablespoons Butter
Pound chicken to 1/4" thickness.
Mix cornmeal, grits, garlic salt and red pepper in a shallow dish or paper plate.
Combine buttermilk and mustard in another shallow dish.
Dip chicken in buttermilk mixture, drain excess.
Dredge in cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess.
In a cast-iron skillet, heat fat over medium heat. Cook chicken in batches, turning until brown and crisp, 4-5 minutes per side. If not serving immediately, place on a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet in a 200° oven. 4 Servings
"Taste of the South (adapted)"