More a meal than simply a recipe, this preparation of fried chicken with country ham and red-eyed gravy was inspired by a memory of meals served on a working farm in rural Homestead, South Carolina.
4 6-oz. chicken breasts
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 thin slices country ham
1 cup Brown Chicken Stock
1 cup strong black coffee
2 tbsp. butter
1⁄4 cup cream
1⁄4 cup chopped scallions
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Dust chicken with flour, dip into an egg wash made by beating eggs with an equal amount of water, then dredge in cornmeal.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Fry chicken until golden-brown, 5–7 minutes on each side. Put a ham slice on top of each chicken breast, then turn carefully so that ham is underneath. Lower heat and cook 5 minutes more. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.
3. Add chicken stock and coffee to the same pan and reduce by half. Stir in butter and cream, lower heat, cook until thickened. Stir in scallions, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Place chicken ham side up on plates and sauce with ham gravy. Serve with grits and okra.