Pan Fried Pork Chops or Chicken Breasts, with gravy

26 Feb

Meat:
– 4 large pork chops (boneless or bone-in) or chicken breasts (boneless)
– 1/2 to 1 cup vegetable oil
– 1 cup flour or bread crumbs, or a combination of both**
– meat tenderizer
– salt and pepper
– chicken or pork shake-on seasoning

Gravy:
– 2 cups chicken or pork broth, or 1 cup water or milk and 1 cup broth (boullion cubes can be used here to make the broth)
– 1/4 cup corn starch
– 1/4 cup milk or water
– Drippings, “crunchies” (the browned bits of coating that my family fights over) and pan juices from cooking the meat

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, rinse the pork chops or chicken breasts and pat dry. Sprinkle tenderizer, salt, pepper, and seasonings on meat. Poke with a fork to incorporate spices into the meat. Place each piece of meat into the flour and press down to adhere, turn and repeat on each side twice to thoroughly coat.

Place chops or breasts two at a time in the heated oil (to check to see if oil is hot enough, wet fingers under faucet and carefully drip one or two drops of water into the oil – if it hisses and spatters, the oil is hot enough). Cook without turning for five minutes on one side. Carefully turn over and cook for five minutes on the other side. The coating will now be firmly adhered so if additional browning and cooking is required, it is now safe to turn the meat over as needed (tongs are easiest, I find). Cook until thoroughly browned and juices (when a slit is cut into the thickest part of the meat) run clear.

Set meat aside and cover to keep warm.

To make the gravy – skim out all but four tablespoons of oil from the skillet. Leave all the browned bits. Carefully pour the broth or broth/water/milk combination into the pan. Whisk to combine juices and browned bits. Heat to boiling. Combine the corn starch and water or milk in a small bowl until smooth. Gradually pour corn starch mixture into broth mixture while whisking continuously. Add enough of the corn starch mixture to thicken the gravy as preferred (it may not require all of it).

Serve the chicken or pork and gravy with rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes.

**For a gluten free recipe, use rice flour or crushed Corn Flakes (which work really well).

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