Shortcut Fried Chicken Recipe

Shortcut Fried Chicken with Sauce Beautiful is an updated version of Classic Fried Chicken, one of the most well-known and beloved Southern and Soul Food dishes.

Although many of the older generation Southern cooks wouldn’t consider compromising the family fried chicken recipe, the general availability of boneless, skinless chicken breasts has revolutionized the preparation of fried chicken. In fact, the following recipe makes juicy, crispy, and delicious fried chicken in less than 30 minutes.

Although this fried chicken may be served with the usual mashed potatoes and cream gravy, Sauce Beautiful is much faster to prepare, can be made up to a week ahead if necessary, and is significantly lower in calories (not that any serious fried chicken eater really cares about the calories). The Sauce Beautiful, named for Princess Pamela’s late mother, Beauty Strobel, is one that has been adapted and modernized from a recipe in the out-of-print-but-worth-searching-for Princess Pamela’s Soul Food Cookbook (1969 Signet Books).

Serve this delicious chicken dish with Southern vegetables such as Southern Fried Cabbage or Slow Cooker Southern Green Beans. Dessert is a must for a proper Southern or Soul Food meal; Skillet Peach Cobbler with a scoop of ice cream will draw rave reviews.

Shortcut Fried Chicken with Sauce Beautiful

4 –6 Servings

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cleaned and cut diagonally in half
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Sauce Beautiful (recipe follows)

Mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge the chicken breast pieces in the mixture.
Melt the butter in a large heavy (preferably cast iron) skillet. Add the oil and heat the mixture to 375°.
When the oil butter mixture has heated, add the chicken pieces, in a single layer without crowding. The chicken pieces will cook quite fast since there are no bones.
When the chicken breasts are golden brown on one side, turn them to brown the other side. If the heat is correct, the chicken should be cooked through by the time the second side is browned. Since overcooked chicken breasts can be dry, make sure they are removed from the oil butter mixture as soon as they are barely cooked through.
Serve with Sauce Beautiful.

Sauce Beautiful

Makes about 1 1/4 cups

  • 1/2 cup peach jam or preserves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

If the peach preserves are really chunky, mash them with a fork or put them in the food processor and process until smooth.
Mix the peach jam, water, lemon juice, brown sugar, butter, vegetable oil, white wine vinegar, paprika, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce in a medium saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until slightly thickened.
Alternatively, this may be prepared in the microwave oven; mix all ingredients and microwave until boiling, 3-5 minutes.
If preparing this sauce ahead, transfer the sauce to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week. To serve, microwave until heated through, adding additional water if necessary.

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