Chicken Fried Chicken Thighs

You can argue all you want about the “king of steaks”… ribeye, filet, new york strip, or one of those shops in Philly. That’s up to you … but there’s only really one king of the breakfast steak – and that’s chicken fried steak. And that’s especially true if top it with white gravy.

Chicken Fried Steak of course isn’t chicken. It usually “mechanically tenderized beef”. which basically means it’s a tough cut of inexpensive been either hammered into oblivious – or if you’re getting it at an old school diner – run through a mechanical mangler: two spiked rollers that tear up the tough fiber of the beef. It makes it ugly, and distinctly un steak like. That makes it the PERFECT candidate for the old bread-it-and-fry-it treatment.


This is The Chicken Thigh Guy – so steak really isn’t on the menu. But as we’ve discussed before, one of the great things about chicken thighs (besides being inexpensive and just all around better than say, those dried out massive too mealy chicken breasts) is their ability to stand in for other proteins. Normally (at least around here) it’s been pork they’re standing in for – but they can be a viable substitute for beef as well (such as in meatballs and spaghetti sauce.)

Obviously, i’m subbing them in for that mechanically tenderized beef. They’re great because you don’t have to tenderize them. chicken thighs are already deliciously tender – but it’s advisable to give them a few wacks with a kitchen hammer or the side of a knife – just to flatten them a little and even out the thickness. That’ll help them cook quickly and evenly.

Chicken Fried Chicken Thighs

Recipe by DrewCourse: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time



A chicken thigh version of the classic Chicken Fried Steak.


  • Chicken Cutlets
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs

  • ½ cup milk

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 cup AP flour

  • ¼ cup corn starch

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 tsp finely ground black pepper

  • ½ tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp garlic powder

  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1 cup oil for frying

  • Black Pepper White Gravy
  • 2 tbsp AP flour

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

  • 1 tsp kosher salt


  • Chicken Cutlets
  • Whisk together the egg and milk.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cornstarch, baking powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and finely ground black pepper. Spread this on a plate.
  • Working one piece at a time, place a boneless skinless chicken thigh between two pieces of plastic wrap.
  • Use a kitchen mallet, or the bottom of a heavy flat-bottomed pan to pound the chicken until it’s approximately ¼ inch thick.
  • Repeat for the remaining three pieces.
  • Dip each piece into the egg/milk mixture, then into the flour mixture, pressing into the flour so that whole piece is covered completely.
  • Allow the chicken pieces to rest uncovered in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before cooking. This will help hydrate the breading and make it stick to the chicken better.
  • Add ½ inch of oil to a pan over medium heat.
  • Once the oil has reached 325°F, work in batches to fry each chicken piece – turning once – until golden brown.
  • Drain on a paper towel or rack and keep warm until serving.
  • Serve topped with Black Pepper White gravy.
  • Black Pepper White Gravy
  • Add the butter to a thick bottomed pan over medium heat.
  • Once the butter has stopped foaming, add the flour, and cook, stiring constantly, just until the raw flour smell has disappeared.
  • Add the milk and heavy cream and bring to a simmer, stirring well to incorporate the cooked flour.
  • Season with salt, and add the black pepper.
  • Serve immediately.

Be sure to check out my other food project, The Weekly Menu!

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