It doesn’t get more indulgent than pan-fried chicken… unless of course you served that pan-fried chicken with gravy! Hotbox Chicken has all the classic Southern charm, right down to marinating the savory chicken in a mixture of sweet tea and hot sauce! The caramel notes of the tea and the spice of the hot sauce soak right in, so when the chicken is breaded in aromatic herbs and pan-fried until crispy, it’s a dance of flavors all the way through. Oh, and we can’t forget that extra-savory gravy just loaded with caramelized onions. All it takes is a little patience and Hotbox Chicken can make a swelteringly hot first impression!

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Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
  • 4 cups sweetened iced tea
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme, leaves removed
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

For the gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • sugar, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Directions

Step 1 –In a plastic resealable bag, place the chicken breast, the tea, the Worcestershire sauce, the hot sauce, 1 tablespoon of the thyme, and 1 tablespoon of the salt.

Step 2 –Coat the chicken with the marinade mixture and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to overnight.

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Step 3 –Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Step 4 –Combine the flour, the cayenne, the paprika, the garlic powder, the onion powder, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1 teaspoon of the pepper in a bowl.

Step 5 –Remove the chicken from the marinade bag and pick off any remaining thyme.

Step 6 –Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture.

Step 7 –Add the butter and 2 tablespoons of the canola oil to a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat and heat until the butter is melted.

Step 8 –Add the chicken to the melted butter mixture and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.

Step 9 –Turn the chicken and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Step 10 –Transfer the chicken to the oven and roast until fully cooked and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F, about 5 minutes.

Step 11 –In another skillet, heat the remaining oil.

Step 12 –Add in the onion and cover using the lid, cooking the onion over medium-high heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir periodically to avoid burning.

Step 13 –Add the remaining thyme and the sugar, cooking until the onion is caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Step 14 –Add the sherry and cook until it has evaporated.

Step 15 –Add the chicken stock and the dissolved cornstarch mixture and bring the mixture to a boil.

Step 16 –Stir the mixture until it has thickened, about 1-2 minutes.

Step 17 –Season the gravy with the salt and the pepper.

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Step 18 –Serve the chicken with the gravy!