Southern Fried Chicken with Milk Gravy

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6-8 pieces of chicken (see note below)
1-2 cups buttermilk
Salt & pepper
2 eggs
1/4 cup hot sauce
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

How to make it :
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Cover chicken in buttermilk and marinate for 4-6 hours (or overnight). Drain chicken then lightly season with salt and pepper; set aside.
Whisk together eggs and hot sauce in a shallow bowl; set aside.
Combine flour and remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Reserve 1/4 cup of mixture for gravy. Set aside.
Heat 3-4 inches of oil or shortening in a large pan or skillet (I use my 12-inch Dutch oven) to 325 degrees if using bone-in pieces or 350 if using boneless (see note below).
Dredge one piece of chicken in flour and shake off any excess. Dip chicken in egg wash and shake off any excess. Dredge chicken back in flour once more taking care to thoroughly coat the chicken; shake off any excess. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
Fry chicken until dark golden brown on the outside and juices run clear on the inside. Cook in batches so not to overcrowd the pan. Serve with gravy (recipe below).
Note: For traditional fried chicken, use bone-in, skin-on pieces of white and dark meat chicken (I usually cut the breasts into two separate pieces). We will fry these at 325 degrees.
For “country fried” chicken (pictured in this post), use 3-4 large fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts and follow the below instructions. We will fry these at 350 degrees.
To prepare the “country fried” chicken, cut each breast into two cutlets (reducing the thickness by half, not the width or length). Gently pound out the cutlets with a meat mallet (or juice glass or rolling pin or whatever gets ‘er done) until flattened and even in thickness.
Milk Gravy
1/4 cup flour mixture from above
1/4 cup pan drippings
3 cups milk

Pour off all but 1/4 cup of pan drippings (I usually just eyeball this but if you’re unsure, simply pour off all the oil then measure 1/4 cup and add back to the pan). Whisk in flour and cook over medium heat until roux is light brown (about 2-3 minutes). Slowly whisk in milk. Cook and whisk until gravy is thick and smooth. Add more milk if needed to reach desired consistency. Add salt to taste if necessary. — with Alicia Renee McGuire Turner.

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