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Smothered Chicken

5 strips Harvest Haven beef bacon
2 large boneless skinless Harvest Haven chicken breasts
1/2 cup coconut oil or tallow, for frying

Chicken Dredge
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup breadcrumbs, plain or Italian
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups Harvest Haven chicken bone broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/3 cup half and half or cream
1 teaspoon soy sauce, can sub Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried sage

Pre-work: Combine chicken dredge ingredients in a large plate. Set aside. Measure out gravy ingredients prior to beginning.

Cook the Bacon: Fry bacon over medium-low heat until crispy on both sides. Remove from pan and pour grease into a heat-safe bowl. Reserve 2-4 tablespoons of clear bacon drippings. Wipe the pan clean.

Slice & Pound the Chicken: While the bacon cooks, slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise to create 2 thinner slices. Place plastic over them and use a meat tenderizer to pound them to about 3/4 inches thick. This gives them a little more texture for the flour dredge to hold on to. They’ll plump up more when cooked.

Coat the Chicken: Coat chicken generously in the flour mixture, get in every nook and cranny.

Sear the Chicken: Add the reserved bacon drippings to the clean pan and enough oil or tallow to cover the chicken by half. Heat over medium-high heat. Once heated and glistening, add the chicken. Fry 2 at a time for about 5 minutes per side, until they have a nice golden sear. Set aside on a plate.

Drain the oil: Remove the oil from the pan and use a paper towel to remove any black spots from the pan, but leave any brown remnants. This is called ‘fond’ and will give the gravy a nice flavor.

Make the Roux: Melt the butter over medium heat and use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the flour gradually, whisking continuously, until a paste forms.

Add the broth and half and half or cream: Add the liquid in small increments, whisking constantly. It will thicken up in between each splash of liquid. If you add it all at once, you’ll “break” the roux and it won’t be thick.

Add remaining gravy ingredients: Slowly add the bouillon, soy sauce, and seasonings.

Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Add the chicken back to the pan along with any juice from the plate.

Chop up the bacon and add it to the top of the chicken.

Cover partially and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165 degrees prior to serving.

Garnish with parsley and serve with potatoes.

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