Fried Chicken with Chipotle Gravy
1 T. light olive oil
1 T. butter
1 shallot, minced
2 T. flour
1 C. milk
2/3 C. chicken broth
1 to 2 T. pureed chipotles en adobo, or 2 t. chipotle powder (see Note)
1/2 t. salt
2 t. minced fresh thyme
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 C. crema Mexicana
1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground pepper
2 t. oregano
4 to 6 boneless chicken half breasts
1 T. water
2 C. dry breadcrumbs or panko
1/4 C. or more canola oil, as needed
To make the gravy:
Heat the olive oil and butter in a 2-quart saucepan until the mixture begins to bubble.
Stir in the shallot and saute for a minute. Stir in the flour and cook over medium-low heat for 2 minutes.
Whisk in the milk and broth. Bring to a gentle simmer and add the chipotle, salt, thyme and pepper. Simmer for at least 10 minutes, until the gravy is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. At the last minute, whisk in the crema and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
This sauce may be prepared hours in advance and reheated before serving.
To prepare the chicken:
Combine the flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Dust both sides of the chicken breasts with the seasoned flour. Working with 1 at a time, place the chicken breasts between sheets of wax paper and pound with a mallet or similar utensil until evenly thick.
Combine the eggs and water in a bowl and whisk to blend well. Spread the crumbs on a flat plate.
Dip the chicken breasts in the egg wash, then place in the crumbs, turning to coat both sides and pressing the crumbs to help them adhere to the chicken.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and fry until golden on both sides, turning as needed. This should take about 10 minutes.
Reheat the Chipotle Gravy.
Divide the chicken among serving plates. Ladle a generous 1/4 cup of the gravy over each. Pass the remaining gravy at the table.