Hold on to your hats and your tastebuds, folks--this is gonna get a little messy. And it just *might* blow your mind. Are you ready? Sure you are. Here it is: the Swine Flu Supper.

The first step is to gather up all the items you're gonna need to concoct this mess (don't worry, I made a list):

Boneless Chicken--either breast or thigh...it doesn't really matter as long as it's boneless. One piece per person is usually enough, unless you're feeding a Bubba (but that's another blog).

Bacon--peppered or smoked--whatever you like. Probably 2-3 slices per piece of chicken.

Flour--all-purpose is good...ah...and just get the whole bag out. I never measure, so I really have no idea how much you'll need. (If your one of those people who freaks out without an exact measurement, use a cup to start with. Add more when you need it. And you will. haha!)

Seasonings--this is the fun part. You want Latin? Add taco seasoning to the flour. You want Southern comfort food? Just mix in some salt, pepper, and a little paprika. If you want the really, really good stuff (and if you love garlic, like I do) add a couple tablespoons of Garlic Garni and some black pepper (a couple teaspoons, IDK.). *That* is fantastic. [You can also mix a bit of that with some melted butter and brush it over thawed/partially baked frozen yeast rolls--and you'll think you've died and gone to heaven. seriously.]

Vegetable or Canola Oil, heated in a (preferably cast iron) deep skillet. Needs to be about 1-1.5 inches deep.

You'll also need an egg and a bit of milk--just beat em up and leave in the bowl for a sec.

1 toothpick per bacon slice, soaked in a bowl of water for at least 15 minutes. (You'll see why in a minute. Just do it.)

Now, if you're like me, you like your chicken to be flavorful--this requires a marinade. The simplest way to do this is to pop your chicken pieces into a ziploc bag with a few glugs of zesty Italian dressing and a few splashes of worchestershire sauce. Refridgerate for at least half an hour, and then you're ready to TCB.

On to the fun part--getting messy. I'm going to assume you're all somewhat familar with the process of breading something to be fried. You've at least eaten fried stuff, right? Of course ya have. Mix your desired seasoning combo into your flour in a pie plate. Put your eggy mixture next to that, and make sure you have your pan ready to cook.

Pat your chicken pieces dry, and wrap each piece in 2-3 bacon slices. This is where those soggy toothpicks come in--use them to keep the bacon in place. It works best if you push them all the way through, and then push them back in on one side so that they're barely poking through.

Next, dredge the bacon-wrapped chicken pieces (ie, put em) in the seasoned flour. Move them from there into the eggy mix, and then back into the flour. Make sure everything gets wet and then floured again--this is what makes the crispy crust so yummy!

After each piece is battered, gently place them in the hot oil. (Again, make sure the oil is all hot and bothered BEFORE you add the chicken. It's very important.) Once the first side is just about browned up--use a fork and your tongs (you know not to pierce your meat while cooking, right? Don't do it. It's BAD.) to remove the toothpicks. Be easy, we're dealing with hot oil here--use the fork to hold the chicken down, tongs (or your fingers, if you're brave/have hands made of asbestos) and pull the toothpicks out. Then flip the chicken pieces (with the tongs! don't use your hands!) and finish cooking.

Tada! All done. (Don't forget to turn the burner off...not that I've ever left it on and filled the entire house with smoky ick...but, yanno...just make sure you turn it off.)

Now, as far as side dishes go, you have options. You could make fried potatoes--with onions if you wanna get REALLY into the Southern thang--or you can just whip up some mashed potatoes, top em with a little gravy (which you could make yourself...or you could take some help from the store and stir up some packaged gravy.)

If you can get ahold of some fresh corn, shuck em, put em on sheets of foil along with butter, and some Garlic Garni or a little salt and pepper, wrap em up, and bake for about 15 minutes on 375.
Or you can just serve up Ma's old fashioned red beans--which take a while to make, but they're good.

If you're really into the whole plating thing, you could crisp up a couple pieces of bacon and crumble them over the chicken--or the mashed potatoes, whichever you want. I usually just pile it all on a plate and chow down, but hey, whatever floats your boat.

 


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