That's just what I did two weeks ago at the 3rd Annual IDOS Region II Dutch Oven Gathering at the Stockton Delta KOA campground. My original intent was to cook chicken fried steak, but I couldn't find enough beef cube steam at my local supermarket. So I switched to chicken thighs as they were on sale in large packages.
I didn't write a recipe down for this dish. I started the chicken around 3 p.m. Since meal time was at 6 p.m., I could've started frying the chicken at 4 p.m.
Here are my notes as I wrote them in my camp cooking notebook:
- Purchased 2 packages of chicken thighs with 12 pieces each.
- Soaked 24 chicken thighs in 1 quart of buttermilk overnight in 2 Rubbermade containers; placed the chicken in the ice cooler.
- In camp, drained off the buttermilk.
- Combined 2 packages of Ranch-style dressing mix with about 3 cups of all-purpose flour.
- Heated 1/4-inch vegetable oil in 17-inch Lodge skillet over a bed of hot coals.
- When oil was hot, dredged each chicken thigh in flour mixture and placed in hot oil, skin-side down.
- Fried chicken until golden brown on each side, 12 pieces at a time.
- As chicken browned, moved the pieces around in the skillet to compensate for cold and hot spots.
- Baked chicken in camp oven with 2 Lazzari coals on the lid only; couldn't use bottom coals because camp oven was on grass.
- When browned, placed chicken in 14-inch Lodge camp oven.
- To make gravy, added leftover flour mixture to hot oil to make blond roux; stirred as roux cooked for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Built gravy with 2 quarts milk and 1-quart chicken stock.
- This was too much gravy for 24 pieces of chicken, but would've been okay if I'd made mashed potatoes.
- Drained excess oil from camp oven, then poured gravy over chicken and continued cooking until meal time.