Posted January 02, 2006 12:00 PM

Honey& Bacon Fried Chicken with Lemon Gravy

1 Chicken -- about 4 lbs,cut in -serving pieces
1/4 c Honey
2 tb White wine vinegar
4 Bacon strips
1/2 c Vegetable shortening
3 tb Flour, all purpose
3 tb Whole wheat flour
-Salt & -freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c Chicken stock
1 c Heavy or whipping cream
1 t Lemon juice
1 d Hot pepper sauce
1 t Chives -- fresh chopped

Place the chicken in a shallow glass dish or ceramic bowl. Combine the honey with the vinegar and pour over the chicken, turning the pieces to coat with the mixture. Let stand, covered, 2 hours. Saute the bacon in a 12-15 inch cast iron skillet till crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble and set aside. Add the vegetable shortening to the bacon drippings. Heat over medium-low heat until hot. Meanwhile, remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and pat dry. Combine the flours, with the salt and pepper to taste on a plate. Coat the chicken pieces well with the flour mixture. Set aside 1 Tbsp of the flour mixture. Gently place the floured chicken skin side down in the hot grease. Slowly fry the chicken pieces until crisp and the juices run yellow when pricked with a fork, about 20 minutes on each side. Preheat the oven to 375F.

Drain the chicken pieces on a paper bag and place on a shallow heatproof serving platter. Place in the oven 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, discard all but 1 Tbsp drippings from the skillet. Stir in the reserved 1 Tbsp floure mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken stock and cream, scraping the sides and the bottom of the skillet. Cook over medium heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in the lemon juice and hot pepper sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chives. Spoon some of the gravy over the chicken pieces and sprinkle with the reserved bacon. Pass the remaining gravy on the side. SERVES: 4