Here’s the recipe that Lyn and I use to make Springfield Style at home. It’s straight from the Junior League of Springfield’s Sassafras Cookbook. Now I will say this– I use my grandmother’s fried chicken recipe to make the chicken. This involves soaking the cut chunks of chicken in buttermilk for a half hour before dipping and dredging through egg and flour. It’s just how we fry chicken, so you can add that extra step if you like!
Recipe as the cookbook says, “A Springfield Tradition!”
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
2 tablespoons water
2 eggs, well beaten
(cup of flour if you frying the chicken like grandma!)
4 large chicken breasts halves cut into bite-size pieces (or tofu – see note)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
pepper to taste
1 cup flour
Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup of cashew nuts
1/2 cup of chopped green onions
Soy Sauce and cooked rice
Making the brown sauce….
This is the most crucial part of the recipe and I tend to make it first before I fry the chicken (or tofu) and cook the rice.
In a saucepan, dissolve cornstarch in a small amount of broth; add remaining broth gradually to make a paste. Now this is serious people– if you add all the liquid or grow impatient (like me) and pour all the liquid in, you will regret it. Your paste will take 3 times as long to form, so just give it little drinks of broth! I do this “paste” step on the stove top using very low heat.
Blend in oyster sauce, sugar, and pepper. Stir over medium high heat until sauce boils and begins to thicken. This can take longer than you would expect, so just keep stirring. You’re looking for a pudding like thickness.
Set aside on a cool burner when thickened.
The chicken prep…
How the chicken is prepared is where me and this recipe part ways. I’ve never tried it the recipe way, so I’ll give you my version and their version.
My version: Get out 3 bowls. Pour buttermilk into one large bowl, crack and beat eggs into another medium bowl and put flour into another large bowl (salt and pepper it a few shakes).
Place chicken chunks in the large buttermilk bowl and let the soak for 30 minutes in the fridge. When time is up, take them out and dip them in the egg bowl, then dredge them in the flour bowl. I tend to leave them in the flour bowl.
Their version: Marinate chicken in milk (they use regular milk), 2 tablespoons of water, the beaten eggs, and a sprinkle of salt for 20 minutes. Dredge chicken in flour.
Frying it up!
This works for either prep method! Fry chicken in oil in a heavy skillet until crisp and golden. To prevent chicken pieces from sticking together, drop into hot oil one piece at a time. Drain on paper towels.
Get ready to be Springfield Styled!
Reheat brown sauce. Put a serving of rice on the each plate. The chicken on top of the rice and the pour the brown sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with chopped green onions and cashews! Serve with soy sauce (but not necessary in my book!)
**Please note that due to my recent vegetarianism I do make Springfield Style with crispy tofu and veggie broth (the oyster sauce can’t be modified!)
It’s just as good. Here’s the crispy tofu recipe.
- 1 block firm or extra firm tofu – I often freeze my tofu the day before, then thaw it for 30 minutes in hot water before I’m going to cook with it. The freezing gives it a more hearty texture.
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the tofu. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and lightly crispy.