This blog post has been the most shared since I started blogging last year. Thought with the cool weather coming it was a good time to repeat it for those who missed it before. I will say that over the years I have become more open to trying all different types of foods. Once I even ate a Country Fried Steak with Brown Gravy.....
How do you make a perfect chicken fried steak? When we moved from Texas to Colorado in the early 90's I found out really fast to ask how a food is served before ordering. We went into a local chain restaurant that someone told us had great Chicken Fried Steaks. I was so excited, so we called up Texas friends who had moved with our company and went to dinner. We had moved about 2 months prior and I had been without this Southern delicacy for too long.
We were seated by the waitress and started searching the menu for the treasure of crunchy breaded goodness. I could just envision my plate coming out of the kitchen with a beautiful lightly browned, crunchy battered piece of hand pounded steak. My mind was swimming already in the sea of white creamy gravy. I saw the waitress round the corner with the huge tray up on her shoulders and we all knew the 4 Chicken Fried Steaks were almost to their destination. Slowly she lowered the tray and set the first plate in front of me. I try to keep decorum in most situations but before I could stop or my husband could throw his hand over my mouth..it just came out. I blurted out ...BROWN GRAVY!!!! Everyone's face at the table fell and they seem to all be trying to decide who was going to tackle me and cover my mouth. I apologized to the server and told her in much longer detail than I'm sure she wanted to hear how REAL Chicken Fried Steak should look. She explained to me that if you wanted the thick white gravy you had to ask for that, brown gravy is what they put on their Country Steaks. My husband put his hand on my knee because he knew that this would send me into orbit. The menu said Chicken Fried Steak and then it's really thin cut sirloin in cracker crumb breading with brown gravy...16 years later and it still makes my heart race. Some things in life just shouldn't be messed with and don't mess with a Texas Girls Chicken Fried Steak! Needless to say when we went back there I tried Colorado specialties and really enjoyed them. Some things are sacred to a Texan and shouldn't be changed.
A real Southern meal would include Chicken Fried Steak that hang off the edge of the plates. There should be plenty of white, thick creamy gravy all over the steak and on top of the mound of mashed potatoes. Fresh green beans cooked in bacon, onions and garlic always goes with my dream meal. Got to have cornbread or yeast rolls with butter just to round out the plate! Some do Texas toast but I love cornbread baked in an iron skillet so we usually have that. So the next time you go to order a Chicken Fried Steak..take my advice and ask questions if you want it to be the real deal!
Texas Chicken Fried Steak
2 pounds of 1/2 in tenderized sirloin or round steak,cut into 4-6 pieces
2 cups flour
2 cups milk
1-2 cups Liquid oil or Shortening, I prefer canola or peanut oil
Cut steak into desired size pieces, salt and pepper and set aside. In a large bowl beat eggs with a fork until frothy, add 2 cups of milk and stir to mix. Add dash of salt and pepper to egg/milk mixture. In a large shallow pan mix flour and 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. In a deep skillet
(I prefer iron) add enough oil to cover 3/4 of steak while cooking. Heat oil over medium high heat until a tiny bit of flour sizzles when sprinkled in hot oil. While oil is heating batter steak dipping first in egg mixture, then flour, then back to egg and ending with flour. Place in skillet and cook 5 minutes on each side. Never cook fried food on low in oil, that's what makes it greasy and not healthy for you! When done take out and drain on racks over paper towels. Not a complicated recipe but sometimes takes a few tries to get it just right. Enjoy!