Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chicken Fried Steak (Recipe)

I've waited a long time to share this recipe... it's that secret.

My husbands favorite meal is Chicken Fried Steak. It's my go to "I'm sorry" meal, or my "I know you've had a rough week" meal or even just an "I love you" meal.

I HATE to make it. Really, I do. It's horrid and time consuming and you'd have to;

a.) reeeeaallly love chicken fried steak, or
b.) have some serious sucking up to do

to even want to attempt it.

I made it once after I broke our 55" 3D TV, on accident (I cannot stress this enough) and I literally saw Charlie's heart ripped from his chest, kinda like the Queen does in Once Upon A Time... it was pretty similar. It was the ultimate "I'm-sorry-I-know-you've-had-a-rough-week-I-love-you" meal. I should also add there was a bit of "please-don't-divorce-me-over-this" in there too. Hehe, OK maybe not.

If making ridiculously amazing food is my love language, than this was the ultimate sign of submission.

He doesn't get it as often as he likes, because I'm rarely wrong (heh) but Charlie's birthday warrants it, and as you know, it was his birthday on Monday.

What I am about to share with you, you need to take to your grave, it's that top secret...

OK maybe not really, but this really is an amazing recipe if you like Chicken Fried Steak.

We've ordered it in greasy spoon diner's before and as Charlie put's it, "it's not very good, it's usually crappy steak and it's really chewy".

Kind of the whole point of frying up a steak like you would a chicken is to make crappy steak actually taste better... but he's right. The meat is tasteless and grey and the breading is soggy and falls off the steak as it sits on your plate. Yet, you still order it, every time, hoping it will be better. But, it's not.

We gave up on ordering Chicken Fried Steak at restaurants because they just can't compare to the recipe I use. Trust me, if saying Sorry/Happy Birthday/I love you was as easy as taking him out to eat and getting fantastic Chicken Fried Steak, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But, it's not.

A few years ago, I was given a bunch of old America's Test Kitchen magazines to leaf through, and right there in the middle of the magazine, in the middle of the stack, was a recipe for Chicken Fried Steak. The first time I tried it, I did it to the letter, and it was OK, well, it was better than OK, it was great! But since then I've tweaked it to my own ways of cooking it and I have to say it's become better with age and wisdom, and a few trial and errors.

Mommy Like Whoa's Chicken Fried Steak
  • 1lb of beef round, or similar steak, tenderized. (I ask the butcher at my store to throw it though the tenderizer a few times so I don't spend 20 minutes pounding it flat.)
  • 2 cups flour
  • Seasonings, 1 tbsp of each garlic, onion, salt, pepper and paprika, plus a dash of cayenne.
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • oil for frying
Take the meat that's been tenderized and let it come to rest at room temperature. Combine the flour and seasonings. Trim and discard the extra fat off the steaks and cut into portion sizes. A good rule of thumb is take a steak the size you'd normally eat, and have half. Meaning, if the size of meat looks right, cut it in half and use that... after it's pounded flat and breaded the steak will almost double in size. 1lb will get you around 4 steaks. Lightly pound them with a meat tenderizer to even out any discrepancies in thickness. You should pound them to about 1/4" thick.

This will make 2 steaks.

Lightly dredge the steaks in the flour mixture and let them rest. Take the remaining flour and slowly add the milk into it 1/4 cup at a time until it starts to look "mealy" and coarse, sort of like crumb topping. It will create little bit of flour that will help with the crunch when it cooks. Don't make it too wet, you still want the texture of flour, but just kind of chunky and clumpy.

Pound the steaks one more time to help the flour adhere to the meat. This will produce the stickiness with the gluten (so not sure if gluten free would work the same... ). Dip each steak into the beaten egg, and then into the crumb mixture, pressing to coat each side. Set on a foil lined cookie sheet to rest again. Repeat with remaining steaks.

By this time your fingers will be super gunked up, my least favorite part. It totally grosses me out, I don't know why. This is when you might want to start your side dishes... I usually make it with garlic mashed potatoes, country cream gravy and some sort of veggie. Charlie asked for canned green beans. I cringed and then obliged. I have to keep remembering "birthday, birthday, birthday..."

The meat can rest out on the counter for 30 minutes, or in the fridge for a few hours so if you're having guests over for dinner and serving this (because you must be in deep for something, or trying to impress someone for some reason) you can make the messy steak portion ahead of time and just pull them out about 30 minutes before frying.

Take a large pot and fill it with frying oil. I use plain vegetable. The oil is ready when you put a little flour nugget in to test and it sizzles and floats to the top. I'm real scientific that way.

Place the steak in the oil, careful not to over crowd. The oil needs to be hot! This insures the breading crisps up and the meat cooks quick. The steaks will only be in a few minutes... maybe 6-10.


 If you aren't deep frying, and plan to pan fry, it should be about 3-5 minutes each side. When they are golden brown, remove them to drain and fry the rest of the steaks.

Take a look at that crunch! This is my favorite part of making it... the end, when I get to plate it on a plate and drench it in gravy and Charlie's little eyes light up as if you say "You really love me, you really really love me!" and it's true, because I do.

Canned Green Beans! An abomination!
So there you have it, I shared my secret family recipe for amazing Chicken Fried Steak. As soon as I get around to it, I will share my recipes for my homemade mashed potatoes and peppered cream gravy, but until then you're going to have to brown bag it, or Google it.

Will you be making this? Is Chicken Fried Steak a treat at your house too? Comment below with an questions and I'll get back to you guys! Enjoy! and make sure you eat like, a raw vegan salad the next night to give your body a chance to recover. Hahaha

1 comment:

  1. This looks delicious! That's a great tip with the flour crumbs. I'll have to try that next time I make chicken fried steak.