This is one of those posts that has been sitting in my “Draft” folder for weeks! It’s almost getting to be too nice outside for Chicken Fried Steak. This is usually something I crave all winter long. It is comfort food at its finest. I learned how to make Chicken Fried Steak by watching my mom. Sometimes she would let me help her mix the flour and spices together, or I could stir the gravy as it simmered away on the stove. Truth be told, I don’t really have a recipe written down anywhere for this. It’s all up in my noggin’. So, the recipe you will read below will have a lot of “a little of ____” and “to taste” and “if you like it.” (And I hope you do like it.)
Chicken Fried Steak
Serves 4-6 people
4-6 cubed steaks (look for them in the meat section at the grocery store or ask the butcher)
4 cups (or so) 2 % or whole milk
1 cup (or so) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
a little paprika
about 4 Tbsp. canola oil, for frying
1 beef bouillon cube (for gravy, totally optional)
1/4 cup butter
reserved flour and milk (from meat prep–read below, it will all make sense)
1. Soak the cubed steaks in the milk for about an hour. (Why? It makes the meat more tender.) Reserve the milk for the gravy. (That means do not throw it out under any circumstances!)
2. Mix the flour, pepper, salt and paprika together in a pie plate or wide, shallow bowl.
3. Remove the meat from the milk and…
dredge it in the flour. (You really want to give it a good coating of flour–turn it over a couple of times.) Reserve flour for gravy.
**Save the flour for the gravy!** Don’t forget!
4. Heat a heavy-bottomed 10 to 12″ skillet (such as cast iron) over high heat. Add half of the canola oil to the pan and heat until the oil “shimmers”. Place 2 or 3 of the floured steaks in the hot pan. Turn the heat down to medium-high.
**Save the flour for the gravy!** (You won’t forget, right?)
Cook on the first side until you see pools of blood (sorry, I know it sounds gross) form on the top, about 3-4 minutes.
Flip the steaks over. (The backside should be nice and brown.)
Cook the other side of the steaks for an additional 4 minutes, or until any juices run clear. Remove the first batch of steaks to a warm platter. Cover loosely with foil.
Without wiping out the skillet, add the remaining canola oil. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining floured steaks.
6. After the second batch of steaks are done, add 1/4 cup butter. Use a metal spatula or wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add the reserved flour to the pan. (If you don’t have between 1/4-1/2 cup of flour left, you will have to add a little more to the pan.) Stir to form a paste. Cook for about a minute.
Whisk vigorously to remove some of the lumps. (Some lumps are good–it’s supposed to be home-style gravy after all.)
Taste and adjust any seasonings. Add the beef bouillon cube, if you want to. (Be careful of adding any extra salt–those bouillon cube are very salty. If you use one, you may not need any extra salt at all.)
Let the gravy simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes.
May I suggest a vegetable accompaniment? We like ours with peas or corn.
May I also suggest a nice, flaky buttermilk biscuit on the side?
And what about leftovers?
The steaks keep well in the fridge for a few days. You may have extra gravy–don’t throw it away! My husband likes to eat biscuits and gravy for breakfast the next morning or two after. The gravy will also keep for several days in the fridge–make sure it is tightly covered. You may have to add a bit more milk to thin it out upon reheating.
Any other questions?