Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Recipe: Chicken Fried Steak with Cream Gravy

One of my 11 year old's favorite meals is Chicken Fried Steak (CFS), not sure why, but he fell in love when he had the CFS that was on the menu of one of the restaurants I worked at. Ever since he had it for lunch that day he has been in love. And every time I ask him what he wants for dinner, he asks for CFS. Now before I worked at the above said restaurant, I will admit I was not a huge fan of CFS, but the way the Chef's made it definitely made me change my tune. You see their's was no ordinary CFS, they made theirs with ribeye.

Now I don't make mine with ribeye, if I could afford it I would, but alas I can't. So usually I make it with thin sirloin steak. But of course you can make it with whatever cut of meat you choose.

Anyone who has ever cooked CFS knows that one of the hardest parts is getting the breading to stick to the steak. You know what I'm talking about. When you go to grab that CFS out of the oil or to flip it and your tongs come away with half the breading. Yeah, that. Big problem--probably the most annoying one too. I know it is for me. To me the CFS isn't successful if the breading comes off.

Well I am proud to say that the recipe I am going to share with you was a success. In that the breading stayed on........well that and that it was delish!!

Chicken Fried Steak Recipe:
Yield: 6 Steaks
6 Tenderized Bottom Round Steaks
2 Cups of Flour
1/2 Cup Cornstarch
1/2 Sleeve of Keebler Club Crackers, Crushed
1 Tbsp. Lawry Salt (Season Salt)
2 Tbsp. Ranch Powder
4 Eggs
Canola Oil for frying

First take steaks out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature, usually this takes about an hour. In large skillet preheat oil over medium heat, you are not deep frying so you shouldn't need a lot of oil. Just make sure that the oil comes about a quarter of the way up the pan. You can buy already tenderized meat, but if you didn't then at this point you would need to tenderize your meat using a meat mallet. In a shallow dish, I use a 9x9 brownie pan, combine flour, cornstarch, crackers, lawry salt and ranch powder. In another shallow dish crack and scramble all four eggs. Now that your breading ingredients are ready, using paper towels pat dry meat. Now I can't prove that this is what made the breading stick to my CFS, but I am pretty certain that it is. So don't skip this step. Make sure to pat the meat dry on both sides. If you have ever made fried chicken then I am pretty sure you know the process for breading the steak, but just in case, let's review.

Once the meat has been dried, place in flour mixture and coat both sides. Then place in egg mixture and coat both sides. Shake excess egg off then place it back in the flour mixture. Coat both sides again, this time patting the four into the steak. Shake off excess flour and place on sheet pan to rest. Repeat until all steaks are breaded. Once oil has come up to temperature, you can test this by placing a little bit of flour in the oil. If bubbles form around the flour and the flour rises to the top then your oil is ready. Place steak in oil being sure to place steak in away from you. (Make sure to fry the steak you breaded first.) Cook about 5 minutes on the first side or until side turns a nice golden brown. Turn over and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Again or until it turns a nice golden brown. The nice thing about steak is that you don't have to cook it until it is 100% cooked through. Place on a cooling rack and allow some of the oil to drain off. I also recommend patting the CFS with paper towels in order to remove some of the excess oil.

Now while the CFS rests you need to make the gravy. Because everyone knows that you can't have CFS without gravy. Oh, you didn't know that, well now you do. And the good news is--it is super simple.

Cream Gravy
4 Tbsp. Butter
4 Tbsp. Flour
3 1/2 Cups of Milk
3/4 tsp. of Salt
Pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pan melt butter over medium heat. Once butter has melted add the flour and whisk.  Being sure to get out all the lumps. Congratulations, you have made a roux.Cook for about 30 seconds to allow some of the flour flavor to cook out. There's nothing worse than a gravy that tastes like flour. Once the roux has turned a nice blonde color add milk, making sure to whisk. This helps prevent lumps. Lumps are bad. Once the milk has been added allow the mixture to thicken. Make sure that you whisk occasionally otherwise your milk will scorch. And make sure you stay close because it won't take long for the gravy to thicken. Add salt and pepper. Once it has thickened serve on top of CFS. Now you eat!!

Now I have to apologize I do not have a picture of the CFS with gravy. By the time I was done cooking this meal and I served my family I completely spaced it. But I assure you it looked like any other CFS with gravy!!

So, do you like CFS? Do you have any tips you would like to share? Love to hear your thoughts.

"Devouring worlds, one book and recipe at a time."

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