Chicken fried steak, a dish best enjoyed in moderation, was created to complement other American staples like mashed potatoes and black-eyed peas.
It’s a tenderized steak that’s been breaded in seasoned flour and pan-fried, similar to the Weiner Schnitzel that Austrian and German immigrants introduced to Texas and developed from a veal dish.
John “White Gravy” Neutzling from the Texas cowboy town of Bandera claimed to have developed the dish, despite allegations that it originated in the nearby Lamesa, located on the plains where cattle were raised. Do you give a hoot, or want to slather on that white pepper gravy and dive in?
Chicken Fried Steak:
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 pounds cube steak (tenderized round steak that’s been extra tenderized)
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 to 4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Mashed potatoes, for serving
- First, prepare a production line of serving plates for the steak. Combine the milk and eggs in one; the flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper, paprika, and cayenne in another; and the meat in a third. The breaded meat should be saved for the last dish, which should be wiped clean.
- Deal with the meat one slice at a time. Coat the meat in flour, then season it with kosher salt and black pepper on both sides. Put on your coat. Put the heart in the bowl with the milk and eggs and toss to coat. Afterward, please return it to the flour and flip it over to coat (dry mixture, wet mixture, dry mixture). Using a clean dish, transfer the breaded meat and repeat with the remaining beef.
- Oil should be heated in a big skillet over medium heat. Toss in some butter. You may test the heat by dropping some flour into the pot. When you hear an instant sizzle from the butter, you know it’s ready to use. (If it browns too quickly, the heat is too hot.) To get a golden brown exterior, cook the meat for approximately 2 minutes on each side, three pieces at a time. Put the beef on a dish lined with paper towels, and cover it with another plate or foil to keep it warm while you finish cooking the rest of the meal. Cook the meat in batches until it’s completely done.
- Once all the meat has been cooked, strain the fat into a heat-safe basin. Put the dirty pan back on the burner and set the heat back to low. The skillet will heat up faster if you return 1/4 cup of the fat to it.
- Sprinkle the flour over the heated fat to make a gravy. Whisk the flour and fat together until you get a smooth, golden paste. If it seems too oily, add a bit more flour; if it looks too pasty or clumpy, add a bit more fat. The roux should be cooked until it becomes a rich brown hue.
- Slowly add the milk while continuing to stir. Season to taste with seasoned salt and black pepper, then add to the gravy and boil for 5-10 minutes, often stirring, until it reaches the desired thickness. If it becomes too thick, have some more milk on hand. Always do a taste test to make sure the gravy has enough seasoning.
- It will help if you put the steak on a plate with a heaping helping of mashed potatoes. Douse the entire thing with gravy and serve.