Most people assume that since I grew up with a butcher, I frequently eat fancy cuts of meat or turn my nose up at the “plain” stuff. Not true. In fact, I prefer the less expensive cuts, the kind of stuff used to create good, old-fashioned comfort food. Take chicken fried steak, for example. It’s made with cube steak, also known as minute steak, which is a cut of beef, usually top round or top sirloin, that has been tenderized. I’ve made cube steak plenty of times, usually pan-fried and smothered in sauteed onions. Today, I decided to have a go at chicken fried steak.
First off, my husband loved this recipe. It’s not hard to believe, since chicken fried steak is just steak that’s been coated with seasoned flour and fried. John loves anything fried. Seriously. But, moving on… While experimenting with this recipe, I kept noticing my husband making excuses to appear in my kitchen. I would turn and see him peering over my shoulder, eyes squinted, trying to get a glimpse of the fried deliciousness. When my test batch was finally done, John quickly appeared by my side, offering to snap a few photos for my blog. Of course, after those pictures were taken, he quickly ate the photo subject. With a smudge of gravy near his mouth, and a full stomach, my husband promptly proclaimed that my chicken fried steak was a hit.
Chicken Fried Steak with White Gravy
What You’ll Need:2 pounds cube steak 2 cups all purpose flour, plus 2 heaping tablespoons 1 tablespoons garlic powder 1 tablespoon paprika 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste 2 1/2 cups whole milk 3 large eggs, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons butter 3 slices of bacon canola oil
Place 2 cups of the flour into a baking dish. Combine the flour with the garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Place the eggs into a separate baking dish and combine with 1/2 cup of the milk. Dredge the meat on both sides in the flour, then the egg, then the again in the flour. Make sure to shake off the excess flour. Repeat with all the pieces of meat. Let the meat rest for about 15 minutes before cooking.
Heat 1 inch of oil in a heavy-bottomed (I prefer cast iron) skillet and set over medium-high heat. Once the oil starts to shimmer, cook the steak in batches. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan. Doing so will cause the temperature of your oil to drop, creating a soggy steak. That’s not what you want! Cook each steak until golden brown, about four to five minutes on each side. Repeat this process until all your steaks are cooked.
In a separate skillet, cook the slices of bacon. Snack on the bacon while making the white gravy. With the skillet still on medium heat, add the two tablespoons of butter to the bacon fat. Once the butter is melted, add the two heaping tablespoons of flour and whisk for one or two minutes. Slowly add the remaining 2 cups of milk. Whisk until the milk comes to a boil and the gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to whisk until the gravy is nice and thick, about 8 to 10 minutes. Serve the gravy over the steaks. Tastes delicious with a side of mashed potatoes.