So, are you thinking that this dish has something to do with chicken? Well, you’re wrong, my friend. This dish has nothing to do with chicken, except maybe the breading method used in preparing this dish.
Here, down south, breaded beef cutlet is called Chicken Fried Steak. Some said it was called Chicken Fried Steak because in most restaurants, it was fried in the deep fryer for chickens. So… unless someone can turn back the time, I don’t think we will ever know for sure why it is called what it is. :)
Even the history of this food is scrambled. Some said that this was mimicking of German’s Wiener Schnitzel dish, except in Texas, veal was never popular. So they used beef instead. If you are interested to find out more about this dish, click here and here.
So shall we begin? I needed some kind of pan-fry beef, so I got the top round beef, which is about ¼ inch thick. I think any type of those cube steak beef will do also. This dish uses inexpensive cuts of meat. I needed the flour, bread crumbs, buttermilk, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and an egg.
Since my steak was not tenderized, I got my meat mallet out and started pounding the steaks.
Then, I re-read the recipe, and found out that I was supposed to sprinkle the seasonings, and then pound the meat. So, I sprinkled the seasonings, and pounded the meat again. The recipe did not call for the paprika, but I used it on the Jaeger Schnitzel, so I sprinkled some on this one as well.
Then I beat the egg lightly and added the buttermilk into it.
And I beat the buttermilk and egg mixture until they were blended.
Oh, and to make it easier for me to fry the steak, I cut them in half, length-wise. My big iron skillet is not big enough for one big piece of the steak.
I lined up the assembly line… (in hind sight, next time I need to use bigger bowl or a plate for the breadcrumbs!)
Then I dredged the steak into the flour, shook off the excess…
Then the steak was dipped into the buttermilk-egg mixture…
Then lastly, the steak was dredged into breadcrumbs… You see why it would have been easier for me to use a bigger bowl or even a plate.
I put aside the dredged steak and started working on the rest of the pieces of steak.
I kept them separated with a piece of wax paper, per the recipe, which I think was genius! Why didn’t I think about this before? It prevented the steaks from sticking to each other, and it was easy to clean up too! Just toss the wax paper and you’re done! :)
Then I started to fry the steak in my cast iron skillet.
I let it sit there until I could see the juices came out on the top of the steak, as shown in this picture below.
You can see the comparison with the other steak. Some of the breading on the right side of that steak was still dry and did not have the juices came out on the top yet.
So then I flipped the steak to cook the other side, and I continued frying the rest of the steaks.
Then I started working on the cream gravy, by pouring the oil out of the skillet, only reserving about two tablespoons of oil. Then I dumped in about two tablespoons of flour… Sorry about the blurry picture! I didn’t want to chance to burn the flour trying to see how the picture came out on the view finder. :)
Stirred it like crazy, making sure it turned into a paste…
Then I added the chicken stock into the pan, and stirred it again. I skipped the white wine since we don’t have it, and I just added extra chicken stock instead. Then, after the paste turned a little bit brownish, I poured some half and half and kept stirring.
I poured more half and half and kept stirring until I had plenty of gravy. At the end, I put in the black peppered and stirred it one more time.
Then I poured the gravy into a bowl, with the help of Hubby. That iron skillet is really heavy!!
So, then we got our comfort-food dinner to chow down. Chicken Fried Steak with gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and biscuits. Boy I was stuffed after eating this dinner. So… it should be memorable, and be repeated again on my second double digit anniversary… ;)
Print recipe here.
Chicken Fried Steak
Recipe from Texas Cooking
2 Top Sirloin Steaks about ¼ inch thick and as big as you like them
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Fresh Black Pepper
1 tsp Granulated Garlic
1 teaspoon Good Quality Chili Powder (optional)
1 cup Bread Crumbs
1 cup Buttermilk
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Large Cast Iron Skillet
1 Cup (more or less) Vegetable Oil
1 Meat Tenderizing Hammer
Mix together the salt, pepper, garlic, and chili powder. Season the steaks on both sides liberally. Using the hammer with the coarse spike side, pound the seasoned steaks to tenderize and work the seasoning into the meat. Be careful not to pound too thin, but you have to use enough force to actually start breaking down the fibers a little bit. Just putting a nice hammer mark on the steak won’t do much. You want to make the steak a little thinner and a little larger to accomplish the tenderization process.
Set up your breading station with a bowl of the flour, a bowl with the buttermilk mixed with the egg, and a bowl of breadcrumbs. Dredge the steak in the flour, coating evenly. Shake off the excess and dredge into the buttermilk/egg mixture. Now dredge the steaks in the breadcrumbs. You want to make sure the steaks are coated evenly. Set aside on a plate; you can layer between wax paper.
At this point you want to have your potatoes cooking or finished, and your vegetables ready to go. See recipes below.
In your cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add your steaks. If you skillet is too small, you can cook in batches. You want to have enough oil in the pan to come a little more than half way up the side of the steaks when they are cooking. You do not want to submerge the steaks in oil. The temperature should be around 300F. It will vary during the cooking process, but you want to maintain a temp above 250F and no more than about 350F. Adjust the heat as necessary while you cook. You will know if your pan is too hot if your steak starts to get too dark. You want a nice simmer happening in the pan. When you start to see juices bleeding through the top crust of the steak, it’s time to turn it. About 5 minutes per side. You are looking for a nice brown color on the crust, like the color of dark wood, but not the color of chocolate. You should turn your steaks only once. When both sides are done, remove from the pan and drain on a brown paper bag or towel. Keep them in a warm oven until the gravy and everything else is ready to go.
Creamy Pan Gravy
2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons reserved oil from pan
1 cup Chicken Stock
1 cup Half-and-Half
1 teaspoon Coarse Ground Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Salt
Using the pan you just fried your steaks in, drain off all the oil into a container and measure out 2 tablespoons of the oil, returning it to the pan. Turn up the heat a little to medium-high. Add the flour and cook for a few moments until a paste is formed, making sure there are no lumps in the flour.
Add the wine and the chicken stock. Use a whisk to quickly incorporate the flour mixture into the liquid, ensuring there are no lumps. Bring up to a simmer. The gravy will get very thick at this point. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get all the fond incorporated into the gravy. Add the Half-and-Half a little at a time, until the desired consistency is achieved. You want a thick sauce, but not a paste. Finish with the salt and the black pepper, adjusting seasoning to taste.
Don’t be shy with the gravy when you serve the steak. You want enough to get a good amount with every bite. Make a “gravy well” in the potatoes, and have any leftover gravy available on the side in a gravy boat.