Where’s the chicken? It’s called Chicken Fried Steak, but it doesn’t actually have any chicken in it. And now that we think of it….it doesn’t really contain any steak as we know it either. Confused yet?
It does contain “cubed steak,” but it really doesn’t contain chicken. It’s also sometimes referred to as pan fried steak or even country fried steak. Just depends on who you ask I guess. It’s typically made from the cheaper cuts of beef and it’s just one more way to prepare cubed steak. It’s also normally pan fried as opposed to deep fat fried. You can serve it as a main dish to your meal, or it can be placed in a bun, or between a couple of slices of bread to make a really delicious sandwich. I’m all for anything you can place between slices of bread.
Chicken Fried Steak wasn’t something served up around my house as a youth. I pretty much came to know about it through visits to local mom and pop style restaurants or diners. It shows up on a lot of menus at those type of establishments. As mentioned, it’s pan fried so if you have a cast iron skillet, this is perfect for it. We’re going to fry the cubed steak, then use some of the pan drippings to make our homemade gravy to top it off with. Serve that up along side some mashed potatoes and another vegetable of your choice and this quick and easy meat can be on the table in little time at all. Sound good? Alright then…Let’s Get Cooking!
Here are the ingredients to make our Country Fried Steak…except for the onion. It sneaked in the photo while I wasn’t looking. I guess it thought we were going to make country style steak or something else. So please…ignore the onion.
We’re going to prepare our seasoning breader for the cubed steak. Begin by placing the two cups of flour in a fairly good sized mixing bowl.
Add one Tablespoon of salt.
Add one Tablespoon of Black Pepper.
Add one Tablespoon of Garlic Powder.
Add one Tablespoon of Paprika.
Add one teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper. It’s just for a little flavor and doesn’t really make the dish hot.
Stir all the dry ingredients together.
Stir it well, until everything is properly incorporated to make our seasoned flour breader.
REMOVE about 1/4 cup of the flour mixture and save for later to make the gravy.
Break two eggs into a separate dish.
Use a whisk or fork and stir the eggs up well.
Place a piece of the cubed steak in a plastic bag or between two layers of plastic wrap. I’m using one of those really thin bags you find in the produce section of the grocery store to put your tomatoes etc. in. They come in really handy sometimes so I hardly ever throw them away if they’re still clean. They’re perfect to pound out the cubed steak for this recipe.
You can use a meat tenderizer hammer if you have one. If not, find a thick saucer or plate and use the edge of it to pound out the cubed steak. Now, the steak has already gone through a meat tenderizer machine at the grocery store, but we want to flatten out the cubed steak sections and make them thinner. It will also make those cheaper cuts of meat more tender and easier to chew. Besides, its a good stress reliever so have fun.
Pound it out real good. This will flatten it out good and thin.
Remove the tenderized steak portion from the bag or plastic and place it in the seasoned flour mixture.
Jump right in with both hands and coat the steak piece really well with the seasoned breader. Work it into the crevices of the cubed steak.
Next, place the flour coated steak section in the egg wash. See how flat we got that. My little egg wash pan was almost too small.
Flip the steak piece over to coat both sides with the egg wash.
Place the steak back in the seasoned flour mixture once again.
Flip it over, making sure you coat both sides well with the flour breader mix.
Gently shake off any excess flour.
Set the breaded steak section aside. Look, it’s almost as big as the plate.
Place some cooking oil or shortening in a good sized skillet. Your cast iron will work well here, but I didn’t use mine today. Add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan just under about 1/4 of an inch deep.
When the oil temperature is ready for frying, place the steak piece into the pan. I had my pan set about one notch above the medium heat setting. You’ll have to test yours for proper frying temperature as stoves vary greatly. The oil is hot enough when a few sprinkles of the flour mixture sort of sizzle and turn brown in the oil when it’s dropped in. You could also place about 2 drops of water in the oil. When it starts to bubble and pop…or talk to ya….it’s ready for frying.
These pieces are so large you’ll have to cook them one at a time. They’ll cook quickly though so that’s not a problem. Let the steak cook for about one minute, then turn it over and cook the other side for about 1-2 minutes. Don’t overcook them. If the oil starts to smoke, reduce the heat.
When you see the bottom edges start to brown, that’s the time to carefully flip it over. You’ll also see some blood rising to the surface from the steak at this point.
Flip the steak over and let it cook for about another 2 minutes. Don’t overcook it.
You’ll repeat this process until all of the pieces have been cooked. As they finish, remove each piece and set it aside on some layers of paper towels to drain and rest.
Reduce the heat of your pan to medium-low. Cubed steak doesn’t normally have enough fat to mention. You’ll need about 2-3 Tablespoons of oil in the pan. If you don’t have this much after frying all the pieces, add a little more oil to the pan drippings. It’s time to make some gravy.
Those little bits of pan drippings are loaded with flavor. As you can see, I didn’t end up with a lot.
Stir in the 1/4 cup of flour we reserved earlier. Don’t just dump it all in one spot, sprinkle it around the pan.
Working quickly, stir the flour and oil mixture together. If you mixture dries out too fast, add about a tablespoon of butter or a little more oil to make the roux.
Since I’m using Chicken Granules, I’m adding two cups of warm tap water at this point. You could also just add two cups of chicken broth if you have it.
Slowly add the water, stirring it in as you go. Continue to stir the mixture well.
Add the chicken granules. One teaspoon of the granules with one cup of water equals one cup of chicken broth according to the directions on the granules jar. I added two teaspoons of granules since I added two cups of warm tap water in the step above.
Add the milk and quickly stir it all together.
NOTE: There are numerous possibilites for making the gravy. I could have just added two cups of milk and two teaspoons of chicken granules and omitted the water. That would make a somewhat creamier gravy if that’s what you’d like to have. This gravy recipe is just a little thinner.
Let it all simmer for a minute or two. You’ll want to taste the gravy at this point to see what if anything it might need. You may want to add some additional Salt, or some Black Pepper, it’s just a matter of your personal taste.
The gravy is ready when you can pass the spoon test. Remove the spoon you’ve been stirring with and drag your finger across the bottom. If the gravy leaves a trail where you’ve wiped it off, it’s thickened enough for serving. If it’s too runny, let it simmer awhile longer and test again.
Plate up your vegetables and place a piece of the Chicken Fried Steak on each plate. Top with gravy and serve warm.
Chicken Fried Steak Recipe with Gravy
Where's the chicken? It's called Chicken Fried Steak, but it doesn't actually have any chicken meat in it. And now that we think of it....it doesn't really contain any steak as we know it either. Confused yet?
- 4-6 pieces of Cubed Steak
- 2 cups of Self-Rising Flour
- 2 cups Water
- 1/2 cup of Milk
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- 1 Tablespoon of Salt
- 1 Tablespoon of Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
- 1 Tablespoon of Paprika
- 1 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
- 2 teaspoons of Chicken Granules for the gravy.
- Cooking oil or shortening for frying.
Prepare the Seasoning Flour:
- In a mixing bowl, place 2 cups of Flour.
- Add One Tablespoon each of Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Paprika
- Add one teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
- Mix the dry ingedients well.
- Remove 1/4 cup of the flour and set aside for later to make gravy.
Prepare the Egg dredge:
- Place 2 whole eggs in a pan or plastic container.
- Whisk or beat the eggs with a fork very well.
Prepare the steak pieces:
- Place the steak pieces in a plastic bag or on your cutting board between two pieces of plastic wrap.
- Use a meat tenderizer hammer or the edge of a thick saucer and pound the cubed steak out to both tenderize and flatten the section.
- Working with one piece of steak at a time, dip it in the seasoned flour, turn and coat both sides well with the flour.
- Dip the steak section into the egg wash, turn and coat both sides.
- Dip the steak back in the flour breader, turn and coat both sides.
- Gently shake off any excess flour, set aside for about 10 minutes.
- Preheat a large skillet to medium heat or just one notch above.
- Add enough oil or shortening to reach about 1/4 inch depth in the pan.
- Test the oil to be sure it's hot enough to fry the meat.
- Gently place the steak sections in the hot oil, one at a time.
- Fry until brown on the bottom, about 1-2 minutes.
- Turn the steak over, let cook for about 2 minutes or until done.
- Remove the steak from the oil, place on paper towels to drain.
Prepare the gravy:
- Leave about 2 tablespoons of the oil from frying in the pan. Do not discard the brown leftover pan drippings.
- Reduce the heat to about medium-low.
- Slowly sprinkle the reserved flour into the pan, stirring it into the oil and pan drippings. Let it brown for about one minute, stirring constantly.
- Slowly add the 2 cups of warm tap water, stirring constantly.
- Add the Chicken Granules and stir well.
- Add the milk, stir and taste.
- Add salt, black pepper or more chicken granules to reach desired taste.
- Let simmer until mixture thickens. Test by dragging your finger across the bottom of your stirring spoon. If the gravy leaves a trail where your finger wiped gravy away, it's ready to serve. If it's runny, let simmer for another minute or so and test again.
- Place the steak section on your plate, top it with some of the gravy.
- Serve and Enjoy!
You could omit the water and use 2 cups of milk instead. Or, you could use 2 cups of prepared Chicken Broth, omitting the milk and the granules as listed in the recipe.
Taste of Southern - www.tasteofsouthern.com
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Category: Beef, Main Dishes