THE BEST CHICKEN FRIED STEAK

THE BEST CHICKEN FRIED STEAK

I haven’t eaten (or thought about) chicken fried steak since I moved out of Texas, where everything is bigger, beefier, and more fried. I’m not a health nut or anything, but I generally try not to eat too many fried foods if I can help it. And chicken fried steak is…a slab of steak that is breaded, fried, and then smothered in gravy. Red meat AND fried? That’s a heart attack on a plate if I’ve ever seen one. Still, the Pioneer Woman had a post on chicken fried steak last week and it just looked so yummy that I had to try it.

Chicken fried steak is so different from the way I usually eat steak. I like my steak to be thick and juicy, attached to a bone, and still bleeding. Chicken fried steak is…none of those things. The meat is pounded thin for tenderness, there’s no bone, and it’s cooked all the way through with no sign of blood. But you know what? It’s absolutely delicious. The meat is not at all tough or dry despite being thoroughly cooked, and the combination of breading, meat and gravy is amazingly flavorful and melt-in-my-mouth delicious.

I want to say that I’ll be good, and that this will just be a one-time treat, but…there are probably going to be a lot of chicken fried steaks in my life from now on. Damn you, Pioneer Woman!

INGREDIENTS:

4 (1/2 pound) beef cube steaks
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 egg
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco(TM))
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable shortening for deep frying
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Pound the steaks to about 1/4-inch thickness. Place 2 cups of flour in a shallow bowl. Stir together the baking powder, baking soda, pepper, and salt in a separate shallow bowl; stir in the buttermilk, egg, Tabasco Sauce, and garlic.

Dredge each steak first in the flour, then in the batter, and again in the flour. Pat the flour onto the surface of each steak so they are completely coated with dry flour.

Heat the shortening in a deep cast-iron skillet to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Fry the steaks until evenly golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side …

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