Every once in a while, we love our chicken fried steak. It's southern comfort food at it's best and when served along side some mashed potatoes and gravy you have the perfect meal.
On our ranch we of course use our Hereford beef raised on our place. The flavor always shines through and it's great knowing we raised it ourselves.
The trick to chicken fried steak is letting it fry at an even heat and not handling your meat too much once it is placed in the pan with the hot oil. I use either water or milk in my batter as two different methods for battering your steak. Both turn out great everytime. Cast iron skillets are some of the best, even skillets or pans to use for chicken fried steak also.
To begin, first take the egg(s) and milk and best them together making a batter with a dash or two of hot sauce. This is 'red' hot sauce like Tabasco Sauce that will give your egg batter a bit of flavor and add to the overall taste of your meat. We love anything spicy and since I use the hot sauce with my fried chicken tenders, I thought why not with my steak. If you are measuring the dash of hot sauce it would be around 2 teaspoons or adjust to your heat index. I've also used Chili Sauce some and it is just as good. If you are out of milk, must use water and it's just as good.
Whisk the two together and and 'bread' the steaks in this order. First dip the steak in the flour that has been seasoned with 1 teaspoon of garlic salt and 1 teaspoon of any brand of All Seasoning Spice like Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning or an all purpose steak spice covering fully (mix the seasonings well with the flour) and then placing in the egg and milk, then back in the flour. Place immediately in the hot vegetable or Canola oil that has been heated to around 350 degrees Farenheit or a medium heat. The steak should sizzle when you place it in the skillet and not smoke. If the oil smokes, then turn it down and allow it to cool before you place your battered steak in it.
My rule of thumb on frying steak is to allow each side to side to fry for one minute, then gently turning with tongs. Don't stab at the meat as you turn it or you will cause the crust to tear off the sides of your steak. After you've turned the steak once, you then allow the steak to fry for 3 - 4 minutes per side until the crust is a light or darker caramel color (that is light brown).
Take out steaks immediately allowing the excess grease to drip back into the fying pan before placing on two paper towels to drain excess oil. Season with an additional - light sprinkle of extra garlic salt and allow to cool.
Continue to fry all steaks until they are finished. You may have to add more oil to the frying pan as you go. If you do this allow the oil to heat to the correct temperature before frying the rest of you steaks. You can also keep them warm in your oven on a heat proof dish on the warming element of your settings.
another way to fry up a family favorite!
Once all steaks are fried, carefully pour all but 1/4 cup of oil out of the frying pan in a heat proof dish and heat oil to just smoking. You'll want the small left over cooked bits of steak batter to stay in the pan with the oil to help 'season' your gravy. Add to the hot oil your water or milk that has had 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour added to it and whisked together until smooth. Pour this milk/water and flour mixure into the hot oil and continue whisk to blend together. Allow mixture to come to a light brown color (usually takes one minute) and bubble as it boils. Then add 2 more cups of water and continue to cook on a medium heat, whisking continously. Season as you whisk the gravy with extra salt/sea salt or black pepper.
Some people prefer milk to water in their gravy. Either way, this gravy is so delicious and easy to make. It just takes time and watching your gravy and not leaving the pan as it continues to cook. You can add more or less water or milk to make to the desired consistency/amount of gravy you'd like to serve.
Spoon the gravy over your steak and mashed potatoes for the perfect dipping sauce!
You can use this chicken fried method or fying steak with chicken, pork, deer/venison, goose or dove. It's great with any meat you chose to batter and fry up in this way.
With this meal above is also my recipe for my Sure is the BEST Broccoli Rice Casserole that is my husband's favorite. This side is usually what I prepare for his birthday dinner each fall or as a special side at the holidays.
Hope you'll give my chicken fried steak and gravy a try. In a world where we don't fry things near as much as we once did, it's a welcome treat every once in a while to enjoy a little chicken fried steak. Because after all, it's comfort food... and sometimes that is reason enough!
Alise - The Ranch Kitchen