Written by adam on Dec 29, 2006
Basic Chicken Fried Steak
If you are not from the south, then you probably are not very familiar with chicken fried steak. To those of us south of the Mason-Dixon line, chicken-fried steak is like walking or breathing. But us southerners get confused when we hear of someone who is ignorant of this wonderful southern pasttime.Someone who knows not of the chicken fried steak? That's blasphemous!.
But it's true. On an episode of Bobby Flay's Food Nation Bobby helped out in a southern style kitchen in Fort Worth, Texas. Someone had to teach Flay that the gravy goes ON the steak. Bobby Flay! This guy is supposed to know a whole lot about food, especially since he is a restaurateur.
Chicken fried steak is just that: steak fried like you might fry chicken. Usually, it is thin strip of round steak, tenderized and pounded thin. When one eats the finished product, one must be able to cut through it with a common table knife.
This particular process uses a dredge-drench-dredge procedure. That is, it goes into a dry mix, then a wet mix, then back into the dry mix. The use of baking soda and baking powder with the buttermilk will make a lightly crunchy exterior.
Step 1: Prepare the Stations Place flour in a shallow dish. In a second dish, stir together baking powder, soda, pepper and salt; then mix in buttermilk and egg. The mixture will be thin.
Add enough oil to a deep cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven to make at least 4 inches of fat. Bring temperature of shortening to 325 degrees.
Step 2: Dredge Season both sides of the steaks with the seasoning. You must do this first because seasonings burn and blacken in hot oil. Dredge each steak in flour, shaking off excess.
Step 3: Drench Dunk the steak into the batter. Make sure both sides are coated well.
Step 4: Dredge Dunk steaks back into flour and dredge well, patting in the flour until the surface of the meat is dry.
Step 5: Chicken Fry Fry the steaks, pushing them under the fat or turning them as they bob to the surface, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Drain steaks on paper towels and transfer to a platter. Serve with pepper cream gravy.
Responses to "Basic Chicken Fried Steak" ...
I like this drench/dredge recipe as it gives a crunchy, puffy crust and the buttermilk works better than regular milk. Plus, it leaves all those delicious brown bits in the pan which just enhances the cream gravy. Make mine heavy on the cracked black pepper.
You can find it up North on the menu of a few family restaurants, particularly the IHOP chain. They insist on calling it "country" fried steak; one waitress actually corrected my wee wifey when she tried to order chicken fried steak and eggs for breakfast. We can do without the cane syrup, tho. My wee wifey is sweet enough as is.
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Since winter of 2004, I have been exploring the world of cooking and helping out my fellow men in their quests to better themselves in the kitchen. My name is Adam Byrd, you can learn more about me and my mission on my about page. Connect with me on MySpace, ThisNext, or FoodCandy.