The very first time I saw this ever on a menu, I thought “Is it fried chicken or steak? Am I going to be eating poultry or red meat?”. Chicken Fried Steak, or Country Fried Steak, is a kind of Southern food. Pieces of steak are breaded with seasoned flour, then deep-fried and served with creamy gravy, like fried chicken. So yes, it’s steak and it is yum-yum-yummy!
I haven’t had Chicken Fried Steak in ages and recently after spotting it on a blogger buddy’s Instagram feed, it got me suddenly craving it. The quickest and bestest way to address a random food craving is by rolling up my sleeves and making a version of it in my kitchen so here goes.
You can add whatever dried herbs you want for this recipe, or omit them altogether. I just grabbed whatever’s in my pantry and combined everything together to make my Chicken Fried Steak as flavorful as possible.
I was watching an episode of Good Eats one evening and Alton Brown used this device that’s meant to pierce/tenderize meat. It’s a really handy tool, you can get it from Amazon. Jaccard Simply Better Meat Tenderizer Knife 45 Blade Stainless Steel (US$24.98). I swear by it, it’s comfortable to grip, safe to use and the stainless steel blade has stayed sharp even though I bought this a good seven years ago.
Chicken Fried Steak
1 pound beef bottom round, trimmed of excess fat
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 whole eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon assorted dried herbs
Cut the meat with the grain and flatten into 1/4-inch thick slices, tenderize using a piercing device. Season each piece on both sides with the salt, pepper and assorted dried herbs. Place the flour into a pie pan. Place the eggs into a separate pie pan. Dredge the meat on both sides in the flour, followed by the egg and finally in the flour again. Repeat with all the pieces of meat. Place the meat onto a plate and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking.
Place enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a slope-sided skillet and set over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the meat in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook each piece on both sides until golden brown, approximately 4 minutes per side. Remove the steaks to a wire rack set in a half sheet pan.
Into the remaining vegetable oil, or at least 1 tablespoon, to the pan. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the flour left over from the dredging. Add the chicken broth and deglaze the pan. Whisk until the gravy comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Add the milk and whisk until the gravy is smooth. Season to taste, with more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve the gravy over the steaks.