Raise your hand if you’ve ever had chicken fried steak.
Raise your hand if you know what chicken fried steak is.
If you don’t know what chicken fried steak is (most people I know get confused much like Jessica Simpson was confused by the term “Chicken of the Sea”)- it’s steak fried liked chicken-simple, fatty, delicious, and life-changing. Best served with country gravy, chicken fried steak is a hearty way to enjoy beef AND breading. I may be from northern ON, but I cook and eat like I was born in the Deep South. There are many recipes out there, but only one that I use frequently:
Now, I may enjoy cooking, but my presentation skills are severely lacking. With the advent of Pinterest it seems like everyone I know has great crafting, decorating, and presentation skills while I still struggle to use scissors properly. Two weeks ago I made chicken fried steak using the aforementioned recipe…did it look good? No. Did it taste good? According to my roommate Hugh: “It looks like garbage, but it tastes like Kentucky [Fried Chicken]”. So in light of his comments regarding the look and taste, I will be offering my own tips on how to avoid a chicken fried mess.
Dip and dredge….dip and dredge. Don’t be afraid of coating the steak with a lot of flour and egg wash – the more the more the better, because you want to have a completely breaded steak…Not a mutant-like piece of beef.
Add how ever many and any kind of spices to the flour mix. I rarely follow recipes to a T, and I believe that makes me a real cook (some may disagree). I like to add oregano, chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, and the oregano to this batter. Find a mix that suits you, and don’t be afraid to experiment!
Don’t be cheap with oil. You don’t want to start a grease fire, and you don’t want to have so little grease that you can’t properly fry the beef. It’s a fine line, but with time you should be become an oil expert….
Keeping in line with the grease talk make sure that you use canola oil. It has a lower smoking point than olive oil -which means that your home/condo/apartment won’t turn into a haze filled nightmare. Like an amateur I have used olive oil and though it works, it burns the eyes and makes the roommates hate you.
Make sure you have plenty of water and light fare to serve with the chicken fried steak. I love having country gravy and mashed potatoes with it, but there are some days that your heart just can’t take that heavy of a meal. With that in mind, I usually eliminate the gravy, keep the potatoes and eat grilled veggies. I also drink a lot of water so I feel like I’m keeping my insides pure.
Hopefully you feel comfortable enough to tackle this recipe, and if you follow my tips you should be a southern-fried expert in no-time. Remember: southern food is the the only food that matters.