Chicken-fried steak is a dish in which a cut of beef, usually thin and selected from the round, is breaded and fried. (Occasionally, some restaurants have also cooked a cut of pork.) The method of preparation is similar to that of fried chicken, which explains the name. The Texas staple is most often served with mashed potatoes and covered with cream gravy.
The correct preparation of Texas chicken-fried steak takes time. The meat is pounded thin or run through a tenderizer, then dipped in milk before being placed in a bag of salt, pepper, and flour. The meat is then fried until golden brown in a small amount of shortening (preferably in a cast-iron skillet). The leftover grease and “drippings” that remain in the skillet are used to make gravy. Most recipes for chicken-fried steak are simple and similar, but there is as much art to getting it right as there is science. According to Walsh in his The Texas Cowboy Cookbook, the three most common mistakes are “under-seasoning the batter, getting overzealous with a tenderizing mallet, and overheating the oil.”
Buttermilk Country Fried Steak
- 6 tenderized cube steaks salt
- salt and pepper to taste
- dash cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 c lowfat buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 2 c all purpose flour
- oil for frying
Season steaks with salt and pepper to taste. Heat oil on stovetop to 350 degrees.
In one bowl mix buttermilk and egg with fork. In another bowl add flour and season with salt and pepper and cayenne, to taste.
Dip each steak into egg wash, let excess drip off. Roll both sides in flour and shake off excess.
Fry 1 or 2 pieces at a time until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes on each side, depending on how big the steaks are.
5. Drain on paper towels.