Born in Texas, relocated to Washington state, back to Texas, then off to the Pacific Northwest for a year, this gal knows the difference between Southern cooking and what I call “the norm.”
You see, Southerners grown up on things like pimento cheese, chicken fried steak (an oxymoron if you ask me), cornbread and buttermilk (in a glass-together!), fried okra, hush puppies and tons of Tex Mex food.
“The norm” grows up on salisbury steak with onions, spaghetti and meatballs, beef barley soup and not much, if any, Tex Mex food.
So, when a Southerner cooks chicken fried steak, well….it’s not chicken at all. That would be chicken fried chicken. Makes sense, or not. In Texas, all soda is called “Coke.” What kind of coke would you like? 7-Up, Fanta, Root Beer or Coca Cola? Makes sense….or not.
This recipe, which is really not a recipe at all, is in written form to attempt to explain exactly what true Chicken Fried Steak is. Make no mistake, there are imposters out there! This is the real deal. You’ll really need to make cream gravy to go with this, using some of the leftover oil (about 2 T.)
It’s much harder giving instructions on making the gravy. NOT in recipe form, here goes:
Cream Gravy: Leave 2-3 T. oil in pan after you are done. Add some flour-I’d say about as much as the oil. Cook and stir on medium heat until thick, but not too brown. You need to cook that flour or it tastes pasty. Then quickly add some whole milk and water (about a ratio of 7 to 10) and stir or whisk while turning heat to med. high or high. When it bubbles and starts getting thick, add more milk or water, depending on the thickness. Ready, here comes the really weird part if you dare-if it is like brownie batter then add more water, if it’s like pancake batter, then add more milk. It takes about 5-15 years (yes, years) to perfect this non-recipe. Really only grandmas can do it. I’m one. Don’t be jealous.
Roll up your sleeves, heat up your oil (or Crisco in a can if you’re a true-blue Southerner!) and let’s go to town. Not really to town because you should already have your ingredients. *meaning to work…well, not actually to work because you’d be doing this after work or on the weekends, but let’s just go do THIS! Geez Louise!
Southern Chicken Fried Steak
- 6 tenderized cube steaks
- 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 2 cups flour
- oil for frying-peanut is best. Vegetable is ok