Nothing says TEXAS like a huge piece of Chicken Fried Steak!
For this meal, you need to throw out your calorie counting for the day as this meal is 100 percent comfort food! This is not food for the faint of heart…or vegetarians…. You are going to need to lay down and take a nap afterwards….or go plow a field to work off what you just ate….but I can promise you, you won’t regret eating it!
When we were kids, every year on our birthday, we got to “pick” what we wanted for dinner. Chicken Fried Steak served with mashed potatoes with the skins on, gravy, fresh from the garden green beans, and rolls was THE most requested meal. We would beg Mom to make it! Mom would also serve thick sliced tomatoes from the garden.
Mom’s Chicken Fried Steak:
Round steak – 3/4 inches thick
3 cups Flour
3 cups Milk
Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
First things first, Mom always uses round steak, which makes a more flavorable chicken fried steak, cut about 3/4 inches thick, then pounds it with a toothed meat mallet to flatten and tenderize it. Today, we let the butcher do the tenderizing. Resist the urge to buy the pre-packaged cutlets at the grocery store….I repeat….do not buy the pre-packaged cutlets….talk to the butcher!
Next, the steak must be cooked in a deep seasoned cast iron skillet. This is important as it browns the steak perfectly. Cast iron heats at an even heat and will maintain this heat throughout the cooking process. The ideal cooking temperature for your oil is 350 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, which we never used, you just need to drop a few sprinkles of flour into the hot oil. If it sizzles, you are ready to start cooking. You will want to take a brown paper sack and line a cookie sheet with it and place a grate over this to lay your steak on after it cooks so the oil will drip off the steak onto the brown paper sack. After each piece is cooked, place it on the cookie sheet and keep this in a warmed oven while you move on to cooking the next piece.
Ask your butcher to run round steak through a meat tenderizer twice.
Generously pepper each steak on both sides and sprinkle with Lawry’s Seasoning Salt.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, more Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, and pepper.
In another bowl, add 2 eggs to 2 cups of buttermilk and whisk to incorporate eggs.
Dip seasoned steak into flour, pressing flour really hard to get it into the deep grooves that were made when the butcher tenderized the meat.
Wait until oil heats. You can test it by sprinkling a pinch of flour into the oil and seeing if it sizzles.
Mom’s Cream Gravy:
There are no short cuts to good cream gravy….don’t buy it from a jar….don’t use a mix….perfect gravy is homemade and you will definitely taste the difference! Perfect gravy takes time and takes patience and Mom wouldn’t think of making it any other way.
To make your gravy, you are going to need the following:
1/2 cup of drippings from your meat
1/2 cup of flour
Lots of Ground Pepper!
2 teaspoons Beef Boullion
To start, leave 1/2 cup of drippings leftover from your chicken fried steak in your cast iron pan, and add a 1/2 cup of flour.
Over low heat, make a roux and stir continuously.
Add liquid to the roux to the right consistency, and keep stirring (We add liquid from the potato water and milk in equal proportions).
Stir in 2 teaspoons of beef boullion.
Stir in Kitchen Bouquet to color.
Add black pepper to taste…..don’t skimp on the pepper!
Generously ladle over your chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, and anything else you can think of! This gravy is GOOD!
Mom’s Mashed Potatoes:
1 potato per person, plus 1 extra for the pot!
Salt and Pepper
Just barely cover the potatoes with water, that way they will come to a boil quicker.
Allow potatoes to boil until tender. Drain and then mash. Add a stick of butter and milk to the right consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Plate your Chicken Fried Steak, add a generous helping of mashed potatoes, drench both with gravy, add green beans and sliced tomatoes and ENJOY!