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Comfort food doesn’t get any better than chicken fried steak. Combine that with a delicately herb-flavored cream gravy and it’s like winning the jackpot!
I’ve always liked chicken fried steak but in times past, I’d confine this dish to something I only ate in a restaurant.
Reason for that is I’d tried many times to make a decent one where the coating actually stayed on the steak, but I was never successful at getting it to adhere.
I’d thought about this meal just the other day and searched Google for some recipes to see if I was missing some step or whatever. Most of the recipes I happened upon were standard coat with flour and fry. Nothing new there because that’s the way I had tried it in the past. The last recipe I looked at was the one that I figured would work because the prep was quite different and there were steps added–steps that probably the restaurants use to make this.
That recipe came from Alton Brown. First he tenderized with one of those needle-type tenderizers because he used bottom round. I always used sirloin in past attempts so it was always tender, but it’s the next step that I feel is the important one. And this time I used bottom round. I bought a roast and cut my own steaks (it’s easy), but you can buy them pre-cut too.
First the steaks are coated with flour. Then you tenderize really well by stabbing the heck out of the steak. And here’s the most important of all: You then dredge them again in the flour, dip in beaten egg and dredge the steaks in the flour again and you put them on a cookie cooling rack and let them sit for a little while. THIS fuses the coating onto the steak!
I didn’t do too much altering of the original recipe. Things I changed was I used seasoned flour, used onion salt to season the gravy and replaced the bit of milk with cream because it just tastes better!
There are leftovers, and right now I have a hanker on to reheat those puppies and have a midnight snack! That’s how totally delish these are.
Chicken Fried Steak with Country Cream Gravy
- 4 large bottom round steaks about 1/2-inch thick
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1/4 cup oil
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 tsp onion salt
- 1/2 tsp thyme -OR- leaves from about 4 sprigs 4-inches long fresh thyme
- Seasoned Flour:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Mix seasoned flour ingredients and place on a large plate or in a pie dish. Reserve this, you will need some of it to thicken the gravy.
- Beat eggs and place in a large bowl or pie plate.
- Dredge steaks in seasoned flour, shaking off excess
- Tenderize steaks on both sides using a needle tenderizer--pressing hard so the steaks flatten to about 1/4-inch
- Set a large wire cooling rack (like one you use for cookies) inside a large baking sheet. This creates not only an air-dryer to set the coating, but it's also used as a rack for keeping the steaks warm in the oven when frying in shifts.
- Dredge the steaks in flour again
- Dip each steak in the beaten egg, then coat well with seasoned flour again.
- Place steaks on the cooling rack and let them sit 10-15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
- Set up another cooling rack inside another large baking sheet (don't reuse the one that had the raw steaks on it unless you wash it thoroughly first)
- Heat a large skillet--at least 10-12-inches--over medium-high heat. You will probably have to fry in 2 shifts, so add 2 tbs of oil to the pan.
- When the oil shimmers, place 2 steaks in the pan
- Fry for 5-8 minutes on each side.
- Remove steaks to clean rack and place in a 200 degree F oven to keep warm.
- Add the remaining oil and repeat frying with the last 2 steaks, placing them on the rack in the oven to keep warm
- To Make Gravy:
- Add 4 tbs of the reserved seasoned flour into the fat remaining in the pan. Whisk until it's a smooth paste free from lumps.
- Gradually add the 2 cups of chicken stock, whisking so you don't get lumps.
- Whisk in the onion salt and the thyme.
- Whisk in the 1/2 cup of cream
- Continue whisking until gravy is thickened. It should coat the back of a spoon when it's done. This should take about 3-5 minutes.