Chicken Fried Steak is a favorite of mine to order in restaurants, usually for breakfast. There's just something comforting and familiar about it, especially if it's good. I don't think we've ever made it before though.
This recipe comes from Betty Crocker's Country Favorites. The recipe description reads: This fried steak and gravy dish, popular in Texas and throughout the Southwest, was invented out of necessity on cattle drives. To feed hungry cowboys, trail cooks would slice beef off a hind quarter, tenderize it by pounding it with a meat cleaver, roll it in seasoned coating and fry it hot sizzling oil like chicken--hence it's name. If you'd like to save a bit of time, substitute cubed steaks for the round steak.
Whatever the recipe's origins, it is delicious. And pretty easy too. The other night we served it for dinner, with mashed potatoes and salad.
Chicken Fried Steak
6 servings Prep time: 35 minutes Start to finish: 35 minutes
1 1/2 pounds boneless beef round steak, about 1/2 inch thick
1 tablespoon water
1 cup soda cracker crumbs (28 squares) [we used oyster crackers]
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Milk Gravy (recipe below)
1. Cut beef into 6 serving pieces. Pound each piece until 1/4 inch thick to tenderize. (we put the beef into a ziploc bag, then pounded it for much less of a mess)
2. Beat water and egg; reserve. Mix cracker crumbs and pepper. Dip beef into egg mixture, then coat with cracker crumbs.
3. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook beef in oil 6 to 7 minutes, turning once, until brown. Remove beef from skillet; keep warm. (We kept our steaks warm on a plate in a 200 degree F oven)
4. Reserve drippings for Milk Gravy. Make gravy and serve with steak.
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
Measure reserved drippings (from step 4 above). (I didn't measure. I just tipped the pan up, eyeballed the drippings, and decided it didn't need more oil. You can measure if you'd prefer). Add enough vegetable oil to drippings, if necessary, to measure 1/4 cup. Return drippings to skillet. Stir in flour and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly to loosen brown particles from skillet, until smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Slowly pour milk into skillet, stirring constantly. Heat to boiling over low heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.