Ok, I know what you’re all thinking: Holy heart attack on a plate.
You know what, that’s exactly what I thought every time my Papa ordered it at the Cracker Barrel on vacation. On a side note, if the Cracker Barrel is scoffed at by actual American’s, this Canadian doesn’t care. I live for those chicken and dumplings.
Any way, in a moment of curious weakness I thought to myself “It couldn’t possibly be that bad, I mean, it’s a classic American dish”. Really, I had an entire conversation with myself, and it went just like that. I had it at home, while I made my grocery list, while I grocery shopped, while I put the groceries away, and all the way through cooking it.
I had that conversation until I had my first bite.
And then I was converted.
So, my suggestion to everyone is this. Try it once. You owe yourself at least that much because it really is fantastic. While I will do everything possible to not allow myself to have this weekly, it will certainly be something that I cook again. I wasn’t the only skeptic in the house to feel this way either, Bo was quite the fan as well.
This is what you’ve got to get ready before you start prepping your meat. In the long glass dish is a mixture of flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, baking powder, salt and pepper. In the white bowl is the same flour mixture but with some milk added to give it some texture. Lastly, some eggs.
Here’s a closer look at the flour mixture in the white bowl, just so you get an idea of the texture you want. This is the second round of flour that your steak gets, and the one that gives it the incredible crunch. Mmmmmm. The only way to get this is to mix the milk in with your hands. Don’t fight it, just do it.
Pat the steaks dry then generously salt and pepper them.
Dredge them in the seasoned flour mixture, then pound them with the evil looking side of your meat tenderizing mallet, then dredge them in the seasoned flour again.
Run them through the eggs, then put them in with the milk and flour mixture and use your hands to firmly pat the four mixture into the meat. Place the steaks on a wire rack over a baking sheet and refrigerate for a minimum of 15 minutes and up to 4 hours. That’s right, you can prep this baby in advance! Don’t get rid of the flour/milk mixture though, you need it again.
Here’s what they look like coming out of the fridge. We’re missing a couple of pictures here because Oliver wanted to help and I was too distracted making sure he didn’t get close to the hot oil. At this point you heat the oil in the pan, dredge the steaks in the flour/oil mixture again, then fry on each side until golden brown. On to the gravy!
Melt some butter in a pan.
Stir in some flour and garlic powder and cook until golden.
Now that is one nice looking roux!
Now just add some chicken broth, milk, salt and pepper and stir until slightly thickened. You want it to stick to the back of the spoon, but not be like something from KFC that’s sat out for too long. No offence to KFC, of course.
And this, this plate sized beauty, is exactly what you end up with when you put the two together. Perfection.
How about a closer look?
Here’s the printable. We both know you want it, but I’ll keep it our little secret:
Chicken Fried Steak
- 3½ cups flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 4 cube steaks
- vegetable oil for frying
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- 1½ cups whole milk
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp pepper
Chicken Fried Steak
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper. Take one cup of the flour mixture and place it in a shallow dish. In a second shallow dish, beat the eggs. Add the milk to the large bowl and mix it in with your hand until it looks like a really coarse meal.
- Pat the steaks dry with paper towel then generously season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Dredge the steaks in the seasoned flour then pound evenly with the pointed side of a meat tenderizer and dredge the steaks with the seasoned flour again.
- Dip the steaks into the beaten eggs, then place one at a time into the bowl with the milk/flour mixture. Use your hands to press the mixture onto the steaks. Place the steaks on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and place in the fridge for a minimum of 15 minutes, and up to 4 hours. Don't get rid of the milk/flour mixture.
- Heat ¼" of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Dredge the steaks in the milk/flour mixture one last time, once again pressing the flour into the steaks with your hands. Fry two steaks at a time until deep golden brown and very crisp, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- In a large measuring cup place the chicken broth, milk, salt and pepper.
- Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and garlic powder and cook until starting to brown.
- Slowly add the broth mixture, whisking constantly until just thickened, about five minutes. This will keep in the fridge for 2 days.