It's your lucky day: a beautiful, deliciously perfect chicken fried steak recipe has just fallen into your lap. I love how Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman) describes this recipe: "There’s nothing special about this dish, except that it’s a total miracle."
I know, I know. Calories galore. But every once in a while, we all deserve to dive into a big ol' heaping helping of sin on a plate, no?
There are several keys to the success of this recipe. The first and foremost is the steak -- cube steak, to be exact -- which is round steak that's been extra, extra tenderized. Another key is the double-dredging process of the milk and flour coating -- it's done twice, making the results extra crispy. The final key ... the gravy. For Heaven's sake. If you make this recipe, you must make the gravy.
Anybody and everybody appreciates a homecooked meal. And this one epitomizes comfort and love. Added bonus: it's super affordable steak.
Do it. You know you want to.
Perfect Chicken Fried Steak with Homemade Cream Gravy
(adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
Combine flour, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper and desired amount of ground black pepper.
In a separate bowl, add milk and eggs, beaten together with a fork.
Begin with an assembly line of seperate dishes for the meat-dredging process: milk mixed with egg; flour mixed with spices; then have one clean plate at the end to receive the breaded meat.
Work one piece of meat at a time. First season both sides of steak with salt and pepper, then dip in the milk/egg mixture.
Next, place the meat on the plate of seasoned flour. Turn to coat thoroughly. Place the meat back into the milk/egg mixture, turning to coat. Place back in the flour and turn to coat.
wet mixture + dry mixture + wet mixture + dry mixture
Place breaded meat on the clean plate, and repeat with remaining meat.
Heat oil in a large skillet (ideally, cast iron) over medium heat. Drop in a few sprinkles of flour to make sure it's sufficiently hot. Cook meat, three pieces at a time, until edges start to look golden brown; around 2 to 2 1/2 minutes each side, using tongs to gently flip.
Remove cooked steak to a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm. Repeat until all meat is cooked.
Gravy: Pour grease from finished meat-cooking pan into a glass or heatproof bowl. Without cleaning the pan, return it to the stove over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 cup grease back to the pan. Allow grease to heat up.
Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour evenly over the grease. Using a whisk, mix flour with grease, and continue cooking until mixture reaches a deep golden brown color. If paste seems more oily than pasty, sprinkle in another tablespoon of flour and whisk.
Whisking constantly, pour in milk. Cook to thicken the gravy. Be prepared to add more milk if it becomes overly thick. Add salt and pepper and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until gravy is smooth and thick. Be sure to taste to make sure gravy is sufficiently seasoned. I really prefer a great deal of freshly-ground black pepper in this gravy.
Serve meat with mashed potatoes, and cover both with gravy.