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Chicken Fried Steak...gimme the recipes!

Okay, I have 6 cube steaks. My other has requested Chicken Fried Steak. I have pretty much every available item including flour, potato flakes, ritz crackers, saltines, buttermilk.. all of it and if I don't have it, Ill just go get it.

The man HATES mashed potatoes so I need a starch alternative to go with these...all other forms of potato he can survive on. Im kinda sorta getting better with roux for gravy so hit me with em! Thanks in advance....

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  1. My personal take:
    Soak steak in buttermilk, meanwhile combine flour with paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, seasoned salt, pepper and a pinch of thyme. In a separate bowl, prepare a combination of 1/2 panko crumbs and 1/2 seasoned bread cumbs. In a third bowl, lightly beat 2 eggs. Remove steak from buttermilk and drip off except, then dip in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. Repeat until all steaks are coated.

    In a skillet, melt 4 Tbsp. lard over medium-high and fry steaks until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels.

    Pour out half the fat in the skillet and add 1 clove minced garlic. When lightly browned, add 2 Tbsp. flour to make a roux. Cook roux until between blonde and tan in color. Add heavy cream or whole milk and thicken. Season with garlic powder, cayenne, seasoned salt and pepper.

    Serve steaks with white gravy, greens and mashed potatoes with brown gravy.

    1. JM, Great recipe. That's the real deal.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Glassman

        Actully I don't think I've ever seen CFS using panko/breadcrumbs. In Texas, good CFS is double dipped as you pointed out. But, it's normally flour, egg/milk and then seasoned flour again before being fried.

        Now, I see nothing wrong with breadcrumbs and I'm sure it would be tasty. it's just not the real deal however.

        1. re: rtmonty

          I agree. Normally it's just flour and it's not as highly seasoned. Usually the white gravy tastes of salt and pepper at best and the steak is greasy and floury. This is my "improvement" to get a little crunch and flavor in there. Panko isn't an especially traditional ingredient down South!

      2. Put all the potato fakes and crackers away, this is how to make a real CFS, and I should know, since I am a 7th generation Texan.

        Texas-Style Chicken Fried Steak with Cream Gravy
        It is hard to get much more Texan than Chicken Fried Steak. Quality of the beef really counts in this dish. This recipe calls for cube steaks, but good round steak that you have asked the butcher to run through the tenderizer or that you have tenderized yourself with a mallet can be even better.
        4 tenderized beef cutlets(cube steak) OR 1 round steak, with fat removed, that you've tenderized yourself (see above)
        1 egg
        1/4 cup milk
        all-purpose flour
        cooking oil or melted Crisco
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
        1/4 teaspoon paprika
        1/4 teaspoon white pepper
        Beat together the egg and milk and set aside. Mix together the salt, black pepper, paprika and white pepper and sprinkle on both sides of beef cutlets.
        Dredge the cutlets in the flour, shaking off the excess. Then dip each cutlet in the egg/milk mixture, then back in the flour. Set cutlets aside on a piece of waxed paper.

        Heat the cooking oil in a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Oil should be about a half-inch deep in the pan. Check the temperature with a drop of water; if it pops and spits back at you, it's ready.

        With tongs, carefully place each cutlet into the hot oil. Protect yourself from the popping grease that results. Fry cutlets on both sides, turning once, until golden brown. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 4 or 5 minutes until cutlets are done through. Drain cutlets on paper towels.

        Cream Gravy
        After the cutlets are removed from the pan, pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of oil, keeping as many as possible of the browned bits in the pan. Heat the oil over medium heat until hot.

        Sprinkle 3 tablespoons flour (use the left-over flour from the chicken fried steak recipe in the hot oil. Stir with a wooden spoon, quickly, to brown the flour.

        Gradually stir in 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup water, mixed together, stirring constantly with the wooden spoon and mashing out any lumps. Lower heat, and gravy will begin to thicken. Continue cooking and stirring a few minutes until gravy reaches desired thickness. Check seasonings and add more salt and pepper according to your taste.

        Gravy-making is an inexact science. Cream gravy is supposed to be thick, but if you think it's too thick, add more liquid until you're satisfied with it.

        5 Replies
        1. re: friscohorn

          If you use a whisk instead of the wooden spoon, the blending is easier and lumps better avoided. A whisk is also a lot better at scraping and turning the flour to keep it from browning too quickly. Aside from that, this is one heck of a nice recipe, though I'd mention that the Crisco was almost certainly substituted for lard 'way back when under the common misapprehension that it was healthier. Now we know that ain't so I'd suggest going back to lard...or oil if you must.

          Another thing - you say your fella hates mashed potatoes. Assuming you mean smoothly puréed potatoes, might I suggest boiling thin-skinned potatoes, such as Yukon Gold or White Rose, until tender and then "smashing" them with butter, salt and pepper, peels and all - don't whip them or anything like that, just crumble them well and then heap them in a bowl. These would be great with the CFS and cream gravy - maybe even better if you prepared them ahead and then heated them up in a greased skillet and browned them a bit.

          1. re: friscohorn

            You got it Bubba. Just the way my wife makes it. Some mashed potatoes, green beans, maybe a little cornbread and it's home, sweet home.

            1. re: friscohorn

              Oh WHY couldn't you have made this for me this morning! I had a CRAVING for chicken fried steak and gravy for breakfast - went to one place near my house that I hadn't been to before and rolled the dice - got a pre-processed McRib looking thing (yuk) - closed the lid and went down the road to try another place - struck out - by that time I had to get to work. All said and done, one hour of drive time searching and ended up eating leftover hot and sour soup :-(

              1. re: friscohorn

                My family is Texan through and through also and your recipe is very similar to ours. The only changes in make are picky - such as resting the coated meat on a metal rack so that the coating dries on both sides. This is key to a really crunchy crust, IMO. Also I use only milk in the gravy unless it needs to be thinned at the end, then I add water.
                Sometimes we skip the traditional mashed potatoes and go with plain white rice and gravy. Another Texas favorite with CFS is pan-fried potatoes and onions, again with the white gravy.

                1. re: friscohorn

                  If you use a brown paper bag instead of paper towels, the steaks will stay crispier.
                  Or a rack over the paper towels.

                2. All the above sound really great. I usually like to do it simple and fast, we always keep some boneless round steak on hand and I have cut it into 4 pices and run it through my meat tenderizer about 5 or 6 times on each side, I pat them dry and put a bunch of flour and some salt in a bowl put in one steak at a time and really press the flour mixture into the creavases created by the tenderizer, I do this a couple of times for each piece of meat. I then pan fry it in hot olive oil. These fry up really crunchy and tender, They are great and simple. I usually serve it with some type of sauce on the side and sometimes I just like some ketchup.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: malibumike

                    KETCHUP!!!! On CFS. One hundred lashes with a wet noodle and turn in your "I'm from the South card."

                    1. re: malibumike

                      What do you mean you "run it through your meat tenderizer"? Is this a gadget similar to an old fashioned wringer on a washing machine..but for food?? If so do you have a link???


                    2. Yes, drying helps make it crispier!

                      1. Ahhhhhhhhh, this is why I have come to love CH. Believe me, its pure Texas tomorrow night!

                          1. My recipe is similiar to Friscohorn's with the exception:
                            - omit paprika & white pepper
                            - dip in egg first, then flour, then egg, then flour

                            Fry in PLENTY of oil. Double coating and having enough oil makes it crisp. No point to skimping on the oil as it's already a heart attack on a plate.

                            Serve with grits or egg noodles or biscuits if you can't stand potatoes. I think the gravy with the starch is the best part.

                            If you really want to go out to town, fry a couple slices of bacon first and then fry the chicken fried steak in the oil (need to add more veggie oil). Add crumbled bacon to the gravy.

                            1. Resurrecting this ancient thread because I'd assumed incorrectly Chowhound would have some insight on a problem I solved last night: leftover CFS (yes, we had leftovers.)

                              I finally figured it out on my own: treat it like pork tonkatsu! I reheated it in the toaster oven, sliced it, then gently nestled it over a bowl of Udon noodles dressed with miso, cabbage, kale and carrots. Delicious!

                              So, in case y'all find yourselves in a similar quandry, there you go.

                              1. Traditionally, chicken fried steak is battered and deep fried. There is another way, you can bread the steaks and pan fry them. Those are actually called "country fried" steaks. We Texans have a tendency to use the term chicken fried steak to describe both methods.

                                I prefer country fried.

                                Season the steaks with salt, pepper and maybe some garlic powder then dredge in flour. Dip in a lightly beaten milk and egg mixture and then dredge in bread crumbs. fry with an ample amount of oil in the pan. Remove when brown on both sides. These steaks need to be pounded pretty thin.

                                Serve with mashed potatoes and white gravy and your choice of veggies. Traditionally, that would be green beans.

                                If you wanted to use cracker crumbs, the breading will be much thicker. If you wish to deep fry them,look up a fried chicken batter recipe.

                                You can do this same technique with pork chops. In fact, this Texan usually does pork chops rather than cubed steak because they are cheaper nowadays. With fairly thick pork chops will need to brown them in a pan and finish them in the oven.

                                Dang, I just responded to a 5 year old thread.

                                1. Since you requested chicken fried steak in that manner...


                                  1. For an alternative form of potato, perhaps some thick-cut fries spiced up with some of the same seasonings you use for the chicken fried steak.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: FoodPopulist

                                      My mom frequently served rice with country fried steak. I prefer mashed potatoes but rice is a decent alternative.

                                    2. Handed down from Texan Mom and Grandmother. I know you've got cubes, but next time try good lean round steak trimmed of all fat. I use a cleaver and pound with the large cubes first, then flour and pound with the smaller side until you have bits of meat and flour flying around the kitchen. Season flour with salt, pepper, maybe paprika in non-exact amounts, plus whatever else you want to throw in. Double dip in milk and flour, seasoned also, and fry in vegetable oil, turning when the red juices flow, and fry again, not too long, on other side.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: James Cristinian

                                        Great recipe, especially the prep. Glad I'm not the one to clean your kitchen. :)

                                        1. re: mamachef

                                          I always say, "Consider the source." Coming from you, I count this as a huge compliment, then again it is Mom and Granny's recipie. They really didn't hand it down to me, it was from watching and helping, and now if I could only do Granny's fried chicken, although I do have her fried fish down. As for the kitchen mess, it is necessary to get the steak tender, as round steak can be a wee bit tough.

                                          1. re: James Cristinian

                                            That is a really sweet thing to say, James.
                                            I'd use some garlic powder, just to keep it real, since I bet Granny and Mom wouldn't have used real garlic. And gravy gravy gravy. There must be gravy. And mashed. And field peas. And greens cooked in pork stock, and cornbread with honey butter.
                                            This is enough to make me hungry all over again.
                                            Oh, I forgot. The other meal involves gravy gravy gravy and two over-medium eggs and biscuits and homefries and fried apples.
                                            Dammit. I have to go on a kitchen expedition. Must. Find. Snack.

                                        2. re: James Cristinian

                                          Yes, this is key: flour and pound with the smaller side until you have bits of meat and flour flying around the kitchen

                                          It's also terrific stress relief.

                                        3. Just wondering if you could explain what cut of meat this is? I am inlondon, would love to try making these but not sure what to ask fir at the butcher?

                                          19 Replies
                                          1. re: kookiegoddess

                                            Also: how long do you cook the "roux" when you're making the white gravy?

                                            1. re: petek

                                              Not sure you meant to ask kookiegodess this question, petek? Not sure she's made this before. What you want to do is spoon out the browned bits in the oil into another saucepan, for greater depth in flavor. Then add your shortening of choice and when it melts and is hot, add your flour and stir constantly over med-low heat for anywhere from 2-20 minutes. If it gets black specks in it, it's ruined. In Louisiana, cooks have been known to cook roux for hours over a barely hot flame, stirring and stirring, until it's a deeeeeeeep caramelly brown, but that's not neccessary for this. Mine (and I like a mid-brown gravy) takes about 7 minutes. The main thing is to be careful and watch it constantly becuause roux she is a delicate creature with a temperamental constiution. :)

                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                Hey mamachef:
                                                Many thanks to you,Will Owen and Hank for the great tips :)

                                            2. re: kookiegoddess

                                              kookiegoddess, the round steak being referred to here is sliced from the top of the thick hind leg muscle. I do not know what it might be called in the UK - I just consulted Larousse, which has pictures of both English and American cuts, but there were none specifically called out from that area in the English diagram. If you can find one such diagram you might look to see if there's any cut indicated on the back side of the leg just north of where the silverside and topside come from. Actually, any steak from a working muscle that ought to be pounded before cooking would work for this - I think a rump steak would do just fine, and that's a common English cut.

                                              petek, you shouldn't just let the flour cook, but use a wire whisk to stir it until it's anywhere from a pale gold to a darker tan. In some parts of the South they don't want any color at all, but I very much disagree with that.

                                              1. re: Will Owen

                                                Sorry Will.

                                                Didn't mean to steal your thunder.

                                                1. re: Will Owen

                                                  Me too, Will Owen. The flour has to be a nice gold before the stock goes in. Then the cream finish, and dinner is ON.

                                                2. re: kookiegoddess

                                                  Cube steak is a piece of top or bottom round steak that has been tenderized or cubed by being put through a butchers tenderizing machine.


                                                  Petek; You can cook the roux 2 - 10 minutes depending on whether you like really white or slightly tan gravy. I prefer the 8 - 10 minutes when the roux has just turned brown a little and starts smelling sort of like nuts.

                                                  Kookie, If you can't get a steak tenderized at a butcher's shop, you can use one of those 48 blade Jaccard tenderizers or even a tenderizer hammer.

                                                    1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                      and to clarify, the purpose of the 'cubing' is so the meat cooks even and doesn't curl excessively, potentially breaking the breaded crust. think rural US Wienerschnitzel with a cheap cut of meat (round is often used to grind for hamburgers) and you're on the way.

                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                        Until I was a teenager I thought "steak" meant round steak with seasoned flour pounded into it with the edge of a plate, then fried in a skillet. Basically the dish we're talking about here, since it always included the making of gravy. Then a friend of my dad's, who had a meat market in the next town north, bought the Grand Champion steer at the Edgar County Fair one year and invited us over for a steak dinner - oh, my! But I still liked our humble round steak. The starch was almost always plain boiled potatoes, great with that gravy.

                                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                                          One of my uncles moved away to the big city and ate his first grilled t-bone steak, he was very impressed. When he returned to the ancestral home he brought enough for everybody to have one. My grandmother cooked them in the pressure cooker.

                                                          1. re: kengk

                                                            Hahahahaha....that is a hoot !!!!!

                                                            1. re: kengk

                                                              oh ken - yer gonna make me cry...

                                                            2. re: Will Owen

                                                              Will, the rodeo just opened here in Houston and the Grand Champion Steer last year went for a mere 350,000 bucks, bought by local parriah Tilman Fertitta, owner of the Landry's clan of restaurants. The record is just over 600 Large in 2002, a down economy now?

                                                              1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                James, I would guess that Bill Curl, my dad's boyhood chum, probably paid something like $1/lb on the hoof for this one in 1956 or '57, and probably left some other bidders goggle-eyed at his reckless extravagance. I mean, you could get a damn good steak for that, or less.

                                                                kengk, that's either the saddest funny story or the funniest tragedy I've ever read. My own maternal grandmother could notoriously ruin a hot dog, but she was married to the family's best cook and a man mighty picky about his steaks.

                                                            3. re: hill food

                                                              although I replied to Hank, that comment was for kookie and pete's understanding, sorry for being vague

                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                I'm sure they got the message.

                                                                You know... it is really neat that someone in England is sitting over there thinking about making something that is such a staple here in Texas.

                                                                  1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                    oh yeah. definitely flattering that there are foods unique-ish to the US that cause interest and curiosity... (the 'ish' used since it is all mostly from somewhere else but cross-pollinated and filtered through so many layers of influence)