For some reason, those who have never had chicken fried steak or have never heard of it, automatically assume it’s chicken. But it is exactly what it says- chicken fried STEAK.
Here in the South, we seem to want to fry everything, and steak is no exception. Chicken fried steak is round steak, cut into sections, heavily battered, fried, and covered with gravy. There are a number of variations though as far as seasonings go such as onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic, or all of the above. Then there are those who prefer just meat, gravy, salt and pepper.
Traditional Chicken Fried Steak:
– 2 pounds round steak
– 2 cups flour
– 3 eggs
– 1/2 cup canola oil (or which ever you use)
– salt & pepper
– 2 cups of water
Cut the steak into serving-size pieces and dip each piece into the slightly-beaten eggs then into the flour, coating them heavily. Sprinkle each piece with salt & pepper. Put them into the hot oil (medium high) and brown about three minutes on each side. Do not overcook or you’ll have dry, tough steaks. Take them out of the pan.
Drain the oil leaving about two tablespoons or so. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of flour into the oil and brown for about thirty second then pour in the two cups of water. Stir until it thickens then put the steaks in the gravy. Cover and simmer for about a minute.
If you like rich cream gravy, substitute milk or cream for the water. There are a number of people who don’t like really thick gravy. However, here in the South, most people prefer it.
If you’d like to add some pizazz, cook onions, bell peppers or mushroom in the oil before cooking the steaks. The meat will pick up the flavor and you can smother the steaks with them then add the gravy.
Peppers are a favorite addition which is commonly called chicken fried pepper steak. Chop the peppers, saute them in the oil before cooking the steaks and when the gravy is done, put in the steaks, cover them with the cooked peppers, make sure everything is coated with the gravy, then let it simmer for a minute or two.
Be imaginative and create your own unique chicken fried steak. If your family has never had it before, tell them it’s chicken fried steaks and see how long it takes them to realize that it’s not chicken. Don’t be surprised if you hear, “Hey, great chicken, Mom!”