Chicken Fried Steak

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 6 servings
  • Prep 25 mins
  • Cook 60 mins

This deep-fried steak will win the heart of any Southerner.

According to authors Jane and Michael Stern, this quintessential diner dish “was a Texas cook’s way to tame an ornery cut of steak, one too tough to simply fry.”

Ingredients

6 1/2-inch-thick cuts of round steak, about 4 inches in diameter
2 large eggs, beaten
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup all-purpose flour mixed with 2 teaspoons pepper and 1 teaspoon salt
Lard or vegetable oil for frying
3/4 cup milk mixed with ¼ cup beef stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Sandwich each steak between pieces of wax paper and beat it for 2 or 3 minutes with a blunt instrument. (An old-time heavy glass Coke bottle is traditional, but we would not encourage using easily breakable glass.) Place the steaks in a baking pan big enough to hold them in a single layer.
  2. Combine the eggs and evaporated milk and thoroughly soak the steaks in the mixture.
  3. Place the seasoned flour on a plate and dredge each steak in it, coating the steaks thoroughly. Do not discard the flour.
  4. Put enough lard or oil in a deep skillet so it is more than ½ inch deep. Heat it to 360 degrees, or until a bread cube sizzles in it.
  5. Dip the floured steaks back into the egg and milk mixture, then use a long set of tongs to ease each of them into the hot oil. Stand back when you do this; the oil will splatter. Do not crowd the steaks in the skillet.
  6. Cook each steak for about 8 minutes, or until it is golden brown on the bottom. Turn, and cook the other side for about 6 more minutes, or until well browned.
  7. Remove the steaks from the oil with tongs or a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towels.
  8. Pour off all but 2 or 3 tablespoons of the oil in the skillet. Return the skillet to the heat and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the seasoned flour over the hot oil, stirring constantly for a full minute, scraping the bottom of the skillet as you stir.
  9. Gradually add the milk and beef stock mixture, stirring constantly. Continue cooking and stirring until the gravy is thick. Add salt and pepper.
  10. Serve the steak and gravy with mashed potatoes and biscuits.

Recipe from Jane and Michael Stern’s Two for the Road: Our Love Affair with American Food (Houghton Mifflin, 2006, http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com).

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