Originally posted June 2012.
Colin always half-jokes about how I’m going to clog his arteries and give him diabetes and make his heart explode because of my cooking. Never mind that I use olive oil and make vegetables with every meal, because he is convinced I am going to be the death of him.
Then he asks me to make chicken fried steak and I tell him that if his heart explodes it’s partially his fault because he ALWAYS asks me to make this — seriously, every time we have cube steak in the freezer — and he says that because it’s only a sometimes food it’s still all my fault.
I guess if I plan on ever having kids, I should get used to everything being my fault.
He’s right, though. Chicken fried steak really, REALLY should only be a sometimes food. Like, maybe a couple of times a year food. Because it’s double (or triple) battered and breaded, fried in oil that does not come from olives, then slathered in a creamy white gravy made of grease, flour, whole milk and salt. And usually served with creamy, buttery mashed potatoes. And vegetables. Because I care about my boyfriend’s arteries, and my own.
On a side note, my doctor told me that everything is — surprisingly — working swimmingly in my body. My blood pressure, kidneys, thyroid, liver, cholesterol — they’re all great. Except my vitamin D levels. They’re not so great. Good thing it’s summer, because I really don’t want to, as Patton Oswalt says, “DIE FROM THE RICKETS.”
Man, I really know how to go on a completely irrelevant tangent.
This is yet another steal from The Pioneer Woman. PEOPLE, YOU REALLY NEED TO SEND ME RECIPES TO TRY SO I STOP BITING OFF OF THIS LADY. (That means you too, Mom. Send me that cool chicken thing you made up.)
The only real change I made to this recipe was cutting it back. I really don’t need to be making three pounds of chicken fried steak, as I don’t have a brood to feed, and I really don’t need to be eating this as leftovers all week. Gotta keep that cholesterol at superhuman levels! In diametric opposition to that statement, I don’t pour out the excess grease, then re-pour 1/4 cup of it back into the skillet. I just kinda leave it there. It might be more than 1/4 cup, it might be less. It’s probably more. Oh, don’t give me that look.
Something else you can do, if your grocery store doesn’t sell cube steak, or their cubing machine is broken (yes, this happened to me), you can buy brasciole and then pound it down with your really cool warhammer meat pounder.
You can also opt to do this if you have a lot of untempered aggression building up inside of you. I’m not here to judge.
Chicken fried steak (adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
1 1/2 lbs of cube steak (or pounded brasciole)
1 1/2 cups whole milk, plus up to 2 1/2 cups for the gravy ::swoooon::
2 large eggs
2 cups flour (guys, I seriously just wrote “flower.” This girl needs a vacation.)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Create an “assembly line” of dishes:
Bowl: Milk (1 1/2 c) & eggs, mixed
Plate: Flour & seasonings
Season both sides of the meat 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. Basically, you’re double-dipping each piece of meat. Place on the clean plate. If your meat gets kind of sticky and the flour mixture gets too wet, you can always triple-dip. Again, I’m not here to judge.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high/high heat. ::insert obligatory my-stove-is-really-finicky-disclaimer-here:: Cook the meat about 2-3 minutes per side, until it turns this delicious, crispy, totally unhealthy golden brown color. Set aside on your assembly line’s “receiving” plate.
To make the gravy:
Sprinkle 1/3 cup of flour (NOT the flour from your assembly line. Obviously. That has raw meat juice in it) over the heated oil and whisk into a paste.
As you continue to whisk, pour in your milk. The recipe calls for up to two cups, but I usually add more because my gravy is more of a goop than a delicious sauce if I don’t. Add plenty of salt and pepper. I’m talking lots. Of course, adjust “lots” to fit your own tastes, but seriously. Lots is good. Especially if you don’t have a heart condition.
Pour gravy alllllll over your steaks. Like, drown them. Also drown your mashed potatoes in this gravy, if you made mashed potatoes. You probably should make mashed potatoes. And corn. Or asparagus. Or peas, if you’re into that sort of thing. Or a nice, big salad. Don’t put the gravy on the salad, though. Just…don’t be that guy. Or gal.