Chicken Fried Steak & Gravy Texas Style!
Those of you who occasionally fall off the "Healthy Food Wagon" might consider the following as your next adventure into "Once In A While" only meals.
In Texas, chicken fried steak and gravy is fed to one as soon as a couple of teeth are visible! If you can chew it – it’s on your plate.
For the best chicken fried steak, make sure to use an IRON skillet. This recipe will result in a pan fried steak with a light batter.
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- large, tenderized round steak
- salt, pepper, and garlic powder
- bacon fat or crisco shortening
- couple cups of whole milk
- one cup of water
- heaping tablespoons of flour,
- salt and pepper to taste
1Start with a good piece of tenderized round steak and cut it up into serving size pieces.
Prepare a bowl of flour to which you add salt, pepper and garlic powder (in an amount comparable to the amount of steak you’re going to dredge in the flour – and each piece will be dredged twice).
2Here’s how to prepare each piece of steak ( put at least a half-inch of bacon grease into a frying pan) If you don’t have any - use Crisco – nothing else.
The bacon grease will make the steak brown better and more evenly. Even if you only have a little bacon grease add it to the pan, once the Crisco has melted.
The shortening or grease should be very hot but NOT smoking.
3Now, back to the steak – You prepare all the steak pieces the same way. Get ‘em all cut, put them thru the dredging process twice, THEN put them in the hot pan.
Dredging Process - Take each piece of steak, hold it under running water until it is good and wet, then lay it down in your bowl of flour mixture.
PRESS the flour mixture into it on both sides. Then, run the same piece of steak once again under a gentle flow of water.
Again, return the steak to the flour mixture and press the flour into both sides.
This is the secret to exceptional chicken fried steak: make sure to FLOUR THE SIDES of each piece and press down so it will seal the batter all around.
This is a critical move so be sure each outside edge of each piece of steak is well floured!
Set them aside until you’re ready to start frying.
DO NOT stack up the pieces as they’ll stick together and you’ll have a huge mess!
Once all the meat is dredged; put as many pieces in the pan as it will hold – but do not crowd them.
4Cook the meat until it’s well done and browned on both sides.
As your meat gets done remove them from the skillet to a container lined with paper towels to drain off excess grease.
If you want a softer "crust" put a piece of foil over the top of the container – it’ll keep the meat warm and will soften the crust a bit.
If you prefer a more crusty exterior on your chicken fried steak – put the done pieces in a pan and put them in your oven on a very low or "warm" setting," uncovered, to keep them until you’re prepared to serve.
Note: I usually add a bit more salt when I remove each piece of steak from the pan.
Pour all but a bit more than a quarter-inch of the grease out of the pan you cooked the meat in.
Don’t put the pan back on the fire until you do the following:
Get your flour canister out and the salt and pepper so you’re ready to go when you begin cooking the gravy.
Fill a mixing bowl with a couple of cups of whole milk and add one cup of water to it.
If you’re not using whole milk put three cups of milk in your bowl (no water).
6Put the pan on the stove and again let it get really hot but not smoking.
Add three heaping tablespoons of regular flour, salt and pepper to taste and stir quickly and constantly until the flour is browned and the mixture begins to thicken (very similar to making a roux).
At that point add all the milk from the bowl and stir constantly until the gravy thickens and is bubbling (boiling).
Cooking cream gravy a bit after it starts to boil kills that flour taste.
If your gravy is too thick add a bit more milk. If it's too thin, remove the pan from the stove while you add another table spoon of flour to 1/2 cup water, beat it until there are no lumps and add to your gravy.
Then return the pan to the stove and cook until you’ve got bubbles and the gravy is the right consistency.
7Cream gravy is thicker than most other gravies. For this dish runny gravy won’t do, so be sure and cook it long enough to get a good, moderately thick texture.
When removing the gravy from the pan into a serving bowl add a bit more black pepper.