Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chicken Fried Steak & Gravy

Because I was very busy this weekend and we were out of town at Disneyland celebrating my daughter's 3rd birthday, I didn't really do any grocery shopping for the week. This recipe for Chicken Fried Steak & Gravy popped up on my reader from What's Cookin' Chicago? and I remembered that I still had some thinly sliced beef that I normally use for Korean Bulgogi Beef. As much as I love, love, love Bulgogi, I wanted to try something new tonight. So I decided to try Chicken Fried Steak for dinner.

I like to eat Chicken Fried Steak occasionally. I say "occasionally" because we all know that this meal is not really healthy. But its sooooo good. I especially love the gravy that goes along with it. I served this with some homemade mashed potatoes that I quickly whipped up. This is definitely comfort food at its best.

6 cubed steaks, pounded to 1/3 inch thickness
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
5 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
oil for frying

1 medium onion, minced
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
2 cloves garlic minced
3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1/2 cup chicken or beef broth
2 cups milk
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

1) For the steaks: In a large shallow dish, combine flour, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Set aside. In another large shallow dish, beat together egg, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in buttermilk.

3) Heat oven to 200 deg F. Place a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack in the oven.

Heat 1 inch of oil to 375 deg F in a large frying pan or dutch oven. While oven and oil are heating, pat the steaks dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge steaks in flour mixture, shaking off excess flour. Dip steaks in egg mixture and dredge again in the flour mixture, shaking off excess flour. Place on another wire rack while oil is heating up.

4) Cook 3 steaks at a time in the oil for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they turn deep golden brown. Turn steaks only once. Place cooked steaks on a paper towel to drain and place on the wire rack in the oven to keep warm. Allow oil to return to 375 deg F prior to cooking the rest of the steaks.

5) For the gravy: Carefully pour out the hot oil through a fine-mesh strainer. Return the browned bits from the strainer along with 2 tablespoon oil back into the frying pan (or dutch oven).

Turn the heat to medium. Add onions and thyme and cook until onions have softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add flour to the pan and stir until well combined and starting to dissolve, about 1 minute.

Whisk in the broth, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Whisk in milk, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until thickened (gravy will have a loose consistency and will thicken when cooled), about 5 minutes.

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