One woman's adventures in cooking for her Dutch-American family.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chicken Fried Steak

We eat fairly healthy around here. Between the overwhelming responsibility of teaching a child to have a healthy relationship with food and my need to lose a few, we've been fairly intentional about reducing the amount of processed foods, snack foods and fatty foods we eat.

This arrangement has worked out pretty well for D and I. Our son is a great eater, often getting a good healthy snack of the raw ingredient of dinner (especially sun dried tomatoes), and I have lost thirty pounds since I started cooking at home.

My husband, on the other hand, has a freakishly high metabolism, so keeping weight on is a struggle. Not the most inspiring person to have around while you're counting calories, but he's cute, so that makes up for it a little bit. In general, he eats about a double portion of what I eat, and while he eats full calorie leftover lunches, I eat yogurt with fruit. He has gained about ten pounds since we married 3 1/2 years ago, but every once in a while, he drops a few pounds. That's when I need to throw in a more substantial dinner for him.

Whenever we go out to dinner (not often, usually only when we travel), the hubs will often order a chicken fried steak, which is similar to the European schnitzel. I found this recipe by Alton Brown. Since Chef Brown has yet to steer me wrong, I decided to give it a whirl.

What I learned is...I really don't care for fried food anymore, and my lifelong lack of love for gravy is affirmed again. Even the hubs, who helped with the cooking tonight, wasn't a huge fan. Wonder how long the leftovers will sit in the freezer before they get tossed....

Chicken Fried Steak
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2006

Prep Time:45 min
Inactive Prep Time:10 min
Cook Time:30 min

Level: Intermediate
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

  • 2 pounds beef bottom round, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  • Cut the meat with the grain into 1/2-inch thick slices. Season each piece on both sides with the salt and pepper.
I started with just over two pounds and thought it made a LOT of cuts.
  • Place the flour into a pie pan. Place the eggs into a separate pie pan.
I like these Gladware containers for breading.
  • Dredge the meat on both sides in the flour. Tenderize the meat, using a needling device, until each slice is 1/4-inch thick.
I really didn't think I'd use this thing as much as I do!
    After the fact, I realized that I forgot to dredge the meat in flour before tenderizing. Oops.
  • Once tenderized, dredge the meat again in the flour, followed by the egg and finally in the flour again. Repeat with all the pieces of meat. Place the meat onto a plate and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking.
Since I had so many slices, I could have easily used a little more flour.
  • Place enough of the vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a 12-inch slope-sided skillet and set over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the meat in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook each piece on both sides until golden brown, approximately 4 minutes per side.
Cooking the flip slide.
  • Remove the steaks to a wire rack set in a half sheet pan and place into the oven. Repeat until all of the meat is browned.
I love my tongs, too.
  • Add the remaining vegetable oil, or at least 1 tablespoon, to the pan. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the flour left over from the dredging.

  • Add the chicken broth and deglaze the pan. Whisk until the gravy comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Add the milk and thyme and whisk until the gravy coats the back of a spoon, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Season to taste, with more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve the gravy over the steaks.

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