Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: Southern-style chicken-fried steak

By JULIAN BRUNT/Special to the Sun Herald

Southern-style chicken-fried steak
Southern-style chicken-fried steak

If any food deserves an ode to its glory, it is the Southern-style chicken-fried steak.

What compares with the crunchy crust, tender and flavorful beef, and, of course, the creamy white sauce? If I am really starved, on a cold winter’s day, this would be my go-to dish.

You may be surprised to know that this recipe has its origins in German cuisine. German immigrants to Texas were probably the first to treat a beef cutlet like a wiener schnitzel.

The white sauce may be a variant of béchamel, but wherever it comes from, the combination of beef, sauce and chicken frying technique is uniquely American and delicious.

SOUTHERN-STYLE CHICKEN FRIED STEAK

2 pounds beef bottom cut 1/2 inch thick

Salt and pepper

1 cup AP flour

3 eggs beaten

Oil as required

2 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup whole milk

Season the beef aggressively. Place the flour and beaten eggs in separate bowls. Dredge the beef in the flour, then the egg, and back again in the flour. Oil a thick frying pan, preferably black cast iron, heat to medium and fry the cutlets for 3-4 minutes on a side, remove and set aside. Add a tablespoon or so of oil to the same pan, whisk in the flour from the dredging, and deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, whisking all the while. Simmer until thick, then whisk in the milk. Taste and season as necessary. Plate the steaks, top with gravy and dig in.

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