Cooking With Fire: Chicken Fried Steak (And Bloody Marys)
Chicken fried steak has been a favorite dish of mine as long as I can remember. Even after being diagnosed with celiac disease 5 years ago, I have set aside a day several times each year to make chicken fried steak at home.
There is something comforting about the dish that reminds me of my childhood, and when cooked to perfection is a culinary masterpiece that, in my opinion, has yet to be surpassed by even the hippest gastronomic techniques.
Chicken fried steak was introduced to the United States by German and Austrian immigrants in the mid-19th century. The dish is similar to wiener schnitzel, thin-breaded and fried veal, that is a national dish of Austria. These immigrants landed in Texas and the dish has spread from there.
Popular variations include those served with brown gravy, served as a sandwich on a hamburger bun, or served sliced in finger-food-sized helpings like chicken fingers. But the traditional chicken fried steak is served with a peppered white gravy with a side of mashed potatoes… vegetables optional.
For me, the perfect time for a chicken fried steak is at the start of the day. Chicken fried steak and eggs just pair so well together… and there’s the side benefit of being able to brag to your coworkers that your breakfast was packed with protein!
Here's the latest episode of Cooking with Fire where my co-host Chef Tom and I share the recipe for the perfect chicken fried steak, plus a little something extra.
Chicken Fried Steak
- 4 beef cube steaks
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 2 tbsp hot sauce
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tsp granulated garlic
- canola oil, for frying
- Place the cube steaks in a gallon zip top bag. Add the buttermilk and hot sauce. Place in the fridge and let sit for three hours.
- Remove the steaks and place in a shallow pan. Place the flour and seasonings in another shallow pan, and mix well. Set up a cooling rack over a third pan.
- Remove the excess buttermilk from the outside of the steak. Dredge in the seasoned flour. Shake off the excess, and place on the cooling rack. Repeat the process with the remaining steaks. Allow the steaks to sit for about twenty minutes, until the flour is all moistened.
- Preheat a 12” cast iron skillet over medium heat. Fill the skillet with 1/2” of canola oil. Using an instant read digital thermometer, monitor the temperature of the oil and adjust the heat to keep the oil around 350ºF.
- Fry the steaks on each side until golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on a clean cooling rack to allow the excess oil to drip off of the surface. Serve hot.
- 1 1/2 cups tomato juice
- 3/4 cup vodka
- 1/4 cup pickle juice
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- ice cubes
- celery ribs, green olive and fresh rosemary, for garnish
Combine all ingredients, except for garnish, in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Fill two glasses with ice and pour the Bloody Mary over the ice.