I never ate chicken-fried steak growing up. I don’t know if we inherit tastes or not. But I do like Southern food and my paternal grandpa was born in Tennessee, then lived in Oklahoma for a while. My dad tells me his dad could pick out a perfect watermelon in the grocery store, but only if he closed his eyes and tapped it. He was used to picking them out of the fields at night by sound alone…
I’ve played around with a few different recipes for chicken-fried steak over the years. It’s not like I make it all that often! I use cubed steak, dredged in flour and egg and breadcrumbs, then fried in a bit of oil. Take the meat out when it’s done and make cream gravy (well milk gravy but they call it cream gravy!) in the drippings. Season it with just salt and pepper and you’ll have a good dinner right there with mashed potatoes and something green.
Extra Spicy Chicken-Fried Steak
If you like spicy, try out this variation. I saw the spice combination in The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science. I didn’t like the look of the rest of the recipe so I lifted the spice combination from here, but stuck to more traditional preparation methods and more traditional meat. Because I was going for spicy I mixed some of the spicy mixture into the flour I used to make the gravy. You could skip that step if you don’t want spicy gravy! Just use flour seasoned with salt and pepper and maybe a pinch of cayenne.
Leftovers are great the next day for lunch, if there are any.