Chicken fried steak is one of those dishes, like biscuits and gravy, that sounds wrong to English ears. Is it a fried chicken steak? What is a chicken steak? What's going on? Well, it's a beef steak, fried like you'd fry chicken. Steak with a crunchy coating.
Oh, says my foodie readership, you mean like wiener schnitzel? Well, yes and no. We're not talking delicate slices of tender baby calf, we're talking cheap, chewy lumps of real cow. Hammered flat with tenderising mallets. Pulverised with a rolling pin. If you've got the kit, stabbed with a thousand tiny blades too.
|Ready to go.|
As ever, I trusted SeriousEats to provide me with a recipe. There's more agreement on how to create this dish than other, more contentious, recipes (I'm looking at you, chili con carne). However I'm sure German settlers didn't fuss around with seasoned flour and buttermilk dips like I did last night.
When it came to side dishes, I tried to stay as traditional as possible. Country gravy - white sauce - isn't optional. It's an integral part of the dish. I chose mash and green beans because that's what I've always had. Although I resisted the temptation to boil the beans close to the point of becoming mush. Keeping a bit of bite was my only concession to European tastes.
And did it all work? Hell yeah. A classic of comfort food cooking. I'll be making this again - especially if I can find some cheap and chewy steak!