Braggin'-Rights Chicken-Fried Steak

Recipe By : Texas Home Cooking - ISBN 1-55832-059-8

2 pounds round steak sliced 1/2" thick twice-tenderized by the butcher
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 egg
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
2 cloves garlic -- minced
vegetable shortening -- preferably Crisco

In writing this chapter we tried every variation on chicken-fried steak that we could invent, coax from friends, or find in Texas cookbooks. We've included four other great recipes, but this was our personal favorite, the one we fine-tuned to become a family heirloom. Spicier and crunchier than most CFSs, it'll keep any cowboy or cowgirl from roaming the range.

Cut the steak into four equal portions. Pound the portions until each is about 1/4 inch thick. Place the flour in a shallow bowl. In a second dish, stir together the baking powder and soda, pepper, and salt, and mix in the buttermilk, ett, Tabasco, and garlic. The mixture will be thin. Dredge each steak first in flour and then in the batter. Dunk the steaks back into the flour and dredge them well, patting in the flour until the surface of the meat is dry.

Add enough shortening to a deep cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven to deep-fry the steaks in at least 4 inches of fat. Bring the temperature of the shortening to 325 degrees F. Fry the steaks, pushing them down under the fat or turning them over as they bob to the surface, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Drain the steaks, and transfer them to a platter. Keep them warm while you prepare Cream Gravy.

Place the steaks on separate plates, spoon mashed potatoes next to them, and cover both generously with the gravy.

Serve immediately.

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