Chicken Fried Steak

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Matchstick Man
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2003/04/14 20:54:47 (permalink)

Chicken Fried Steak

Okay, this isn't "prime cut". But the absolute best chicken fried steak that I've ever had was at Massey's on 8th Ave in Ft Worth. A few years ago, they closed down for a couple of years. The Ft Worth Star-Telegram ran a poll about a year later, asking people where to get the best chicken fried steak. Even though they had been closed for a year, Massey's still won the poll. I think that might have been a large factor in the reopening of the restaraunt.
The portions are large, everything is good. I haven't been to Ft Worth in a couple of years, but the last time I went to Massey's you still got TWO pieces of CFS, each one larger than any single piece you'd get at any other restaraunt.
#1

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    Sundancer7
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/04/14 20:59:50 (permalink)
    Matchstick man, what you described is the best breakfast i have ever had. When I go to Perkins or any other place for breakfast, I always want chicken fried steak, extra gravy, hash browns, triple eggs over well, bisquits and a diet coke. Unfortunately, my cardiologist no longer allows it.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #2
    Matchstick Man
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/04/14 21:20:27 (permalink)
    Sundancer, what's a cardiologist?
    I'll be 50 later this year, am 6', weigh 170, and can eat and eat and eat and eat and not gain any weight....and that was BEFORE I started walking 2+ miles everyday.
    #3
    Bushie
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/04/14 21:38:16 (permalink)
    Oh, my. Chicken-fried steak is REAL hard to pick a "best of". What to look for, in my opinion, is steak (tenderized, by pounding, round steak is really what I'm talking about) that is cooked just like good fried chicken is cooked; in an iron skillet or something that closely matches. Most of what you'll find is deep-fried, which is fine, but usually not "superb". This is a good topic; I'd love to hear Roadfooder recommendations on this one.
    #4
    Matchstick Man
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/04/14 22:09:25 (permalink)
    Bushie, I disagree -- it's REAL EASY to pick the best CFS -- I've been to Massey's and it is just what you are describing!
    #5
    Michael Stern
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/04/15 08:33:19 (permalink)
    I haven't been to Massey's since before they (temporarily) closed, but I second the motion that their CFS is the gold standard. Another great one, in the Hill Country, is -- or at least used to be -- served at a restaurant their called O.S.T. And I DO love Threadgill's.
    #6
    dbear
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/04/15 19:47:19 (permalink)
    A Texan at heart (or appetite), this is a topic of real interest to me. I live in New England now, which has alot of great roadfood, but absolutely noplace to get a great CFS. My prefence was always Threadgill's when I lived in Austin. Hill's was also good (I lived around the corner in Travis Heights) but closed much of the time. I've never been to Massey's but I'll make a point of it next time I'm in the Metroplex. The closest I can get here is the local Chili's 'country' fried steak, which is edible, but not at all the real thing.
    #7
    mayor al
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/04/17 09:51:28 (permalink)
    One of the major truck-stop companies, not sure if it is Petro Brother's or Flying J used to have an AYCE Chicken Fried Steak offer running from mid-nite to 5am nightly. Made to order with a crust that had plenty of black pepper in it, a cup of white gravy on the side and scoops of Mashed potatoes and some other veggie that I never bothered to check out plus beverage (pepsi) all for $5.99. On several runs across the country and up the 5 on the left-coast It was the late dinner or early breakfast of choice for us!
    Corning, CA had one that we stopped at several times. Sorry that the name escapes me now.
    #8
    Jennifer_4
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/04/17 17:07:09 (permalink)
    I've tried all the local (Fresno, CA) "joints" around and have failed to find a CFS to rival that of Golden Corral, which unfortunately, no longer serves them.. I found a close second at Perko's though.. I'll just have to keep looking.
    #9
    Bushie
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/04/26 09:34:08 (permalink)
    Matchstick, as promised, I made a special trip over to Massey's yesterday afternoon. I'm happy to report you are correct! (Not that I doubted, but I did approach the plate with a high degree of scrutiny.) I believe the CFS was as good as you could ever get. A "bonus" was that the cream gravy was SUPERB (almost perfect). Hand-mashed (not whipped) potatoes, homemade dinner rolls. The meal filled my entire being with "comfort". Thanks.
    #10
    Maynerd
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/04/26 21:15:18 (permalink)
    Where abouts is O.S.T. in the Hill country? I might have to make a special side trip next time I'm in Austin.
    #11
    Michael Stern
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/04/27 04:53:47 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Maynerd

    Where abouts is O.S.T. in the Hill country? I might have to make a special side trip next time I'm in Austin.



    Bandera. I haven't been there in several years, but others who eaten there recently say it's still the great C.F.S.
    #12
    Matchstick Man
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/05/06 11:51:33 (permalink)
    Hey Bushie! I was sure I had already responded to your post...guess it got lost. Glad to hear that Massey's quality is still up there. I'll have to check out O.S.T. and Threadgill's next time I'm down that way and see how they compare.
    #13
    roy51
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/05/27 17:19:48 (permalink)
    In Dallas, the CFS at Jenny's Bishop Grill in Oak Cliff is truly hard to beat. The steak at Norma's on Davis Street in Oak Cliff is pretty good, too, if I remember correctly. It's been a few years since I ate at Norma's. South of Dallas, just outside of Waxahachie on Hwy. 77, is the Rocket Cafe. The CFS is huge and delicious there. In my college days in Austin there was a place out on N. Lamar called the Stallion. If I remember correctly their chicken fried steak was pretty good.
    #14
    Bushie
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/05/27 17:32:19 (permalink)
    roy51, the Stallion closed many years ago (a victim of so-called "progress"), but it was almost a second home to me for awhile (I worked across the street for a about a year in the early 80's). Maybe not the best CFS ever, but you couldn't beat the "atmosphere". Kind of like the Broken Spoke still is today.

    I've heard of Jenny's, but haven't been there. I'll put that one on my list for next time I'm up there, and will give a "CFS Review". Thanks.
    #15
    goldsborscht
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/05/28 21:17:27 (permalink)
    Ever since seeing Ben Johnson ask for a chicken fried steak in The Last Picture Show, I have wanted to have one in Texas. I get my chance a month from now. Thanks for all the suggestions. What can be more beautifully American than a chicken fried steak in Hill Country?
    #16
    Bushie
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/06/02 10:56:51 (permalink)
    goldsborscht, what part of the Hill Country are you going to visit?
    #17
    Lone Star
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/06/02 14:19:38 (permalink)
    Just a stone's throw from downtown Houston, on Washington avenue, you can get a great CFS at The Pigstand #29.

    I just love to go there for lunch. In addition to the famous "Pig sandwich" you can get a CFS sandwich too. It covers the plate.

    You can either sit on the old twirly stools at the counter or in a booth. I think it has been in that location since the 20's.

    When I was there for a meat and three lunch last week I noticed a plaque above one booth that dedicated the booth to Larry McMurty and Shirley McClain. Apparently they used that booth while filming in the move "Evening Star".

    There are lots of great places to eat besides all the downtown chains, so let's get out there and eat!
    #18
    goldsborscht
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/06/03 19:56:46 (permalink)
    I'm going to New Braufels, Kerrville, Bandera, a loop leaving San Antonio. I'm strastegically planning the whole expedition. I'm already stressing about my pre-Austin BBQ bonanza. I got to hit Elgin, Lockhart, and Taylor, but I got to leave room for CFS in Johnson City. It's all very stressful.
    #19
    Bushie
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/06/03 22:26:08 (permalink)


    Goldsborscht, "The Last Picture Show" has been my "all time favorite" movie since I first saw it in the 70's. In the mortal words of Cloris Leachman; "Don't you worry none."

    When you're in Bandera, eat at OST, and you'll have your CFS fix. Forget Elgin for BBQ. If you stop in Taylor, eat at Louie Mueller's. In Lockhart, it's a toss-up, but I still like Kruez's.

    If you want to experience Texas BBQ Nirvana, drive to Smithville, which won't be too far out of your travel plans, and eat at Charles BBQ downtown. Michael Stern's review was the first I'd heard about this place. It's the best sausage on the face of the planet (their homemade), they serve mutton, they make their own sauce, and everything else is great, too.

    For suggestions in Austin, please email me and I'll hook you up with proven roadfood.

    No need to stress. We're here to help.

    P.S. Now that I've thought about it, I don't think Cloris said "don't you worry". I think she said, "never you mind". Anyway, you know what I meant.
    #20
    EdSails
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/06/04 14:48:19 (permalink)
    A not surprisingly great CFS is made at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Restaurant located at Knotts Berry Farm in Bena Park, CA. Not cheap, but huge and delicious with a good crust. Comes with appetizer, sides and of course boysenberry pie. It's well worth the money. Since it's outside the Park it's easy to get to and worth a drive.
    #21
    Lucky Bishop
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/06/09 14:53:22 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by dbear

    A Texan at heart (or appetite), this is a topic of real interest to me. I live in New England now, which has alot of great roadfood, but absolutely noplace to get a great CFS...The closest I can get here is the local Chili's 'country' fried steak, which is edible, but not at all the real thing.


    I'm from Texas and living in Boston as well, so I know what you mean about the lack of CFS on menus, but the great thing about chicken-fried steak is that the best you can get is homemade! If you've got a good meat pounder and a cast-iron skillet, some flour, eggs, salt, pepper and oil, you're set! Mash some potatoes, bake up some yeast rolls, snap some green beans and make some country gravy -- or do what I do and have your brother mail you boxes of Pioneer mix from Lubbock -- and you've got a meal fit for a king!
    #22
    rmtnfoodie
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/06/11 10:50:47 (permalink)
    A friend of mine says that "The best CFS you can find anywhere" is at Sirloin Pub and Grill in Bakersfield ( 8105 Kern Canton Road). Haven't been, but we had good fajitas recently at another of his recommendations - La Colonia, 1809 Potomac Ave, Bakersfield. La Colonia is tucked away in an older neighborhood east of downtown, so its not easy to find.

    rt
    #23
    mayor al
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/06/11 12:39:20 (permalink)
    Are you talking about Bakersfield California?
    If ever in that area be sure try HODEL'S a family run Buffet that has great CFS,Tenderloin and Baked Chicken on it's daily menu. Located just off the 99 near the Airport on the north side of town (Olive Ave. Exit, I think)
    #24
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/06/11 16:02:19 (permalink)
    Atlanta's best CFS is at the Silver Skillet on 14th St. near GA Tech. It's not on the menu every day but when it is it's wonderful, crispy, hot, cuts with a fork, and great gravy. Wonderful sweet iced tea also.
    #25
    mudbug
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/06/11 16:31:50 (permalink)
    Bushie-Sorry to hear about The Stallion losing out to the Austin sprawl.In the mid-seventies the CFS was $1.00 a steak.Good enough and definitely the right price.The comparison to the Broken Spoke weas spot on IMHO.
    #26
    Bushie
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/06/11 16:38:34 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by mudbug

    Bushie-Sorry to hear about The Stallion losing out to the Austin sprawl.In the mid-seventies the CFS was $1.00 a steak.Good enough and definitely the right price.The comparison to the Broken Spoke weas spot on IMHO.


    A storage unit complex and a Blockbuster video store sit there now. Sigh.

    The Spoke shows no signs of going away, though, thank goodness. They still have never paved their parking lot, although stuff has grown up all around. Love it.
    #27
    Lucky Bishop
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/06/12 17:15:19 (permalink)
    Inspired by this very topic, I'm making CFS tonight. However, I gave it some thought and I'm trying something new. Good Texan boy that I am, CFS was one of the first things my mother, bless her, taught me how to cook, when I was about 8. I've been doing it her way for the intervening 25 years, but the other day I thought, "Well, I don't actually fry chicken like this!" So now I'm trying CFS exactly the way I do fried chicken: the pounded steak is marinating in buttermilk right now. I'm going to double-dip it in seasoned flour (I just got a bottle of that Ozark seasoning from Penzey's that I've been anxious to try) from the buttermilk and lay out the dipped steaks on a rack for about 15 minutes to firm up the crust before I shallow-fry them in peanut oil at about 375. If you like, I'll post the results here.
    #28
    Bushie
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/06/12 17:29:56 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Lucky Bishop

    Inspired by this very topic, I'm making CFS tonight. However, I gave it some thought and I'm trying something new. Good Texan boy that I am, CFS was one of the first things my mother, bless her, taught me how to cook, when I was about 8. I've been doing it her way for the intervening 25 years, but the other day I thought, "Well, I don't actually fry chicken like this!" So now I'm trying CFS exactly the way I do fried chicken: the pounded steak is marinating in buttermilk right now. I'm going to double-dip it in seasoned flour (I just got a bottle of that Ozark seasoning from Penzey's that I've been anxious to try) from the buttermilk and lay out the dipped steaks on a rack for about 15 minutes to firm up the crust before I shallow-fry them in peanut oil at about 375. If you like, I'll post the results here.


    Oh, YEAH. I want to hear how it turns out!
    #29
    Lucky Bishop
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    RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2003/06/13 00:30:50 (permalink)
    Quite well, actually! I went for the single dip, straight from the buttermilk it had been marinating in to the seasoned flour. (By the way, the Ozark seasoning from Penzeys is totally worth trying -- I used about two teaspoons in two cups of King Arthur AP, with no other seasoning necessary.) That seemed sufficient to coat without getting too gloppy.

    The other change I made was I used my digital instant-read to check the oil temp before I fried the steak. I took it up to 350 degrees, which is probably about 50-75 degrees higher than I normally fry CFS at: as a result, the steak pieces (two pounds of bottom round cut into approximate 3" sections and pounded but not flattened) both cooked incredibly fast -- I did 15 pieces in not much more than 10 minutes -- and (drumroll) were medium to medium well in the middle. No more grey-centered chicken-fried steak!

    So yeah, the steak came out perfectly. But I'm mostly happy about the rolls, which I'll discuss over in recipes.
    #30
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