Hot!Chicken Fried Steak

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Lucky Bishop
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 01:18:42 (permalink)
Yes, thank you. Anyway, it's just perfect for chicken fried steak.
#31
Alexander
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 07:40:47 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

OK, One of you 'experts' please help me be sure that I am using the appropriate term here. IS ther a difference between COUNTRY FRIED STEAK and CHICKEN FRIED STEAK ?? The way I have run across these two items the term is interchangeable, being used to describe ONE Entree !



They are not the same. Chicken fried steak is a deep-fried piece of round steak that has had the bejeezus beaten out of it, and then breaded and fried like deep-fried chicken. It is served with a white gravy. Country-fried steak MAY be deep-fried, but the usual is a steak breaded and browned in a skillet, and then smothered in a brown gravy with a lot of onions. Chicken-fried steak is has a crisp breading, whereas country-fried does not.
#32
emsmom
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 09:22:00 (permalink)
I make mine by using cubed steak. I season my flour with garlic pepper and sea salt and paprika. I flour my steak and brown in a skillet until done. If I call it Country Fried Steak, I serve it crispy with gravy that I make with the drippings and flour and water added served on the side. But if I make Country Style Steak, I make the gravy, then put the steak pieces back into the gravy in the skillet and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes. I've never called mine Chicken Fried steak. Sometimes, I also make Country Style Chicken though. I fry my chicken and then make gravy and put my chicken pieces back into the gravy to simmer. Wonderful on rice.
#33
angelfood
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 09:23:51 (permalink)
That's interesting, Alexander. I knew chicken fried steak used round. But my country fried steak, in which I use cubed steak, is pan fried, no onions, crisp breading and served with white, peppery, milk gravy.
#34
Alexander
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 09:40:11 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by angelfood

That's interesting, Alexander. I knew chicken fried steak used round. But my country fried steak, in which I use cubed steak, is pan fried, no onions, crisp breading and served with white, peppery, milk gravy.


What you're cooking is what the Texans call "Chicken-Fried Steak."

By the time they finish beating the tar out of the round steak, it's just about cubed steak. Otherwise I don't think the deep-frying time would cook the inside without scorching the outside.

I should have called what I described as "Country-Style," as Emsmom indicated, but so many people refer to it as "Country-Fried", that I go ahead and go with the flow. In any event, Country-Style steak is almost the same as Steak Etoufee, only leaving out two members of the Trinity.
#35
angelfood
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 09:56:06 (permalink)
My aunt lived in Texas, but she didn't cook. I taught myself how to cook and somehow have come up with a hybrid recipe, apparently. Hmm. Seriously, though, the way I described how I cook it is the way everyone around me cooked it. And I've always lived in SC.

I do like to saute cubed steak in extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar with salt, pepper and garlic, and no breading. Served with a savory, brown gravy, rice or mashed potatoes and a "gumbo" of tomatoes, onions, celery, peppers, corn and okra on the side. It's delicious.
#36
MamaPoo
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 10:00:53 (permalink)
Take either some cube steak or round steak pounded thin. I do it with an empty co-cola bottle.Sprinkle on salt & pepper & what ever herbs& seasonings you like. Dredge in SELF-RISING flour, dip into buttermilk, then dredge again in the flour & fry. Works good on thin pork chops & chicken breast pounded thin. Serve with what ever kind of gravy you like. It MUST be SELF-RISING flour!!
#37
Alexander
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 10:24:42 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by angelfood

My aunt lived in Texas, but she didn't cook. I taught myself how to cook and somehow have come up with a hybrid recipe, apparently. Hmm. Seriously, though, the way I described how I cook it is the way everyone around me cooked it. And I've always lived in SC.



I didn't mean that the Texans invented it - they only think they did .

Good for you if you're cooking stuff the way the people around you cooked (with suitable variations, of course). Trying new and exotic things is good, and keeping new favorites (with suitable variations, of course) is also good, but it sometimes seems to me that the fascination of the new is stamping out the heritage of the older. I have a recipe for a dish (rough, ready, and basic) that has been in my family for over 300 years, and I have never seen it elsewhere. It would be a culinary loss (for me, a disaster) if it were to fall into disuse and that part of the heritage be lost.

#38
1bbqboy
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 10:58:44 (permalink)
Now wait a minute! I grew up in Kansas, summers in Texas, but never knew CFS was another of those things Texas claimed as it's own. Breaded round steak is still round steak . In our household Chicken fried meant a way of preperation, not a cut of meat. I always searched for RF places that didn't use that gnarly piece of meat, but only ever found them in beef producing states. Now I'm told it's country fried and SHOULD have brown gravy... Yikes!


#39
Art Deco
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 11:19:42 (permalink)
I have always thought that the distinction was as follows:

Chicken-fried steak: dredge, dip, dredge, fry
Country-fried steak: dredge, fry

I do not believe the distinction has anything to do with which cut of meat you use or what kind of gravy you pour over it. It's simply that Chicken-fried steak has a more all-encompassing crust...
#40
Alexander
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 12:20:55 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by bill voss

Now wait a minute! I grew up in Kansas, summers in Texas, but never knew CFS was another of those things Texas claimed as it's own. Breaded round steak is still round steak . In our household Chicken fried meant a way of preperation, not a cut of meat. I always searched for RF places that didn't use that gnarly piece of meat, but only ever found them in beef producing states. Now I'm told it's country fried and SHOULD have brown gravy... Yikes!


You surely wouldn't want to treat tenderloin, rib, or sirloin that way, would you? It's a way of making a relatively tough piece of meat (tougher in earlier times) chewable and tasty. I didn't say that chicken-fried steak should have brown gravy, quite the contrary. I did say that it's deep-fried (level of the fat, not the machine), was breaded, and usually (some would say, always) served with a white gravy. Country style is like an etoufee: steak browned, then smothered in a brown gravy ("First make a roux...") made with either onions alone or the Trinity, and cooked for a long time over low heat. Grillades are a kissing cousin, but also use tomato, at least in the traditional recipes. The other thing they have in common is that you beat the crap out of them to tenderize the meat.
#41
fcbaldwin
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 12:38:12 (permalink)
Wow, such a spirited discussion about the humble CFS!! Maybe the thing ought to be elevated to the "Prime Cuts" Forum.....no, I guess not, 'cause, how does the saying go.."you can take the CFS out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the CFS.."

Frank
#42
Rex Allen
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 12:40:07 (permalink)
The best CFS I have ever had was at a truck stop just West of Phoenix, Az. I have eaten a lot of CFS, all over the place. Including cooking it myself. Rex in expensive, Hot, San Diego.
#43
1bbqboy
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 12:55:19 (permalink)
I've tried breading or dredging all those, trying to make Italian Steak sandwiches. In KC, those Italian Steaks + beefsteaks & pork tenderloins, all coated or breaded, were at the drive -ins. The best used Thin steak like breakfast steaks, with the spices in the coating.
Round steak stewed in onions and tomatoes has always been called Swiss Steak in my heartland
upbringing.
#44
emsmom
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 13:06:25 (permalink)
Even here in the South, (North Carolina), Round steak cooked with tomatoes, onions and mushrooms is considered Swiss Steak. If gravy is made for this type, we would use Cream of Mushroom soup. (Hint: To keep the flour from coming off your steak while frying-sprinkle a little salt in your fry pan before adding the oil) I don't how this works, but it does
quote:
Originally posted by bill voss

I've tried breading or dredging all those, trying to make Italian Steak sandwiches. In KC, those Italian Steaks + beefsteaks & pork tenderloins, all coated or breaded, were at the drive -ins. The best used Thin steak like breakfast steaks, with the spices in the coating.
Round steak stewed in onions and tomatoes has always been called Swiss Steak in my heartland
upbringing.
#45
Lucky Bishop
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 13:32:37 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Alexander

Chicken fried steak is a deep-fried piece of round steak that has had the bejeezus beaten out of it, and then breaded and fried like deep-fried chicken. It is served with a white gravy. Country-fried steak MAY be deep-fried, but the usual is a steak breaded and browned in a skillet, and then smothered in a brown gravy with a lot of onions. Chicken-fried steak is has a crisp breading, whereas country-fried does not.


Chicken-fried steak is NOT deep-fried. I have never heard of a home cook deep-frying a chicken-fried steak. Now, if what you're talking about are those little pre-formed steak fingers you get in drive-ins with Texas toast and fries, yeah, those are deep-fried. But they're not chicken-fried steak.
#46
emsmom
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 13:56:28 (permalink)
I've never heard of deep frying it either. I've always pan fried my steak. The only deep fried kind I remember was 30 or more years ago, chuckwagon steaks were deep fried and served on a bun with lettuce and tomato
quote:
Originally posted by Lucky Bishop

quote:
Originally posted by Alexander

Chicken fried steak is a deep-fried piece of round steak that has had the bejeezus beaten out of it, and then breaded and fried like deep-fried chicken. It is served with a white gravy. Country-fried steak MAY be deep-fried, but the usual is a steak breaded and browned in a skillet, and then smothered in a brown gravy with a lot of onions. Chicken-fried steak is has a crisp breading, whereas country-fried does not.


Chicken-fried steak is NOT deep-fried. I have never heard of a home cook deep-frying a chicken-fried steak. Now, if what you're talking about are those little pre-formed steak fingers you get in drive-ins with Texas toast and fries, yeah, those are deep-fried. But they're not chicken-fried steak.
#47
EdSails
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/13 15:31:02 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Lone Star

quote:
Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

Could we use the beef that is cut and packaged as "Carne Asada" for our illegal workers for CFS?? It would need the pounding that seems to bring joy to various ex-cons working in Texas Kitchens and appears to be the right thickness and size of the individual slice.

How about Sausage gravy? Close enough to do the job?


Carne Asada is usually made using flank steak, which I don't think would do well fried.

Mr. Mayor, many "legal" people enjoy carne asada, either prepared on the grill, or for tacos.


Thank you Lone Star..........I was afraid I was turning illegal after my dinner last night!
#48
Alexander
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/17 10:53:45 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Lucky Bishop

quote:
Originally posted by Alexander

Chicken fried steak is a deep-fried piece of round steak that has had the bejeezus beaten out of it, and then breaded and fried like deep-fried chicken. It is served with a white gravy. Country-fried steak MAY be deep-fried, but the usual is a steak breaded and browned in a skillet, and then smothered in a brown gravy with a lot of onions. Chicken-fried steak is has a crisp breading, whereas country-fried does not.


Chicken-fried steak is NOT deep-fried. I have never heard of a home cook deep-frying a chicken-fried steak. Now, if what you're talking about are those little pre-formed steak fingers you get in drive-ins with Texas toast and fries, yeah, those are deep-fried. But they're not chicken-fried steak.


Chicken-fried steak is steak fried the way one would fry chicken. It has to do with the depth of the oil. Most people fry chicken in a fairly deep amount of oil in the skillet, thus in effect deep-frying it, since it is nealy submerged in the fat (I don't fry that way, using only a very small amount of fat in the pan). Try frying it in 1/8-1/4" inch of oil, and you won't get what most consider chicken-fried steak. Most people seem to want the food almost floating when they fry it, since with the amount and kind of breading used, it may show a tendency for the breading to stick or scorch.

BTW, I was careful to state in my posting that it could be fried in a skillet OR in a machine, but never said that it couldn't be pan-fried, since it must have originated before the age of deep-frying machinery. I was also careful to say that the depth of oil used was what made the difference.
#49
1bbqboy
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/17 12:18:15 (permalink)
OK, although you insisted it has to be round steak. But do you use the term swiss steak?
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Lucky Bishop
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/17 12:29:03 (permalink)
Alexander, please stop telling me how you're supposed to cook chicken-fried steak, as I've been doing it since I was about eight years old and know perfectly well how it's supposed to be done. In particular, please note that there is a big difference between deep-frying -- in which the food is completely submerged in the hot oil -- and how fried chicken is traditionally cooked in the south, a method often called "shallow frying" in which the chicken pieces are about half-submerged in the oil and then turned to finish cooking on the other side. This obviously requires more than a quarter-inch of oil in the pan, but considerably less than is required for deep-frying. Shallow frying and deep-frying are two separate techniques, and are not "in effect" the same. And above all, I restate: chicken-fried steak is NOT deep-fried.
#51
Alexander
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/17 12:35:47 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by bill voss

OK, although you insisted it has to be round steak. But do you use the term swiss steak?


Swiss steak is a manner of cooking, not a cut of meat. It is a way of preparing an otherwise tougher cut of meat so as the make it tender, the same as are grillades, country steak, etoufee, etc. It requires long cooking in a gravy, usually containing tomato. I use the term, but seldom make the dish, preferring one of the other options listed above.

What other cuts would you use? The normal steak cuts (tenderloin, rib, porterhouse and T-bone, even sirloin) wouldn't stand up to that treatment. Chuck would be pretty fatty. I can't think of another cut besides round which would put up with the treatment and still retain any flavor.
#52
Lucky Bishop
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/17 12:45:52 (permalink)
If you steam a hot dog and then put everything you would put on a grilled hot dog onto it, is it suddenly a grilled hot dog?

Deep-frying and shallow-frying produce much different crusts, on either steak or chicken. If you deep-fry a piece of chicken and then bite into it, the entire crust comes off in your hands, but if you shallow-fry it, the crust stays on the chicken where it belongs. Same principle with chicken-fried steak. Deep-frying a piece of chicken-fried steak would give you a piece of steak that has a shell of flour and egg around it, which is different from -- and in my opinion, not as nice as -- a piece of steak that's coated with flour and egg.
#53
Alexander
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/17 12:45:54 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Lucky Bishop

Alexander, please stop telling me how you're supposed to cook chicken-fried steak, as I've been doing it since I was about eight years old and know perfectly well how it's supposed to be done. [Snip] I restate: chicken-fried steak is NOT deep-fried.


How about 72 years in the South doing the same.

In the end, about all one can say is that there are wide culinary variances as well as terminology.
#54
1bbqboy
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/17 13:12:58 (permalink)
Hey Lucky, I noticed your list of places lived. I really figure your dad was an oil worker or minister, maybe a steel building sales rep? Am I close to correct?
#55
Rick F.
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/17 13:38:54 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by bill voss

Hey Lucky, I noticed your list of places lived. I really figure your dad was an oil worker or minister, maybe a steel building sales rep? Am I close to correct?
A banker friend once told me that there are four "P's" that you never lent money to: painters, plumbers, prostitutes, and preachers. Too easily mobile, he said. . . .
#56
1bbqboy
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/17 13:52:24 (permalink)
wow, Rick F.! I learn more good stuff here. All I could add to that would be a fifth, Politicians?!?!
#57
Bushie
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/17 17:29:08 (permalink)
Random Thoughts on the CFS Scene... apologies to Thomas Sowell)

- Much of this thread has broken down into an disagreement over what basically boils down to semantics (mostly due to experience or regional differences).

- "Chicken-fried" is a way of cooking, as some have mentioned.

- Since chicken is both pan-fried and deep-fried, the term could also apply when cooking "steak".

- I have NEVER deep-fried it, preferring to use the traditional "shallow-fry" method that LB spoke of. However, I guess about 90% of restaurants deep-fry. Threadgill's in Austin proudly deep-fries, which is one of the reasons I don't care for theirs. I go out of my way to find pan-fried if I'm eating it out.

- My experience has been almost primarily with cube steak or round steak. My mother ALWAYS used cube steak in SW Missouri, and I've cooked both cube and round. I just like round better, but cube is fine.

- I've eaten it made with other cuts, but to me, super-tender is NOT what CFS is all about.

- I liked pogo's "definition" of the preparation.

- CFS, in my opinion, should ALWAYS be served with white cream gravy. Swiss steak is fine (brown, with onions and tomatoes), smothered steak is fine (brown, with lots of onions), but neither are CFS.

- CFS is not uniquely Texas, but we do it better than anyone, just like everything else.
#58
Lucky Bishop
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/19 23:28:54 (permalink)
I agree that's a fine-lookin' CFS, but what's with that little pissant scoop of mashed potatoes? Triple that, and peel 'em the next time, fer cryin' out loud! And where's the steamed green beans? And the pillow-soft dinner rolls the size of your head?

BR: Take the steaks and cut them into what you would consider about one-third smaller than an acceptable serving size. Pound 'em with the tenderizing side of a meat mallet until they're not paper-thin, but certainly no more than half an inch thick. (Hint: at this point, I sometimes let the steaks marinate for about 30 minutes in buttermilk. Adds a little sum'thin-sum'thin, but it's not entirely necessary.)

Beat two or three eggs until frothy and pour into something wide and shallow -- a pie pan is great for this. In another pan, mix a cup and a half of flour with the seasoning of your choice. Salt and pepper is the classic, although I usually go with Penzey's Ozark Seasoning. (Point of conflict: some people insist that this must be self-rising flour, or that at least you need to throw in some baking powder. My take is that the powder doesn't get wet enough from the eggs to trigger the first rise, and the cooking time is short enough that there won't be a noticeable rise from the heat. Do it if you must, but I don't.)

Heat about a half-inch of oil to 350 degrees in your skillet. Dredge the steak pieces lightly in the flour, then dip into the egg, then back into the flour, and lay them gently into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown on the bottom side, about 2 minutes, then turn with tongs and fry for about another 90 seconds. Drain and serve.

As for the gravy: as a west Texas purist, I just cook up a bag of Pioneer country gravy mix. (I have my sister-in-law mail it up to me since I'm living up here in Pioneer-deprived New England.) Yes, a homemade sawmill gravy is better, but Pioneer is what you'll get in 95% of the places that serve CFS in Texas, and sometimes authenticity is more important than quality.

The thing is, the best chicken-fried steak is, and always has been, homemade. You have all the ingredients at hand, you have the utensils, and now you have the recipe. Get to it.
#59
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RE: Chicken Fried Steak 2004/05/28 08:17:11 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Lucky Bishop

chicken-fried steak is NOT deep-fried.


Here here!
#60
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