Chicken fried steak is a lot of things to me, it's an easy homemade treat, a childhood memory, a comfort food. The list goes on and on. For the most part, it's an extremely good southern food that doesn't always get the justice it deserves.
4 tenderized cube steaks (1-1.5 lbs/450g-680g)
Whole milk to cover (or buttermilk)
2 sleeves (258g) saltine crackers, coarse crushed
3 handfuls flour (255g) all-purpose
2.5 tbsp kosher salt (40g)
Fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup fry oil
2/3 cup (100g) all-purpose flour
Start by filling an 8x8 baking dish with whole milk (or buttermilk) to cover the cube steaks and let them soak at room temperature for 15-20 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
Add two sleeves of saltine crackers to a Ziploc bag making sure to push all of the air out when closing. Using a rolling pin, coarsely crush the crackers.
Placed the coarsely crushed crackers into a baking dish along with all-purpose flour and a generous amount of kosher salt fresh ground black pepper. Mix together until thoroughly combined.
In a deep 12” cast iron skillet, fill with frying oil until it is 1” high. Heat over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer.
While the oil is heating, take the meat out of the milk and place into the dredge and cover all sides of the meat while firmly pressing the dredge into the meat. Rinse and repeat with the remaining cube steaks.
Once the oil is hot and shimmering, lower the breaded meat into the oil and fry for 3-5 minutes on each side or until crispy golden brown. Fry in batches.
Once finished, place the pieces onto a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet to drip dry.
If the oil isn’t burnt, pour out just enough to use for the gravy.
Into the oil, set over medium heat add in all-purpose flour and mix until the flour begins to brown (2 minutes) then add in whole milk continuing to heat over medium heat and stirring until it begins to thicken.
Keep heating and adding in whole milk until a thick, smooth consistency has been reached. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
For plating, plate with the chicken fried steak top with gravy with a side of mashed potatoes and/or green beans. Finish with cracked black pepper.