I just hate health food. ~ Julia Child
I have always wanted to make this. Being a traditionally Southern dish, I didn't have much exposure to it. You rarely find it on menus in the Northeast. In fact, I can hardly say it without adding the Southern drawl "chicken-friiiiiied." Bandera and Lamesa Texas, each claim to be the birthplace of the dish. I saw the Neelys whip it up on the Food Network last month and they got my mouth watering! My recipe is a tweaked version of theirs. While theirs called for cube steaks pounded thin, I used beef rib-eye steaks that were about 1/3 of an inch thick and made a bit more gravy with extra kick.
Weeknights are busy here. The girl plays field hockey and if she has a game, we're not walking in until 6 or 7, so I need something I can whip up quickly. Steak is one of my family's favorite things and I didn't think it was possible to prefer it more than nice, juicy, and simply grilled. But I was wrong. Start to finish, this meal was done in less than 30 minutes, and it was AMAZING. A unanimous opinion I might add. These three Yankees LOVE chicken fried steak! It's in the rotation now.
Chicken Fried Rib Eye
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 thin sliced beef rib-eye steaks (1/4 to 1/3 inch thick)
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 cups milk (I used 1% and gravy came out phenomenal)
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Set oven to 150 degrees. Add oil and let it get hot. Oil is heated when you drop a little flour in and the oil spits.
Mix the flour, salt, pepper, cayenne and paprika together and pour onto a plate. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. Dredge the steaks in flour, then drag through the egg, then back into flour to coat both sides again.
Reserve a 1/4 cup of the flour mixture.
Carefully add steaks to skillet in a single layer. Cook until golden brown, 4-6 minutes on each side. When finished, place on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels. Hold in warm oven until all the steaks are done.
When all the steaks have been cooked, pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the cooking oil and lower the heat. Add the reserved flour mixture to the oil with a whisk, stirring to create a paste. Cook, stirring, one minute. Slowly start adding the milk while whisking. Season the gravy with salt, pepper and onion powder. Let cook until thickened. Pour gravy over steak and garnish with fresh snipped chives.