Friday, March 15, 2013

Chicken Fried Steak ala Jack Young

Chicken Fried Steak ala Jack Young
From my book 'On The Chile Trail'
My uncle Jack was raised during the great depression, in Whitewright Texas, population around 80.  He taught me everything a person needs to know about playing poker and making the perfect Chicken fried steak.  With Chicken Fried Steak the trick is to soak the pounded steak in buttermilk for exactly 20 minutes.  Any more and it will fall apart on you.  As far as the poker goes well…  some secrets will have to stay in the family.

2 1-Lb. Top round steaks, ½ inch thick, cut in half, fat removed, yielding 4 steaks
2 cups buttermilk
Oil for frying
2 eggs
Pinch of salt
2 dashes of Louisiana hot sauce
1 cup All-purpose flour
2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. White pepper
½ tsp. Cayenne pepper
½ tsp. Black pepper
3 Tbl. All-purpose flour
1 ½ cups cold milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Pound each of the steaks ¼ inch thick with a meat mallet.  Place the steaks in a non-reactive bowl or baking dish and set a timer fro 20 minutes.  Meanwhile heat up a large Iron skillet with 1/8 of an inch of the oil.  Beat the eggs with the pinch of salt and the Louisiana hot sauce.  Mix 1 cup flour with salt, white pepper, cayenne pepper, and the black pepper.  When the timer goes off remove the steaks from the buttermilk and pat dry.  Dip in the egg wash and dredge in the flour mixture, then dip in the egg wash and dredge in the flour again.
Depending on the size of your skillet it may be necessary to fry the steaks in batches.  It’s better to have extra room around the steaks, than for them to be crowded in the skillet.  The pan should be hot but not smoking.  Brown one side of the steaks and turn, this should take about 1 minute.  Reduce heat to medium and cover, fry for 7 minutes.  Remove cover and fry for 2 more minutes.  Turn and fry uncovered for 3 more minutes, steak should be nice and crispy.  Remove from skillet and keep warm.  After all the steaks are fried, drain all but about 3 tablespoons of the oil from the skillet.  Shake in the 3 tablespoons of flour and fry over medium heat until golden brown, whisking constantly.  Continue whisking while adding the milk.  Bring to a simmer, while whisking, until gravy becomes thick.  Adjust seasoning and serve the steaks covered in the gravy.
Serves 4

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