Crispy, crunchy, tender juicy, beefy goodness, touting enough of all the right spices, to deliver a gleeful pow of flavour flavour.


Forest Grump mentioned, or more reminded me, that he was really craving some old-fashioned fried chicken.  And he's been ever so patient waiting for me to be in the right mood, on the right day. You know how that goes.

The moody skies above the forest were so ominously grey that you could just tell the chilly drizzle was not going to let up anytime soon. Indeedy it was a good day for fried-chicken kind of comfort food, no doubt about that.  But it was also sooooo one of those days that begged me to stay home, stay cozy, go nowhere. 

Which got me to thinking......hmmmm.......which got me to checking the fridge, freezer and cupboards. Ah ha! 

Possibly influenced by the easy watching enjoyment of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, I had it!  Eureka!  I know exactly what to make. 

All American Chicken Fried Steak is not unlike the famed dish from Austria, Wiener Schnitzel, and the Italian-South American Milanesa. A fine brand of global deliciousness. How could I go wrong, right? 

And, of course, enough like old-fashioned fried chicken to slap a satisfied smile on Forest Grump.

I happily tootled about online, checking all my favorite food blogs, reading, comparing recipes and techniques for the best chicken fried steak, until I had a game plan.  I mixed and matched spices used in the 'best' recipes, gravy making tips, frying suggestions, and Ta Da! 

The one common denominator in all the chicken fried steak recipes - mashed potatoes must be served on the side.  I'm in.  Throw some butter, cream cheese, half-and-half, seasoned salt and pepper into those potatoes.  Yes!  I told you, I'm in!

I will say that my research, putting into practice an idea from there, a hot tip from here and adding my own touches, paid off in spades, delivering crunchy, gloriously spiced goodness, that made me compliment myself.  "Well done, Jude, you nailed it!" 

I knew it was a good day for staying put and dishing up some so-wrong-for-you-it's-right comfort.


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Adapted from Pioneer Woman, Alton Brown, and mostly Joshua Bousel via
Serious Eats, for The Last Wonton.  Thanks oodles!

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Seasoned flour coating:
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt (I use Himilayan pink)
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons seasoned coating mixture
2 cups homemade or good quality chicken broth
1 cup evaporated milk
2 good dashes of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco
Freshly ground black pepper

1 egg
2/3 cup evaporated milk + 1/3 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
4 tenderized cube steaks (about 2 pounds)
Oil for deep frying

For seasoned flour coating: Whisk together flour, sesame seeds, baking powder and all spices in a shallow dish.

Make gravy (can be made ahead and reheated): Melt butter in medium pot over medium-high heat.  Add seasoned flour and whisk until incorporated and mixture is bubbly.  Slowly whisk in chicken broth and evaporated milk.  Stir in Worcestershire, Tabasco and black pepper, to taste.  Bring to a gentle boil.  Reduce heat, simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 4-6 minutes.  Remove from heat, season with salt, to taste.

Drizzle 1/3 cup evaporated milk into the seasoned flour coating mix, in shallow dish, and rub with fingertips until mixture is coarse, like wet sand.  Oh Mama, this is going to make such a delectable crunchy coating with nooks and crannies of joy.

Place cornstarch in shallow dish.

Whisk together egg and 2/3 cup evaporated milk in a separate shallow dish.

Working with 1 steak at a time, coat well in cornstarch.  Lift steak, shake off excess cornstarch, then transfer to egg mixture.  Coat steak well in egg mixture, lift steak, letting excess drain off, then transfer to seasoned evaporated milk flour mixture.  Coat steak well, pressing seasoned flour all over to help it adhere to the meat.  Lift steak, gently shake off excess flour, and transfer to wire rack.  Repeat with remaining steaks.  Let steaks sit for 10 minutes so that coating and those steaks become close friends.

Place canola, peanut or other oil in a large Dutch oven or wok and heat to 375F over high heat.  Carefully lift 1 or 2 steaks (do not crowd) and gently slide into hot oil.  Cook, flipping occasionally, until golden brown and crisp on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes total.  (they cook quickly)  Transfer steak to paper-towel lined tray and season with salt to taste, if you are so inclined. Repeat with remaining steaks.

Transfer steak to plates, top with gravy, and serve immediately. With creamy mashed potatoes.
Ta da!

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