Cubed steak was not on my grocery list this past week. In fact, it hasn't made the list in years. It was a midweek meal of my childhood but it wasn't called "chicken fried". That term didn't enter my culinary vocabulary until we moved to Lubbock, Texas. When we arrived in town before the moving van, we made our home in a hotel and ate a number of meals at a delicious cafeteria.. My memory tells me it was Furr's and The Baker says Luby's. Whatever the name, the chicken fried steak was very good. It was a memory from my mother's table. She called it "steak and thickened gravy". We sisters called it "easy to eat". I was actually looking for ground pork when I spied the cubed steak. It was a package of two--just the right size for me and The Baker with enough extra for a bite or two for the dalmatian. At first, I thought to just do the steak but decided to go ahead with the gravy as well. The gravy is not nearly so thick as mother's. Her liquid was water and milk. She did not add thyme.
Chicken Fried Steak and Not My Mother's Gravy from a delicious memory and an "assist" from Alton Brown
2 cubed steaks (about six ounces each)
6 Tbsp flour
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1. Season both sides of the meat with the salt and pepper.
2. Place the flour on a plate and dredge the meat on both sides. Carefully dip both sides into the beaten egg and then, back into the flour on both sides. Let the meat sit for about five minutes.
3. Heat a 10-inch skillet and add the vegetable oil, reduce the heat to medium and add the steaks. Saute about four minutes per side. Place on a rack set in a baking pan (this is important as it will keep the meat from getting soggy) in a warm oven while you make the gravy.
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp thyme
2 Tbsp flour
1. Add enough vegetable oil to the pan, set over medium heat, so that you have about 3 Tbsps. When hot, add the flour and lightly brown in the pan drippings, about a minute. Stir in the thyme, chicken broth and milk. Stir until slightly thickened. Season to taste.
2. Spoon a little over each steak.