It is no secret I love Chicken Fried Steak, every breakfast place we go, I try it and I am nearly ALWAYS disappointed. I got a wild thought and bought some cube steaks and my Husband who is the very talented weekend breakfast chef at our house, said he would make it for me.
We checked out a few recipes online and this one looked promising. It was soo tasty! Instead of making the gravy with the drippings, we used Southeastern Mills Old Fashioned Peppered Gravy Mix (much less fat and calories)
Two key things we learned, if you buy cube steaks you need to pound them a bit thinner and coating the steak and letting it sit about 10 minutes prior to frying really helps the coating stick.
4 quarter-pound cube steaks (pre-tenderized) or round steaks
A sprinkling of salt for pre-salting the meat
2 cups of flour for breading
2 teaspoons Kosher salt for breading
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
Canola oil, rice bran oil, or other high smoke point oil or fat for frying
1 If you are using round steak instead of the pre-tenderized cube steak, you will need to pound the steaks thin or they will be way too chewy. (Already tenderized cube steaks can also use some meat mallet attention to get more thin.) Place each steak between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, rubber mallet, rolling pin, or empty wine bottle, beat the steak until it is very thin, less than 1/4-inch. As you beat the steak, you will want to turn over often, and spread out the plastic wrap which tends to wrinkle as you work.
2 Sprinkle a little salt over the meat. Preheat the oven to 170°F. In the oven put a wire rack over a baking sheet. This will keep the finished steaks warm until you have all 4 cooked
3 Prepare two wide, shallow dishes such as a Pyrex casserole dish. In the first whisk together the eggs and milk. In the second, whisk together the flour, salt, cayenne, and garlic powder. Working one at a time, dredge a steak into the flour. Using the heel of your hand, press the flour into both sides of the steak. Lift up the steak, shake off the excess flour and dip the steak into the egg wash, coating it on both sides. Lift the steak out of the egg wash, shake off the excess egg wash, and then dredge the steak again in the flour. Again, press the flour into the steak on both sides. Set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining steaks.
4 Pour enough oil in a large frying to cover the bottom by 1/4-inch. Heat the oil to 350°F or when you drop a little flour into the oil it sizzles. If the oil doesn't sizzle it isn't ready, if it burns, the oil is too hot, reduce the heat. Working one at a time, lay a flour-egg-coated steak into the hot oil. Gently shake the pan a little to wash a little hot oil on the top of the steak. Or you can use a metal spoon to spoon some of the oil over the steak. This sets the coating. Fry until you see the edges of the steak turn golden brown, about two minutes. Carefully turn the steak over in the pan, and fry for two more minutes. Once both sides of the steak are golden brown, tip the steak up with a metal spatula to drain the excess oil. Remove it from the pan and place if on the wire rack in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining steaks.