So, why am I calling it Country Chicken Fried Steak? Well…it’s complicated.
First of all, there is no universally accepted explanation as to the difference between Country Fried and Chicken Fried Steak. Generally speaking, Chicken Fried Steak is double breaded in egg and flour and fried like fried chicken. And, it is served with a white cream gravy. Country Fired Steak is dusted in flour, then fried…and the oil is used to make a brownish gravy from the drippings. No one agrees,really, on all this food history blathering. Basically it depends on what part of the country you are from that determined what you call this iconic comfort food.
This recipe is a hybrid between the two. I actually bread the steak in buttermilk and panko, then make the gravy from some of the drippings. So…Country Chicken Fried Steal. Also, traditionally you will find CFS made with pounded out and tenderized round steak, a.k.a., cube steak. I used a NY strip steak here.
Have fun with it. Much of the results depends on technique, ie, frying them crispy and properly seasoning the coating and gravy. It’s all a matter of choice.
- 1 pound beef or cube steak (flank, strip, ribeye)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup panko crumbs
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
- Canola oil
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup cream
- Chopped parsley
- Chopped chives
- Cut the beef into 4 equal portions. Place on a cutting board then pound each portion with a meat mallet using the tenderizer end until they are 1/4 inch thick. If using pre-tenderized cube steak, pound them to about 1/4 inch as well.
- Place the buttermilk in a flat bowl then place the pounded beef steaks Makie sure they are all covered in buttermilk. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or in the fridge overnight covered.
- Place the panko crumbs in a flat bowl then add 1 tsp Kosher salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning. Mix well.
- Heat about 1/2 inch of canola oil in a skillet to 350 degrees.
- Remove the meat from the buttermilk. Bread each steak in the seasoned panko until they are well coated on both sides, pressing the panko into the steaks. Place on a parchment lined plate.
- When all the steak are breaded, fry them in the oil without crowding until golden brown on the first side, about 2 minutes. turn and repeat with the other side. Remove to a wire rack over a sheet pan in a warm oven.
- When the steaks are fried, remove most of the oil from the skillet. Add 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter then 2 tbsp of flour. Over medium heat, cook the flour, stirring with a whisk, for about 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken stock and let it come to a simmer. Whisk in the cream and bring to a low simmer. Taste and season with more Cajun seasoning and black pepper.
- Plate with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes. Spoon some of the gravy on the steaks and the potatoes. Garnish with chopped parsley and chopped chives. Sprinkle with a little paprika.