One of America’s Favorites – Chicken Fried Steak and Mashed Potatoes

November 20, 2017 at 6:32 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | 2 Comments
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Chicken fried steak served with mashed potatoes topped with gravy

Chicken fried steak (also known as country fried steak) is an American breaded cutlet dish consisting of a piece of beefsteak (tenderized cube steak) coated with seasoned flour and pan-fried. It is associated with the Southern cuisine of the United States. Despite the name, the dish contains no chicken, but is so-named for the cooking method is similar to that of fried chicken.

Chicken fried steak resembles the Austrian dish Wiener Schnitzel and the Italian-South American dish Milanesa, which is a tenderized veal or pork cutlet, coated with flour, eggs, and bread crumbs, and then fried. It is also similar to the recipe for Scottish collops.

The precise origins of the dish are unclear, but many sources attribute its development to German and Austrian immigrants to Texas in the 19th century, who brought recipes for Wiener Schnitzel from Europe to the USA. Lamesa, the seat of Dawson County on the Texas South Plains, claims to be the birthplace of chicken fried steak, and hosts an annual celebration accordingly.

 

The Virginia Housewife, published in 1838 by Mary Randolph, has a recipe for veal cutlets that is one of the earliest recipes for a food like chicken fried steak. The recipe for what we now know as chicken fried steak was included in many regional cookbooks by the late 19th century. The Oxford English Dictionary’s earliest attestation of the term “chicken-fried steak” is from a restaurant advertisement in the 19 June 1914 edition of the Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper.

Chicken fried steak is prepared by taking a thin cut of beefsteak and tenderizing it by pounding, cubing, or forking. It is then either immersed in egg batter and/or dredged in flour to which salt, pepper, and often other seasonings have been added (called breading). After this, the steak is fried in a skillet or, less commonly, deep-fried. Restaurants often call the deep fried version chicken fried and the pan fried type country fried. The frying medium has traditionally been butter, lard, or other shortening, but in recent years, health concerns have led most cooks to substitute the shortening with vegetable oil.

 

Chicken fried steak with chipotle cream gravy

The cuts of steak used for chicken fried steak are usually the less expensive, less desirable ones, such as chuck, round steak, and occasionally flank steak. The method is also sometimes used for chopped, ground, or especially cube steak. When ground beef is used, it is sometimes called a “chuckwagon”. Chicken fried steak is usually served for lunch or dinner topped with cream gravy and with mashed potatoes, vegetables, and biscuits served on the side. In the Midwest, it is also common to serve chicken fried steak for breakfast, along with toast and hash browns.

The steak can be served on a hamburger bun as a sandwich, cubed and stuffed in a baked potato with the gravy and cheese, or cut into strips and served in a basket with fries and gravy, which is then known as “steak fingers”.

A 1943 American cookbook recipe for Wiener Schnitzel includes a white salt and pepper cream gravy.

Chicken fried steak is among numerous popular dishes which make up the official state meal of Oklahoma, added to the list in 1988.

Typically, in Texas and surrounding states, chicken fried steak is fried in a thick layer of oil in a pan and served with traditional peppered milk gravy. The same dish is sometimes known as “country fried steak” in other parts of the United States, where it is subject to some regional variations. Often there is a brown gravy, and occasionally the meat is either pan-fried with little oil, or simmered in the gravy. In some areas, “country steak” may refer to Salisbury steak, a chopped or minced beef patty in brown gravy.

 

Other meats may be used, with “chicken-fried chicken” having appeared on many menus, substituting a boneless chicken breast for the steak. Chicken fried chicken differs from the dish known as “fried chicken” because the meat is removed from the bones, and cooked in the fashion of chicken fried steak. Another term is “chicken-fried-steak-fried chicken”.

Boneless pork chops, usually center cut, can be served in this manner, as well as chicken fried buffalo steak.

 

 

Mashed potato

Another One of America’s Favorites – Mashed Potato

What’s Chicken Fried Steak without Mashed Potatoes!

Mashed potato (British English) or mashed potatoes (American English), is a dish prepared by mashing boiled potatoes. Recipes started appearing in 1747 with an entry in The Art of Cookery by Hannah Glasse. Dehydrated and frozen mashed potatoes are available in many supermarkets.

 

 

The use of “floury” types of potato is recommended, although “waxy” potatoes are sometimes used for a different texture. Butter, vegetable oil, milk and/or cream are usually added to improve flavor and texture, and the potatoes are seasoned with salt, pepper, and any other desired herbs and spices. Popular ingredients and seasonings include: garlic, cheese, bacon bits, sour cream, crisp onion or spring onion, caramelized onion, mustard, horseradish, spices such as nutmeg, and chopped herbs such as parsley.

One French variation adds egg yolk for pommes duchesse or Duchess potatoes; piped through a pastry tube into wavy ribbons and rosettes, brushed with butter and lightly browned. Pomme purée (potato puree) uses considerably more butter than normal mashed potato – up to two parts potato for one part butter. In low-calorie or non-dairy variations, milk, cream and butter may be replaced by soup stock or broth. Aloo Bharta, an Indian sub-continent variation, uses chopped onions, mustard (oil, paste or seeds), chili pepper, coriander leaves and other spices.

 

Mashed Potatoes with butter and chives

 

Mashed potato can be served as a side dish, and is often served with sausages in the British Isles, where they are known as bangers and mash. Mashed potato can be an ingredient of various other dishes, including shepherd’s and cottage pie, pierogi, colcannon, dumplings, potato pancakes, potato croquettes and gnocchi.

In the United Kingdom, the cold mashed potato is mixed with fresh eggs and then fried until crispy to produce the potato cake. This dish is thought to have originated in Cornwall and is a popular breakfast item. When instead combined with meat and other leftover vegetables, the fried dish is known as bubble and squeak.

A potato masher is a utensil which can be used to prepare the potatoes, as is a potato ricer.

 

2 Comments »

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  1. Love it, maybe a classic or simple to make, but I love it.. 😀

    • Real Comfort Food, I’m going to have it soon!


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