Unfortunately for you (but fortunately for ME!), I will be out of town next Thursday. My sweetie and I will be in New Orleans (!!!!!) for Thanksgiving. So to compensate for not giving you your weekly dose of yumminess on the most food-tastic day of the year, I thought I’d give you an extra special recipe today!
This blog entry is about something very near and dear to my heart: Chicken Fried Steak. (No, it’s NOT “country fried steak.” And if you call it that, you need to stop. NOW.)
The BEST chicken fried steak I’ve ever had, EVER, was at Gennie’s Bishop Grill in the Bishop Arts District of Dallas (Actually Oak Cliff). The Bishop Grill has been gone now for at least five years, and I still wax nostalgic about her amazing chicken fried steak and soul food. (COLLARD GREENS!!!!)
So I went nosing around on the old interwebs, and I found her recipe!
It’s a little different from my usual recipe, so I’ll just plagiarize it for you now, courtesy of her daughter:
(She has a cookbook!!!!! WANT!!!)
Preheat oven to lowest setting. Put a couple of the steaks into a zip-top bag. This is to eliminate grossness flying around your kitchen and getting stuck in the meat mallet… With a meat mallet, tenderize each piece back and front. (Or ask the butcher to run the steak through a mechanical tenderizer again.) Cut steak into individual portions.
Place a cast-iron or other good, heavy skillet over medium flame. Add shortening and start heating. The shortening should be no deeper than ¼ inch. Heat until it’s hot enough to set the breading on the steak when it’s dropped into the skillet. Don’t heat to smoking; this will ruin the shortening.
Meanwhile, combine salt, pepper, cayenne and flour in a large zip-top plastic bag. Mix well. Pour milk into a large bowl. Dip a steak in milk and shake off the excess. Then enclose in bag and shake to coat. Shake off excess. Lay steak in hot fat. Repeat with additional steaks until skillet is full, but not crowded. When each steak sears, the bottom crust is set and it starts sizzling, turn it over and brown the other side. You may need to do this in batches. Don’t overcrowd the pan, because it will drop the temperature of the oil/fat and will ruin your chances of getting a good, consistent sear on each steak.
Keep steaks warm on a platter in the oven while you cook remaining steaks and make the gravy. Makes 4 servings.
In a heavy, 2-quart saucepan, heat 3 cups milk but don’t let it boil.
Using the skillet in which you cooked the steak, pour off excess grease, leaving about 4 or 5 tablespoons in the pan. Over medium flame, heat the drippings and add 3 tablespoons flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue stirring to brown flour.
When brown, hot and bubbling, add hot milk, one cup at a time. Stir or whisk constantly until thick and creamy. Add 1 ½ teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste.
RECIPE SOURCE: Gennie’s Bishop Grill Cookbook by Rosemarie Hudson
- 1 lb white potatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
Clean potatoes and chop into 1-inch cubes. Sort of.
Place into large pot, cover with water (an inch or two over the potatoes) and boil the everloving snot out of them. (15-20 minutes should do it.)
Drain potatoes, put back into pot, and add milk, butter, salt, and pepper, and mash to your little heart’s content.
Plate up the mashed potatoes, add the steak, cover the whole mess with gravy, and add some sort of veggie. You know…so that it looks like you at least TRIED to make something healthy…
Bonus Round: How to care for your cast iron skillet
- DO NOT put your skillet in a dishwasher. Don’t even use soap to clean it. Just clean with hot water and something slightly scrubby (plasticky, not metally). If you ignore this, the Skillet Gods will incur their wrath upon thee. You have been warned.
- If you have a cast iron skillet that is rusty and gross, or you find one at a garage sale or in your grandparents’ attic that is rusty and gross, just take it home, grab a 2-liter bottle of Coca Cola, and let the skillet soak in the Coke overnight. The sody water will eat the rust off the pan! After that, clean with hot water and something scrubby, and reseason your pan. It will be fine. JUST DON’T PUT IT IN THE DISHWASHER. Ugh.
- The nonsticky goodness of cast iron skillets is made of cooked-on crud and grease. Layers and layers and layers of cooked-on crud and grease. So yes, it’s kinda gross when you think about it, but think about the FLAVOR! (Which is why you should use your cast iron skillet to cook BACON! Always!)
- More info on cleaning and seasoning cast iron pans on wikihow: http://www.wikihow.com/Season-Cast-Iron-Cookware
- Cast Iron Skillet Cleaning Advice From Demigod Alton Brown: “To clean the skillet, return it to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon canola oil and 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Grab a wad of paper towels with your tongs and use them to scrub the salt around the skillet until the salt and the towels are are black and the pan is slick as a mambo band. Kill the heat. Dump the salt. Let the pan cool. Wipe with clean paper towels and store. If your skillet has a good cure, odds are you’ll never have to use water on it.”
There. Now go forth and cook something delicious!