Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lighter Chicken-Fried Steak and Gravy...

There is one comfort food dish that we have not had in a very long time... in fact, Jeff just mentioned this past week with the changing of the weather that he would love to have a good Chicken-Fried Steak and Gravy for dinner one night.

I remember the last time I made a recipe like this - it was years ago and while tasty, it was also deep fried and not too healthy. While it is always nice to indulge in the true fried version, this lightens the dish up enough, but not so much that you end up with something that is unrecognizable.

So the crunchy coating has something to grab onto, cube steaks are first dusted with flour and go for a quick bath in a couple of beaten egg whites. The steaks are then dragged through a combination of cornmeal, white whole-wheat flour, cornstarch and paprika. Rather than drowning them in hot oil, the coated steaks are browned on each side in just enough oil to give them a golden crust. They will not be entirely cooked through at this point, so to finish them off and keep the crust crisp, they are placed in the oven for just a few minutes.

This gave us just enough time to create the wicked gravy we served on top. Into the skillet, with all those caramelized bits stuck to the bottom, beef broth is poured in and brought to a boil - this will loosen those flavorful bits and begin reducing the amount of liquid to concentrate the broth's flavor. To tighten the gravy, a slurry of cornstarch and water is whisked in - after given a minute to thicken, a couple shots of half-and-half are swirled in for a silky body. For a lighter take, we were quite content with this twist on chicken-fried steak - I served this with basic smashed Yukon gold potatoes on the side to enjoy the extra gravy... talk about comfort food heaven without feeling as guilty afterwards!


  1. delicious comfort food indeed! That's my favorite :)

  2. One of my husband's favorite meals is chicken fried steak, but it frightens me--he gets it a lot at restaurants. I could try this and surprise him. Hmmm, his b-day is next week. Thanks, Joe.

  3. Oh my. I'm not wild about chicken fried steak, but this sounds delicious. And with a side of mash potatoes, you can't go wrong.

    Did you follow it up with a slice of pie for dessert? :) Now that would have been perfect!

  4. Gotta question. Would you prefer your comment board be a place for ONLY comments about the recipe?

    Or could I let fly with a few questions about general cooking I'm doing, in the hopes that you two boys or your other commenters might have an answer for me?

    I'll respect whatever you prefer.

  5. Your chicken fried steak really looks perfect. I just saw someone else say that this is one of their husband's favorite meals, and this is also the case with my husband. I've made this but just can't seem to get the outter crust to be that crispy!

    We would love to feature your recipe on our kitchen digital recipe reader, please email me at if you're interested. Have a great weekend!

  6. Jmom - Have you tried any baked versions?

    Katrina - This would be a nice surprise!

    Kristin - No pie, but now you have me craving some! I can't remember the last time I made a pie!

    David - feel free to ask in a comment or even by e-mail. Whatever you are most comfortable doing!

    Sophie - While it wasn't as crisp as deep frying, it worked well for us!

  7. Oh I'm thrilled to see that this is a good one. We love chicken fried steak, and usually make an old CL recipe, but it's gotten a little boring, so I was eyeing this recipe up, wondering if it really could be good. Thanks for being guinea pigs!

  8. Erika - I'll have to check out the CL recipe and compare the two!