Did you know the earliest printed recipe for this iconic American dish first appeared in the Los Angeles Times in 1924? That goes way back! People around the world have been preparing a version of this dish ever since even with other proteins. Pork, chicken, venison, beef, it all works! It's the process of preparing it that makes it so amazing. Trust me!
Now getting more locale specific, Texans claim this dish is the unofficial state dish of their state. Records state that an estimated 800,000 orders are roughly served in Texas every day! Can you imagine? And that's just in restaurants alone, not counting those who might be enjoying this preparation at home!
Also called "country-fried steak", chicken-fried steak is believed to be born from the cookery styles brought to the United States by German and Austrian immigrants famous for the preparation of wiener schnitzel, which is similarly cooked but uses veal (classically) or pork (commonly) as pork is more budget friendly. The protein is then breaded in the similar fashion and served with fresh lemon for squeezing. There's no sauce, just lemon. It's fantastic!
This recipe is a classic. It's straightforward and full of texture and flavor. The steak is highlighted by simple salt and pepper. The buttery-ness of the crust is driven by the delicious use of Ritz crackers. Trust me when I say you need to try my version! The Ritz crackers are a game changer! Serve it with or without the gravy! Your choice. If you serve it without the gravy, try squeezing some lemon wedges, the bright, fresh juice for an added delicious twist is wonderful! It's just like the Germans and Austrians do when they serve the schnitzel!
Serve this yummy main dish with your favorite comfort food sides. Pictured you see the mashed potatoes and buttered green beans. Both are delicious but any potato dish would be fantastic. In Germany and Austria, schnitzel is often served simply with freshly prepared French fries. But that bump of the fresh lemon is just enough acidity to cut through the richness of the dish! So let's cook and enjoy! Here's the recipe!
- 6 each, cube steak, pounded to ½-inch thick, about 2 pounds
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 cup all purpose flour, divided
- 25 Ritz brand crackers, crushed
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup milk
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 t. chicken bouillon powder or paste
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups whole milk
Season cubed steak well with salt and pepper. Place 1/2 cup of flour on a clean, dry plate. Mix remaining 1/2 cup flour and cracker crumbs in a shallow bowl. Whisk together eggs and 1/3 cup milk in another shallow bowl. To prepare the coated steaks, dredge steak in flour, dip in egg mixture, and then coat with cracker mixture. Heat about 1/2-inch oil in a large pan (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Panfry the steaks in two batches for about 3 minutes per side. Remove steak to a paper towel-lined plate and season lightly with salt.
For the gravy, pour oil that is left in pan through a fine-meshed sieve into a heat-proof bowl. Measure out 1/4 cup and return it to pan. Add ¼ cup flour to pan and cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken bouillon and milk and cook until it starts to thicken. Season the gravy to taste with salt and pepper. Adjust thickness of gravy with additional milk as desired. Serve warm over or with the chicken fried steaks on the side. Enjoy!
Adapted from: spicy southern kitchen