When we began this blogging adventure we asked Lou's dad, Uncle Jake, what recipe he would most like to try. His immediate response was Ree's Chicken Fried Steak (p. 142).
He has since helped Lou and Uncle He-Man remodel their bathroom, so this was a well-deserved meal.
Ree's batter for the chicken fried steak involves an egg wash and a flour coating. Twice. That's the secret. The egg wash consisted of milk and two eggs, and the flour mixture included Lawry's seasoned salt, pepper, paprika and flour.
We began with three pounds of minute steaks. These were dipped first in the egg wash, then in the flour, repeating the two steps.
We heated oil in a cast iron skillet and fried the coated steaks until they were a lovely golden brown. We realized that our steaks were not thoroughly cooked through. So, we placed them in the oven at 350-degrees for about 15 minutes to finish cooking the meat and also kept the coating from becoming soggy. We were so busy trying not to burn steaks and let them become soggy, we forgot to pick up the camera. Imagine oil and flour sizzling and the room smelling like meaty heaven.
While the steaks were baking, we followed Ree's instructions for the art of gravy making. For some reason, we were quite intimidated by the idea of creating gravy. We've had some very good gravies and some less-than-stellar gravies. This can make or break a chicken fried steak. Crossing our fingers, we dove on in...and we are poets and didn't know it.
Using the remaining grease, we sprinkled flour into the skillet. This was whisked together to form a roux that darkened in color as it cooked. Once the roux was ready, we added some milk and allowed the gravy to thicken. Then we added salt and pepper to taste. We must say - not to brag - our gravy turned out to be, well, as good as gravy. Harhar.
We really enjoyed this recipe, and Uncle Jake was able to enjoy his hard-earned meal.