Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chicken Fried Steak with Bacon-Chive Gravy

Even though my Mountain Man is from Alabama, he really doesn't ever crave Southern food. Shocking, I know. And even worse, he doesn't like classic gravy. I mean, what Southerner doesn't like gravy? I kept insisting to him that this was just a misunderstanding. He had never had homemade gravy, which is just a crime in my mind. I really love Southern food, it's my absolute favorite. So, I insisted that I make him a true meal that he would fall in love with. The ultimate Southern dish to me is Chicken Fried Steak (and well fried chicken). The steak is spicy & perfectly crispy, and the gravy is so creamy. I also topped it with bacon lardons and fresh chopped chives to brighten up the dish. Luckily, the meal was a success because now he is a firm believer in all things Southern (including gravy). This Chicken Fried Steak & Bacon-Chive Gravy really has become one of his favorite meals that I have made. So you should definitely make it for someone you love! Enjoy :)
Chicken Fried Steak with Bacon-Chive Gravy & Mashed Potatoes

For the Chicken Fried Steak:
4 Pieces of Cube Steaks
1 ½C AP Flour
½C Cornstarch
Cajun Seasoning, Paprika, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder, & Cayenne
3 Large Eggs
½C Buttermilk
2T Hot Sauce
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the Bacon-Chive Gravy:
5 Slices of Thick-Cut Applewood-Smoked Bacon, Cut into Lardons
4T Leftover Bacon Grease
3T Flour
2-3C Milk
¼t Paprika
Salt & Pepper, To Taste
Fresh Chives, Minced

1. To Make the Chicken Fried Steak: Place the flour and cornstarch in a large bowl and season heavily with all the seasonings listed above (I put a great deal of seasonings into my flour, so that it is spicy, I call it my "demon flour"). Mix the eggs in another large bowl with the buttermilk and hot sauce. Take a piece of cube steak and coat it in the seasoned flour. Dip the coated beef into the egg mixture, and then dip back into the flour again. Heat a large skillet on medium heat and fill up with oil halfway up. Take the coated beef and place it into the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes and turn over and cook another 4-5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel lined plate & sprinkle with salt, and repeat with the other pieces of meat. Keep the cooked steaks in the oven while the others are frying.
2. To Make the Bacon-Chive Gravy: Fry the bacon lardons in a hot, deep skillet. Once crispy, remove the bacon, but still leaving the fat. Combine the fat with the flour in a skillet, continuously whisking, cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes until a roux is formed. Add the milk slowly to the skillet and mix the roux using a whisk. Turn the heat down to low and continue stirring until he mixture is thickened, 2-3 minutes. Add in salt and a lot of pepper to taste (and any other seasonings you would like to add). If the gravy is too thick for your taste, you can thin it by adding more milk, a tablespoon at a time. Add in the fresh chopped chives and crispy bacon lardons. 
3. Pour the gravy over the chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes and enjoy.

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