When my grandmother was alive and lived in Texas, there are two things I looked forward to most when visiting her: the Fruit Pie she’d make us and have sitting on the counter as soon as we arrived, and our visit to Half-Price Books. I could get lost in that store for hours on end, and often did, and she would bring a book and patiently wait for me as I sat on the floor, debating about exactly how many books and magazines I could conceivably lug through the airport. I love that store. Although they have a number of locations, I’m sad that none are near us here. But on the other hand, it would be a very dangerous prospect. Dangerous indeed.
One of the cookbooks I bought from there was The I Love Elvis Cookbook, a treasure trove of sinfully decadent concoctions that The King would love. Page after page of things that aren’t good for you, but taste so good you make ’em anyway. Once in awhile. Back at my grandmother’s house, I remember vividly reading the recipes out-loud to my aunt, and she stopped me when I mentioned Chicken-Fried Steak. “I love Chicken Fried Steak,” she said, a big smile spreading across her face.
When I saw a recipe for Chicken-Fried Steak in a recent issue of Rachael Ray’s magazine, it instantly reminded me of that day … my aunt, the bookstore and Elvis. And so here we are. A recipe that screams comfort food and produces a tender juicy bite that will be on your table in 20-25 minutes. Folks, I mean, really, does it get better than that? Does it need to? So go on and do my aunt and Elvis proud and serve this one up. A side of mashed potatoes, and you’ll be singing its sweet praises yourself.
Chicken-Fried Steak with Gravy
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray
Serves 4, Prep: 15 mins
4 beef round steaks (1-1/2 lbs), patted dry (I also used cubed steak as well since I had it on hand)
salt and pepper
1 cup flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used less)
2 T butter
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup milk
Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Place 3/4 cup flour in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, beat eggs. Coat the steaks with the flour, then the egg, letting any excess drip off. Coat again with the flour.
In a large, heavy skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat. Add 2 steaks and cook, turning once, until golden, 5-6 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Wipe out the pan. Repeat with the remaining 1/4 cup oil and 2 steaks.
Pour off the excess oil from the pan. Add the butter and melt over medium heat. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup flour for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth and milk until thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then spoon over the steaks.