Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chicken fried Steak Ala Katherine

Lately, I’ve been coming up with most of the dinner menus and Bev often asked me “what’s for dinner tonight,” but on this morning she gave me a list of things she’d like to have in the near future all which sounded great to me.  However, two of them were also high on my list, helped reduce the freezer stock, and fit well together – chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes, then cottage pie using the potato leftovers.

So for this day it was the chicken fried steak and after some freezer diving, I found a package of cubed steak and a flat iron steak to use.  I didn’t do anything extra to the cubed steak and tenderized the flat iron with a spiked meat mallet.  We have several recipes for chicken fried steak including a jar of homemade rub that is normally used, but I wanted to try the one from Katherine over at Smoky Mountain Café, even though she’s from NOLA and not Texas.  But, since she said of hers – “Oh yeah baby, this will show Chicken Fried Steak who's boss!”, it had to be tried – especially since I know she’s a great cook.

Katherine’s spice blend is similar to mine but without cumin or S&P, but her gravy recipe is quite different and is the part that I really wanted to try.  Please stop by her site for the complete recipe and some great step-by-step photos.

I cooked the steak per her recipe except I seasoned the meat with S&P prior to breading:

I cooked the gravy per the recipe except I already had some precooked bacon so I started with bacon grease we had on hand. - then I forgot to use the bacon.

Bev made the mashed potatoes using my favorite recipe from Pioneer Woman - mashed them with our new potato masher – the old one was painful on the hands to use, but this one works great.

Mashed Potato Ingredients
■5 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes
■3/4 cups Butter
■1 package (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
■1/2 cup (to 3/4 Cups) Half-and-Half
■1/2 teaspoon (to 1 Teaspoon) Lawry's Seasoned Salt
■1/2 teaspoon (to 1 Teaspoon) Black Pepper

Preparation Instructions

Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. When they’re cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart.

Drain the potatoes in a large colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients. (I think this is an important step that we hadn't done before).

Turn off the stove and add 1 ½ sticks of butter, an 8-ounce package of cream cheese and about ½ cup of half-and-half. Mash, mash, mash!  Next, add about ½ teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and ½ a teaspoon of black pepper.

Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish. Throw a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through (we didn't do this).

We added some carrots and salad to get this:

As expected, Katherine's recipe did not disappoint - the breading produced a very nice crust on the meat and the thyme added a unique twist to the gravy – I’d definitely make it again.  With the thyme gravy, it wasn’t your typical chicken fried steak but it was way better than what we had in Texas the Hill Country Cupboard, who’s claim is “the world’s best chicken fried steak.”  After a side-by-side comparison, flat iron steak is the new meat for this dish around here.  Thanks Katherine for a delicious dinner.

Bev heading to the kitchen with her two favorite libations - diet coke and red wine.

Of course there was the requisite breakfast the next day - it wasn't as good as the supper but we'd used all of the gravy on the four meals.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


01/20/2012 meal date


  1. I love a good chicken fried steak. So funny because I grew up in the south, but didn't eat one until I was an adult.

    We have a very old potato masher of that same design and it's our favorite too.

  2. I should not be looking at your photos before I've had my breakfast. My granola is not sounding all that good right now.

  3. What Pam said. I've not eaten yet and this is torture. Those mashed potatoes sound crazy good. CRAZY! I've got some cream cheese that needs to be used. CFS is another one of those childhood things that was prepared a lot. I've only made it a hand full of times. We had fried chicken so much, that extra gravy was made and then chicken fried steak followed the next evening with the left over gravy. Just coated with some seasoned flour, not much hoopla at all.

  4. Your chicken fried steak meal looks amazing. I am also a fan of mashed potatoes...if I lived closer I would be able to smell the aroma wafting from your kitchen and could be there in no time with my plate in hand!

  5. Everything looks absolutely delicious, including the breakfast. Will you give us advance warning when you're planning on making it again?

  6. Larry, Now this is my kind of meal! Chicken fried steak and homemade mashed potatoes with a nice gravy...HmmmHmmm! I would have been a little more generous with the gravy...and of course, I would have sprinkled on the Tabasco. Breakfast looked good too! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  7. Great idea Larry.

    When I worked in the meat department in high school, they always used the worst cuts for cube steak. I think that's probably the flaw in most bad chicken fried steaks. Using fresh flat iron is genius.

  8. Oh, wow, this looks delicious. I've never made chicken fried steak but you've tempted me to try it.

    You should try a potato ricer some time. I have an OXO one that is really great for making mashed potatoes. Much easier on the hands than all that mashing.

  9. Chris LOVES chicken fried steak.. it's the only meal he requests frequently!
    Love that you had it with eggs the next day.. I'll have to try that next time.. if there is any left over!

  10. I haven't had chicken fried steak in years - it looks amazing. I knew you would make a tasty breakfast with the leftovers! YUM.

  11. Larry, I am so glad you enjoyed my version. Now I am yenning for this and have put this on the list for next week.

    The best part is that you re-purposed it for never waste a thing!

    Thanks for the shout-out!

  12. I don't even remember the last time I have chicken fried steak and yours looks great! I should try making it one of these days. Have a great night, Larry!


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