Here’s a review of Chicken Fried Steak from the Brown’s Point Diner: I ordered chicken fried streak with eggs over easy, sourdough toast, and hash browns “burnt, burnt, burnt . . . with an onion cut up in them.” My breakfast was served just as I wanted. This doesn’t happen that often. The hash browns were brown and crispy with little rings of onions colored from white to black. The toast was excellent as was the chicken fried steak. – thesubtimes.com/2019/09/18/browns-point-diner-restaurant-review/
Chicken Fried Steak usually consist of a cheap cut of beef (tenderized) or a cube steak coated with an egg batter and dredged in flour with salt, pepper and other spices and then deep fried and served with a white country gravy or sausage gravy. Country Fried Steak can be pretty similar, but served with a brown gravy. Here in the Pacific Northwest Chicken Fried Steak is almost always accompanied by white gravy. Down south you would end up with brown gravy.
Let’s start with gravy. Gravy is a sauce often made from the juices of meats along with lard, butter, or olive oil. The juices/liquid are then thickened with flour or corn starch for added texture. Sometimes people add wine or balsamic vinegar and reduce the liquid.
So, what’s the difference between brown gravy or white gravy?
Brown gravy is the name for a gravy made from the drippings from the roasted meats. The drippings are cooked and reduced on the stove top at high heat with onions, celery, shredded carrots, and/or other vegetables like leeks, and cabbage. The gravy is thickened with a mixture of water and either flour or cornstarch. The water used to steam or cook vegetables in is also an ideal liquid to use as a starter for brown gravy.
Here’s a review of Chicken Fried Steak from the Buttered Biscuit: I had ordered the large chicken fried steak at the suggestion of my daughter-in-law. It’s only a dollar more. I don’t know the size comparison, but my large portion of batter-coated steak reached from one side of the plate to the other, length-and-width-wise. I asked for lots of gravy. What was I thinking? I ended up with a bowl of gravy, to add to the large glop of gravy on my steak AND a styro-foam cup of gravy for take-a-way. The gravy is thick and contains lots of sausage pieces. The hash browns were perfectly brown and crisped. Somewhere hidden by steak and gravy was scrambled eggs. Underneath the steak was biscuits . . . I think . . . I’m not sure . . . I was a little light-headed by that time in the meal. – thesubtimes.com/2018/06/22/buttered-biscuit-and-tons-of-gravy-restaurant-review/
For white gravy you can either begin with olive oil, melted shortening or butter in a sauce pan and flour. As the butter melts you mix the flour with it and continue as it thickens. You pour in milk to make it smoother and flour to make it thicker. Add salt and pepper to taste. For sausage gravy you would start frying ground sausage in a frying pan and then add flour followed by milk to get the right consistency. Add salt and pepper along the way to taste.
It’s best to use a whisk to make sure there are no lumps of flour in either gravy.
Here’s a review of Chicken Fried Steak from Pacific Southern: I ordered the Chicken Fried Steak – Topped with sausage gravy with choice of potato, two eggs, and toast. I asked for burnt, burnt, burnt hash browns. The waitress asked if I wanted my toast burned, too. I said, “No, but thanks for asking.” I was more than pleased with my order. The hash browns were dark, reddish brown. My chicken fried steak was crunchy and the gravy was absolutely perfect. Peg thought it too peppery. The portion size was huge. After sharing a nice size bite with Peg, I still had a five inch plus piece to take home. – thesubtimes.com/2017/08/14/pacific-southern-for-breakfast-restaurant-review/
There is a claim that a cook by the name of Jimmy Don Perkins created Chicken Fried Steak in 1911 at Lamesa, Texas. In April Lamesa will celebrate their annual Chicken Fried Steak Festival with a car show, a Chicken Fried Steak cook off, and dinner. “According to the legend, Jimmy Don mistook two separate orders, one for chicken and one for fried steak, for one strange request and chicken-fried steak was born.”
Chicken Fried Steak is almost a twin of schnitzel. Schnitzel is a meat cutlet fried in fat. Like Chicken Fried Steak the meat is usually tenderized by pounding. Breaded schnitzel is popular in many countries like Germany and Austria, which may have added to the success of Chicken Fried Steak. Great schnitzel can be found at Bruno’s in Lakewood. – thesubtimes.com/2018/08/13/brunos-restaurant-german-polish-restaurant-review/
Most family dining places in Pierce County offer their own style or take on Chicken Fried Steak. Try them out and compare. Enjoy.