IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION...

Tuesday, 5 September 2017 13:20
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
...that some of you poor, deprived non-Texans are under the impression that chicken fried steak is steak that is fried.

This is not true.

Chicken fried steak is, at its best--and I admit, you will find a lot of sub-par chicken fried steak out there--a sublime reminder of everything that is good and right in this world.

There's a theory out there that explains chicken fried steak as developed out of wienerschnitzel by homesick German settlers in Texas but it may be more the case of convergent evolution than direct descent.

To make chicken fried steak, ideally you take round steak or cube steak, pound the bejeezus out of, cough I mean tenderize it, then drench it in an egg-and-flour batter and pan-fry or deep-fry it. In actual practice, you go out to a restaurant and let them do it because it's a hassle to develop that lovely, lovely batter-crust. At home you have pan-fried steak, made (by my mother, and therefore The Right Way) by taking pieces of cubed steak or round steak you've pounded a bit, shaking them in a paper bag with flour, salt and pepper, then pan-frying them in half an inch or so of oil, then making a cream gravy out of the drippings (using milk because either you forgot to buy cream or because you are lactose intolerant and therefore have only Lactaid milk). You can also pan-fry venison when you've got most of a deer in the freezer from hunting season. The homemade stuff tends to be tougher than the restaurant stuff, and there's also some restaurants that don't tenderize it enough so you end up masticating your way through it like a...like a....like you're chewing a very tough steak. These are not restaurants you should be returning to.

And now that I've finished clarifying things for you, let me blow your mind by explaining that other Texan culinary masterpiece...chicken-fried chicken.

"What?" I hear you say. "Don't you mean fried chicken?"

Nope! Totally different animal! Er, not literally. Chicken-fried chicken is made by taking chicken cutlets, or by splitting a chicken breast and pounding ituntil it's roughly even in thickness, and treating them in the same way as chicken-fried steak, down to the cream gravy.

"But that's just fried chi--" NO. "But--" SH. NO TALKING.

You might also see these dishes on menus as "country-fried [whatsit]", but that's just some deluded chef misnaming them.

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scotchegg

August 2010

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