Things can start better with breakfast. It’s not healthy or terribly attractive to eat, but neither are a lot of occasionally worthwhile things: nostalgia, an intermittent stab of regret, the curse of self-awareness, the pretentious listing of things. I have to eat those as well. None of them compare much to chicken fried steak and eggs.
This is chicken fried steak. I like it because it is self-explanatory. It is steak that is fried like a chicken. It is not a meal to be feint about. It is fat and heavy. It is robust. It is robust enough that if the meal were a person and you were to use the word robust in conversation, it would look at you as if it were about to slap you.
– Recipe //
/ meat, a steak / eggs / potatoes / flour / buttermilk / milk / sausage / fat / chicken stock / salt and pepper
/ knife / mallet / grater / a towel / cast iron skillet
– Method //
Get some meat. It doesn’t have to be anything nice, because you will pound it. Make sure there isn’t any major connective tissue in it. It’s not pleasant to eat that.
Pound the meat thin. Cover it with a towel. Start from the middle and go outwards. Unlike fried chicken, I don’t think anyone soaks the steak in buttermilk and hot sauce overnight. So you are ready to bread and fry it.
Bread it. Dredge the steak in flour that you have seasoned, then in egg, then in flour. Fry it in fat in a cast iron skillet. The skillet is not mandatory, but it will help with the overall feel of the meal. It will ensure that no amount of delicacy gets into the cooking of this dish.
Cook the sausage in the same fat and crumble it. Deglaze the bottom of the pan with something, chicken stock works well but it’s not necessary to use very much of it. Just scrape all the nasty bits up because you are going to want to eat them. If you don’t want to eat them, then why cook chicken fried steak.
Add flour to make the sausage gravy. This is similar to making a roux. The ratio is always the same, equal parts fat to flour. Cook the roux until it is blond. You can cook it longer but then it will lose the stickiness inherent and have a different flavor. Then add hot milk. You can put things in the milk to infuse it, something like bay leaves. Your gravy will be nicer.
Add the milk slowly and keep stirring, so there are no lumps. When you have gravy, you can be fancy and strain it to make sure there is no clumped parts of flour.
Make hashbrowns, but make them crispy. Don’t make them lifeless and soggy.
Put everything on a plate, a big plate. Tell me if yours comes out like the picture above, because something has gone wrong if that happens.
Thank you for reading, this is the beginning of When Eating A Wolf.