Chicken Fried Steak is one of the ultimate comfort foods. It just makes you feel happy. Pair it up with mashed potatoes and it's even better. Throw some sausage gravy over them both and you're in comfort food nirvana! I was in the mood for Chicken Fried Steak, but didn't feel like frying anything. I just didn't feel like babysitting it on the stove top or stinking up the house with that fried food smell! So, I decided to bake it in the oven. I've done this before on many occasions with other foods. See this post:
But I had never done it with steak. I searched my pantry to see what I could use as breading. I needed something that would make it crispy (to get that fried crunch) but I also wanted it to taste good (otherwise, why bother?). So, I decided on using a mixture of half corn flakes and half Ritz crackers. It worked like a charm! Here's how I did it:
CHICKEN UNFRIED STEAK
4 cubed steaks
seasoned salt (Lawry's)
flour (for dredging)
1 egg, beaten
2 TBS milk
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place a baking sheet in the oven while it preheats. This will help the bottom of the steaks crisp up in the oven (a metal baking sheet works best).
Next, make a dredging station: Get out 3 small pans (I use cake pans, but you can use pie plates or shallow bowls). Put some flour in the first pan and season with a little seasoned salt. Put the egg and milk in the second pan and whisk it together. In the third pan, put a mixture of half crushed corn flakes, half crushed Ritz crackers (the amount you'll need depends on how big your steaks are - just eyeball how much you'll need). Season the steaks with seasoned salt. Dredge them in the flour, then egg, then crumbs. Place on a plate until all are dredged.
Once all the steaks are dredged, remove the hot baking sheet from the oven. Spray with a little cooking spray, then place the steaks on. Spray the tops of the steaks with a little more cooking spray (or drizzle with melted butter). Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, depending on the size. If your steaks are really big, they may need to go a few more minutes. Here's what they look like:
They come out crispy and the crackers give them a buttery taste that is just delicious.
While they are in the oven, make the gravy.
WHITE SAUSAGE GRAVY
2 pork sausage patties (Jimmy Dean)
2 TBS flour
2 cups milk
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble the patties into the skillet. Break them up with a wooden spoon while they brown up. You want to render the sausage grease as you brown up the bits. Here's how it should look:
Sprinkle in the flour. Stir it around and let it cook and bubble up for a few minutes (you're cooking out that raw flour taste and making a roux). Slowly, whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly to avoid lumps, then reduce the heat and simmer until it thickens up (this doesn't take long at all). Salt and pepper to taste. Serve the gravy over the steak and mashed potatoes if you want total comfort food heaven!
Look at that! I dare you not to be happy when that is on your plate! It's not possible. Enjoy!