I haven't eaten (or thought about) chicken fried steak since I moved out of Texas, where everything is bigger, beefier, and more fried. I'm not a health nut or anything, but I generally try not to eat too many fried foods if I can help it. And chicken fried steak is...a slab of steak that is breaded, fried, and then smothered in gravy. Red meat AND fried? That's a heart attack on a plate if I've ever seen one. Still, the Pioneer Woman had a post on chicken fried steak last week and it just looked so yummy that I had to try it.
Chicken fried steak is so different from the way I usually eat steak. I like my steak to be thick and juicy, attached to a bone, and still bleeding. Chicken fried steak is...none of those things. The meat is pounded thin for tenderness, there's no bone, and it's cooked all the way through with no sign of blood. But you know what? It's absolutely delicious. The meat is not at all tough or dry despite being thoroughly cooked, and the combination of breading, meat and gravy is amazingly flavorful and melt-in-my-mouth delicious.
I want to say that I'll be good, and that this will just be a one-time treat, but...there are probably going to be a lot of chicken fried steaks in my life from now on. Damn you, Pioneer Woman!
Recipe can be food here, courtesy of the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.