Over Labor Day Weekend I celebrated my birthday with my family and in the Barnes' household the birthday girls pick their birthday dinner. I typically choose my Mom's fajitas but I wanted something I haven't had in probably 10 years. We also get to use the "Special Plate". Damn right I'll celebrate, its MYYYY day!!!
I chose Chicken Fried Steak, my mom used to make it for my Uncle when he would visit from abroad. Since its not healthy AT ALL, she rarely makes it! Most people make Chicken Fried Steak in a cast iron skillet but my Mom (just like her mom) makes it in an electric skillet. I also found the cracker crumbs to be to be an interesting addition.
Mom's (and Grandma Elaine's) Chicken Fried Steak
3 lbs round steak, cut into 6 portions. (You can purchase pre tenderized steak, make sure that it has been machine tenderized, not chemically tenderized.)
1 cup milk
2 packages saltine crackers, broken down to crumbs
1/2 cup grease
2 heaping tbsp flour
2 cups potato water
2-3 cups milk
Salt and Pepper
Heat about 1 inch of crisco in electric skillet. Whisk together milk and eggs and place in shallow dish. Place crumbled crackers in another shallow dish. Dredge meat in milk and egg mixture and then dredge in cracker crumbs. Fry meat in skillet and flip once the first side is browned. You will need to do this in batches as to not overcrowd skillet. You can keep steaks warm in a 200 degree oven until serving. While meat is cooking prepare your favorite mashed potatoe recipe and save 2 cups of the potato water.
Once all steaks have been fried, remove excess grease from pan, leaving only 1/2 cup. Add two heaping tbsp of flour to grease and whisk to make a roux. Once brown and bubbly, add the 2 cups of potato water (say whaaatt?! Trust me, it seams crazy but it works!) Whisk in 2-3 cups of milk and continue to boil until thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with lots of gravy and fall into a deep food coma!