It’s that time of year—cooler weather that calls for comfort food. And what could be more comforting than chicken fried steak? Elk, deer, moose, or antelope, this recipe will work with just about any kind of red meat. It’s one of my favorite ways to utilize the quarters, which tend to be more sinewy and tougher than the loins on an animal. There are few cuts a meat tenderizer can’t handle.
The mallet or the needle-contraption-thingy will work just fine. However, if you have neither and are looking to buy one, I do find that the mallet is less expensive and much more versatile in the kitchen. Choose one that has a smooth and rough side. The smooth side is for pounding and flattening, while the rough side can do both those tasks plus tenderizing. In addition to chicken fried steak, you can use your meat mallet to prepare other dishes such as schnitzel, Panko-crusted pork cutlets, carpaccio and stuffed chicken breasts. In a pinch, I have also used my mallet as a makeshift ice crusher, nutcracker, and for chasing nosy guests out of the kitchen.
This is a stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal that will hit the spot after a long, cold day in the outdoors. All that gravy may not be good for your waistline, but you’ll burn it off tomorrow. Right? Well, that’s what I tell myself, anyway. Also, I prefer brown gravy, so please don’t condemn me if you’re a traditionalist. You may use my recipe below or your favorite Aunt Dora’s country white gravy. Prepare to your liking. That’s all that really matters.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
– 1 pound of elk steaks
– ¼ cup of vegetable oil
– ½ cup of all-purpose flour
– Lawry’s Season Salt, to taste
– 1 egg, beaten
– 2 cups of chicken stock, heated at a simmer
– 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
– Kosher salt, to taste
– Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
– Ground white pepper, to taste
– 1 sprig of fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
- Rinse steaks under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Slice steaks into serving size pieces; steaks will become larger after pounding. Lay a piece of steak between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet (rough side) until it is ¼ inch thick. Repeat with the rest of the meat. Sprinkle salt and freshly cracked pepper on both sides of each steak. Set aside.
- In a 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, prepare dredging station by placing 1 beaten egg in a wide bowl. Combine ½ cup of all-purpose flour and season salt in a second bowl.
- Once oil is hot, dip elk steaks into flour mixture first, shaking off excess, and then dip into the egg and then the flour again.
- Fry coated steaks until golden on both sides; fry in batches and do not crowd the pan. Lay cooked steaks on a rack or paper towels to drain. Keep warm.
- Lower heat to medium-low and remove any large pieces of burnt flour from the oil. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of flour into the oil and whisk for a couple minutes to allow flour to cook. Next, slowly whisk in heated chicken stock and blend until smooth. Add thyme leaves. Raise heat to medium and allow gravy to bubble and thicken, stirring frequently. Season with salt and white pepper, to taste. Serve chicken fried elk steaks with homemade mashed potatoes, gravy and your favorite vegetables.