Directions to Prepare the Steaks
1) Pound out your steaks with a tenderizing mallet to thin 1⁄4-inch slices. They will get bigger and wider as you go. The butcher paper they came home in is perfect for this, or you can use parchment or wax paper. I alternate between the spiky side and the flat side as I go. This is really therapeutic. Pound the crap out of them!
2) Combine the flour, seasoning salt, black pepper, and cornstarch in a bowl and whisk it well, then place it on a large platter. In a glass dish (big enough to dunk a whole steak) combine the three eggs and a little milk and whisk into a thin mixture to make an egg wash.
Dip each steak into flour, shake it off, then into egg wash, shake it off, then back into the flour. Place each steak on a nice big cookie sheet. Repeat with all the steaks, then transfer into the refrigerator for a half hour. Do not skip this step. This is giving the flour mixture time to bind and develop. Meanwhile, you can clean up, remembering to reserve 4 tablespoons of seasoned flour for the gravy.
DIrections to Cook the Steak
1) Fill your cast-iron skillet about halfway with canola oil. Heat the oil to 350°F on medium-high heat. (You can test the oil with the back of a wo oden spoon. When it bubbles around the spoon, it’s hot enough. That happens at about 350°F. )
2) Using tongs, place a steak in the oil. It should immediately start to bubble and cook, but not explode with activity. If it does, you will want to turn the heat down a nudge. Depending on the size of your skillet, you can co ok two or more at the same time, especially if you preheated that cast-iron skillet. You may have to monitor the heat when adding new steaks. I think a good secret is to let the majority of the first steak get nice and well fried on one side before trying to add in another one.
As each steak is done, remove it from the pan and immediately salt it on each side. Hold on a cookie sheet in a preheated oven at about 225°F. This will keep them hot while you cook the other steaks, but they are best served quickly for maximum crispiness.
When all of the steaks are resting and toasting in the oven, pour all the grease out of the skillet except about 3–4 tablespoons and turn the heat down to low. Sprinkle in the reserved flour and whisk until a brown paste begins to form.
Slowly whisk in one can of milk and whisk until it is thoroughly combined. Turn the heat up to medium and whisk as the gravy begins to take form and thicken, which happens when the mixture starts to simmer. Little bubbles will begin to form. Keep the heat around medium.
I usually add another 1⁄2 can of milk as I decide how thin/thick I want my gravy . . . that’s just a preference thing. Feel free to do what you like. Add the lemon juice, onion and garlic powder, and salt. We crack freshly ground pepper in just before serving and sprinkle on fresh thyme from our herb garden.
Top the chicken-fried steaks with gravy and serve with your favorite sides.
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