Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dinner for my Valentine: Terry Chandler's sourdough chicken fried steak

As I’ve said before, there are a lot of good ways to make a chicken fried steak. Sometimes I use sirloin. Sometimes I use cube steak — that’s round steak that comes pre-tenderized and cut into squares perfectly sized for a chicken fry. And, for a treat, sometimes I user thin-sliced ribeyes. Other times, I’ll cut the steak into strips for the more portable and party-friendly steak fingers. But all of these have one thing in common: I use a buttermilk, beer and eggs batter and double dip the meat in well-seasoned flour.
In 2009, though, I was introduced to another type of chicken fried steak — Terry Chandler’s (of Fred’s Texas Café fame) sourdough chicken fried steak. That’s right, sourdough. And the recipe just happens to be in Grady Spears’ Cooking the Cowboy Way cookbook, the first gift the Mr. ever gave me.
Now, this isn’t my regular chicken fried steak recipe. I only make it a few times of year since I never seem to have sourdough starter around (I really should keep it on hand at all times, it makes for some yum-o pancakes) and it takes a couple of days to make. But every time I do make it, it is so good. And, it just happened to be the Mr.’s pick for Valentine’s Day dinner (also on the menu: homemade cream-style corn, yeast rolls, gravy and brownie sundaes), so I knew I had to share it with you.
Ingredients: Sourdough starter
4 potatoes
2 cups flour
Directions: Sourdough starter
Peel the potatoes and place them in a large glass bowl or crock
Cover with water
Allow them to soak at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight
Discard the potatoes
Transfer 2 cups of the potato water to another glass bowl or crock; discard the rest
Add flour and stir well
Place starter in a warm place, covered in a towel or cheesecloth for 2 days
Stir 2-4 times per day
After that time, transfer to a glass or plastic container with a few holes in the lid
Place in the fridge until you are ready to use it
(Tip: Starter will last forever if you feed it every few days. To do so, remove 1 cup and replace with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of flour.)
Ingredients: Sourdough chicken fried steak
4 cube steaks (or 2 sirloins cut in half)
2 cups sourdough starter
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon coarse ground pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Vegetable oil

Directions: Sourdough chicken fried steak
Place steaks in a bowl or casserole dish and cover in sourdough starter
Allow them to soak for 3-8 hours
Whisk together the flour and seasonings
Dip the steaks into the flour mixture and coat well; transfer to a plate sprinkled with flour
(Hint: don’t stack the steaks or you’ll end up with some steaks that are missing big chunks of batter and nobody wants that. If you must stack them, a sheet of wax paper between the two layers makes a pretty good barrier.)
Heat ½ inch of oil in a heavy skillet on medium-heat
(Hint: Want to know if it’s hot enough? Drop a little batter crumb into the oil and, if it quickly rises to the top, you’re ready to go.)
Place steaks carefully into the oil and fry 3-5 minutes per side or until well browned
Drain on paper towels
Here's what they'll look like:

And, now for a look at the Mr.'s plate:


No comments:

Post a Comment