The history of chicken fried steak is much disputed. Its name derives from the fact that the meat is battered and pan-fried in the same manner fried chicken is. More likely, though, chicken fried steak is a variant of the crisp pork or veal cutlet known as wiener schnitzel, which was brought to Texas by German immigrants in the late 1800s.
- 2 2⁄3 cups milk
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tbsp. worcestershire
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 1⁄2 cups plus 3 tbsp. flour
- 2 tsp. sweet paprika
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1⁄2 cups canola oil
- 4 (6-oz.) beef top blade chuck steaks, each pounded to a 1⁄4" thickness
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. Tabasco
Heat oven to 200°. Put a baking sheet fitted with a rack into the oven. Whisk together 2⁄3 cup of the milk, 2⁄3 cup of the buttermilk, worcestershire, and eggs in a wide, shallow dish. In another shallow dish, whisk together 3 1⁄2 cups of the flour, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, season steaks with salt and pepper. Working with one steak at a time, dredge it the flour mixture and then the egg mixture. Repeat. Coat in flour mixture and fry, flipping once, until golden brown, 3–4 minutes per side. Transfer steak to the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Repeat process with remaining steaks. Discard all but 3 tbsp. of the oil.
Return the skillet (with 3 tbsp. oil) to medium heat and whisk in the remaining 3 tbsp. flour. Cook, stirring occasionally, until light golden brown, 2–3 minutes. While whisking constantly, pour in remaining 2 cups milk and Tabasco and cook, whisking frequently, until thickened, 2–3 minutes. Remove gravy from heat; stir in remaining 1⁄3 cup buttermilk and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the steaks with the gravy.