Cooking From Every Angle

Chicken Fried Steak with Sage Gravy

January 28, 2011 • 41 Comments

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Chicken Fried Steak with Sage Gravy

- Amanda

I remember my first chicken fried steak. It was in Houston, Texas, at the home of Jenny's in-laws. They were wise chicken fried steak aficionados, and cooked theirs in an iron skillet out on the patio on a squat little grill, where grease was welcome to spray the plants. The steaks came out of the pan wrapped in a warped brown and salty crust. It was my first time in Texas and knew from then on it would not be my last.

A few weekends ago, I went to Oklahoma for a couple of book events, and got to hang out with Jeff Martin, the founder of Booksmart Tulsa, who may be the coolest guy north of Texas. At one of our stops -- lunch at Lucky's (go if you can) -- he talked me into chicken fried steak. It was just as delicious as I remembered it. This one came with a sage gravy. If you don't have guts for the gravy, a squeeze of lemon will work well (think veal Milanese). Just don't tell anyone in Tulsa I said that.

Chicken Fried Steak with Sage Gravy

Adapted from Matt Kelley, the chef and owner of Lucky's in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Serves 4

  • Four 1/4-inch thick ribeye steaks
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup plus 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat or butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped sage

1. Working with one steak at a time, lay the steak between two sheets of parchment or wax paper and flatten with a meat pounder to 1/8-inch thickness. Season with flattened steaks with salt and pepper.

2. Spread 1 cup flour on a large plate. Season with flour with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg.

3. Again, working one steak at a time, dip the steak in the flour, lightly coating both sides. Next, dip the steak in the buttermilk mixture, letting any excess drip off. Then dip the steak in flour once more, lightly but completely coating the steak; shake off any excess flour. Set the coated steaks on a baking sheet until ready to use.

4. Heat the bacon fat or butter in a medium saucepan. Once it's hot, add the remaining 7 tablespoons flour, and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium low heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, then the cream, bring to a boil -- whisking all the time -- then reduce the heat and let the gravy simmer until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Meanwhile, cover the base of a large iron skillet with 1/8-inch canola oil. Place over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add as many steaks as will fit (probably just one or two), and brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Do the rest in batches. A splatter guard comes in handy if you don't want your stove covered in beef fat. As the steaks finish cooking, set them aside on a baking sheet.

6. When the steaks are nearly finished, whisk the gravy and add the sage. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

7. Serve each steak with a ladleful of gravy.

Comments (41)

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about 3 years ago Waldito

Oh, thanks to Matt Kelley and his generosity. It looks terrific.

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about 3 years ago Myshell777

Mmmm, I've never been lucky to go to Lucky's...yet! I just may go this weekend!
Yes, thanks SO MUCH for coming to Tulsa! We loved having you. My only regret is they ran out of books so I didn't get one autographed. Sniff sniff. You are a doll. My friend ordered your Mr. Latte book and is loving it!

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about 3 years ago Myshell777

Oh, and I'm a twin so you having twins is just oh, so cool. They are the Best right?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Yes, love twin world!

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about 3 years ago Tulsa Food Lady

Hey Amanda,
Thanks so much for mentioning Jeff, BookSmart, Matt Kelley and Lucky's...four of my many favorite things about Tulsa!! We had such a great time with you here...hope to see you again soon!!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I loved Tulsa -- looking forward to returning!

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about 3 years ago liz taylor pounds

amanda, thanks for the great posting about lucky's chicken fried steak...i'm the bartender at lucky's and i love love love your book... i can't wait to start trying your recipe's...i loved the cocktail section. and i have some of your drinks on my drink menu..wish i could have been able to meet you while you were in tulsa..my husband and i want to start with the boeuf bourguignon..any suggestions...peace and love..liz taylor pounds..

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Love the boeuf bourguignon (both of them!). Start with the Kir Royale 38 (up your alley!), then have Madame Laracine's gratin Dauphinois with the boeuf, and end with Tourtiere or Madeleine Kamman's Apple Mousse. Enjoy -- and hope to meet you next time I go to Lucky's!

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about 3 years ago Kevin

I'm thinking stuffed tator tots stuffed with various things - and the eaters can't tell what the stuffing is in advance. Surprise!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

That sounds fun.

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about 3 years ago amysarah

Years ago there was a Texan-owned place in the W. Village in NYC called Cottonwood Cafe that did a decent chicken fried steak (no doubt inferior to in situ, but it did the trick.) We used to go there once in a while for a fix - miss that.

But I digress. Mixed feelings about tinkering with the Tots. They were a major food group for my brother as a child (imagine my sophisticated-cook-mom's agony; yet, somehow he grew into a bona fide foodie.) I have to admit they're still an occasional guilty pleasure of mine - done really brown and crisp, with lots of ketchup. (Okay, I confess: Absolutely no guilt is involved. I'm shameless.) But, I'm not sure I'd like them Vongerichten'd or Keller'd ...they're more of a Popeye IyamwhatIyam kind of thing for me. Maybe if you called them Spud Doo Dads or Tater Nots or something I'd feel less conflicted. ;-)

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

You can always go back to your true tater tots post Keller'd varieties -- not to worry!

Zester_003

about 3 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Tater tot theme? Bring it on buttercup!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

LOL.

Dsc03010

about 3 years ago betteirene

Where's the tender, fluffy biscuits? And no greens? First you fry the bacon to get the fat, then you cook the greens with the crumbled bacon. You put a scoop of mashed potatoes on the plate, then a mess of greens, then a fat slice of ripe tomato, then a scoop of grits, then the chicken fried steak slightly overlapping the potatoes and grits, and then you ladle the gravy over the meat, potatoes and grits and you garnish it with a tall hot biscuit and serve it with an icy glass of sweet tea with lemon. If you could put heaven on a plate, this is what it would look like, and if you eat this more than twice a year, you'll get to see the real heaven a lot sooner than you planned to. So Lord, here I come--I just made this last weekend and now I've got to see if this recipe is better than mine.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Sounds great. All of it.

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about 3 years ago innoabrd

Will you adopt me?

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about 3 years ago NM Expats

French Fries. Crispy, salty, hand-cut French Fries smothered in the cream gravy. Yum.
Oh, & by the way, Oklahoma (all of it) is North of Texas...

Zester_003

about 3 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Gee, I always think of it as south of Nebraska.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Oh, dang, I knew I was going to be called out on that!

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about 3 years ago innoabrd

And I always just thought it was a musical...

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about 3 years ago NM Expats

innoabrd... You clever smartypants! Sometimes called the single most influential work in American musical theatre .... sure can't say that about "Best Little Whorehouse" but we digress, don't we? :)

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Couldn't take it anymore. Fixed, it's north!!

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about 3 years ago Kevin

I'm thinking stuffed tator tots. An assortment of fillings so you don't know what you're about to eat.

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about 3 years ago Tastes Better With Friends

One more reason to love the South. With a glass of sweet tea, i'm in heaven!

Kay_at_lake

about 3 years ago Kayb

Sigh. I guess I'll have to turn in my credentials as a Southerner. I never have liked chicken fried steak. Nor am I that crazy about fried chicken. (And now I'm waiting for the lightning bolt to strike....)

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

You might want to stay in your car today.

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about 3 years ago avimom

Not taters...grits.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Love that a grits vs taters debate is forming. A win-win.

Mrs._larkin_370

about 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

holy moly. i'm gonna need some mashed taters with that.

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about 3 years ago thirschfeld

I was sort a thinkin' some tater tots. I bet that gravy would make great dip for a tot

Mrs._larkin_370

about 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Tell me you make home made tots, thirschfeld. ;)

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about 3 years ago thirschfeld

I've contemplated it. Somewhere I had a recipe I think by Vongereitchen. I bet he makes a killer tater tot. I will have to look into it.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I feel a tater tot theme in our future.

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about 3 years ago the parsley thief

this looks ridiculously good! my mouth is watering now & it's only breakfast time!

Zester_003

about 3 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Can't beat it. A guilty pleasure. And I do have the guts for the gravy. Sorry you had to go to Tulsa but it beats Marie Callendars.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I had no doubt you would have the guts for it!

Sasha_with_ava

about 3 years ago Sasha (Global Table Adventure)

Chicken fried steak with sage gravy ... it is so wrong, it's right! Thanks for including Tulsa on your book tour. :)

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Glad you saw this!

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about 3 years ago thirschfeld

somehow I knew it would make it back to NYC. Awesome, like the sage gravy, a lot.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Yes, Matt Kelley was super nice about sharing his recipe -- you're going to want to eat the gravy by the spoonful!