Thursday, February 16, 2012

Saltine-Crusted Chicken Fried Steak and Rice

I'm not really a  chicken fried steak kind of girl, but I have a special place in my heart for this one. This is the chicken fried steak that I grew up with. I think my grandmother came up with this recipe and it has been a family favorite ever since. I know some chicken fried steak comes with a mound of gravy over the top, but I prefer mine coated with a thick, crispy layer of saltine crackers, sans gravy. 

And in my family, this meal was always served with a side of beef rice-a-roni. It was tradition, and I don't think my dad could have eaten it any other way. In keeping with tradition, I served this with beef rice that I made from scratch. It tasted just like a remember, maybe even better, but don't tell my dad that. :)

Saltine-Crusted Chicken Fried Steak and Rice
Servings: 4

Chicken Fried Steak:
4 beef cube steaks (~1.5 lbs. total)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, beaten with 2 tbsp. water
1 1/2 sleeves of saltine crackers, crushed
Canola or vegetable oil

Beef Rice:
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. carrots, minced
2 tbsp. onion, minced
1/3 cup cut spaghetti or orzo
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
2/3 cup regular rice
2 1/2 cups beef broth (plus extra as needed)
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)

To prepare the chicken fried steak, preheat the oven to 200°. In a large skillet, preferably cast iron, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. 

Pat the cube steaks dry with paper towels. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Dredge both sides in flour, followed by egg, and then coat boat sides generously with crushed saltine crackers. Place the cube steaks, two at at time, in the preheated skillet. 

Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Flip and repeat on the other side. Place on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven to keep warm while the other steaks cook. Add additional oil to the skillet as necessary and cook the remaining cube steaks. 

To prepare the rice, in a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the carrots and onion; cook until softened. Add the cut spaghetti and cook until golden brown. Add the garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook for an additional minute. Stir in the rice and beef broth; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. (Add additional broth as necessary if the rice seems a little dry). Fluff with a fork, season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired. 

Source: A Much Kneaded family original

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