Chicken “Fried” Steak with Cream Gravy

Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak is an southern American classic!  It’s on every menu in the Deep South.   If you’ve never had it with the cream gravy, you haven’t lived!  I live in Texas and man, I was missing classic Texas chicken-fried steak with cream gravy the first two years on my low-carb eating program!!  Well no more yearning for a long-lost love, once I created this low-carb CFS coating & method that produces a result pretty darn close to the real deal!  I’ve had such good luck with my mayo-pork rind coating for “fries”, numerous veggies, fish filets and chicken, I thought today “Why not give it a whirl for chicken fried steak”? Well, IT WORKED!  Now I have this favorite as often as we want it!

My first thought on how to go about this was that the beef would exude too much moisture during baking, if I just coated it raw, even if I patted it very dry with paper towels.  Didn’t want the pork-rink coating to get “soggy”, so I decided to sear the meat first to seal in those juices before I began the coating process.  That turned out to be a VERY good decision!!  This came out FANTASTIC!  And the gravy was SUPER, even without the usual browning of flour.  The natural caramelized meat juices deglazed from the skillet made a DELICIOUS cream gravy without one bit of flour!

I served this alongside a sauté of radishes and onion and steamed broccoli. I got distracted cooking the radishes and almost browned my meat TOO much, at least browner than I usually do chicken fried steak.  But it was STILL GREAT!  Timing can be merciless in the kitchen.  🙂

You can use round steak or rump roast for this dish if you prefer, but it may come out a little tougher.  They are lean enough cuts, but I have always preferred chuck or sirloin for my CFS as they have much better taste in my opinion.  I’m just not very fond of round and rump.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal-Paleo if you eat pork rinds.

One reader’s comment:

Just made this and it is great! My 3 year old grandson ate it all and never knew that it wasn’t “real” chicken fried steak!

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1 lb. trimmed beef chuck, round or sirloin, sliced ½” thick, pounded with meat tenderizing mallet

1/3 c. homemade mayonnaise (if commercial mayo, may require more)

1 T. coconut oil (or oil of your choice)

2 oz. pork rinds, crushed fine

½ tsp. seasoning of your choice, I use my Seafood Spice Blend

1 c. water

½ c. heavy cream

1/8 tsp. black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Crush pork rinds fine and stir in spice seasoning.  Place into shallow bowl with a spoon for applying and set aside while you prepare the meat.

Trim meat of all visible fat and gristle along the edges.  If using chuck or sirloin that is very thick, slice it laterally if need be to to create pieces about ½ thick.  Preheat oven to 425º. Cut meat into 4 portions and pound the pieces with a meat cleaver/mallet to tenderize it a bit.  Heat oil in skillet and sear meat on both sides until lightly browned, sprinkling lightly with black pepper as it sears.  DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP AND ATTEMPT TO COAT MEAT RAW DIRECTLY WITH COATING.  TRUST ME ON THIS ONE, YOU WILL NOT BE PLEASED WITH YOUR SOGGY RESULTS.  Been there; done that!  Searing first seals the juices INSIDE the meat.  You don’t want to cook the meat DONE, just sear the surface.   Remove from heat and pat off any moisture with paper toweling.

Pour mayo into a saucer and using a brush, holding the HOT meat on one tip with tongs or a fork (I use tiny ice bucket tongs), coat both sides of each piece of meat well with mayo (don’t miss any spots!).  Then move over to the bowl of crushed pork rinds and using a spoon, spoon the rinds over both sides of the meat.  You’ll get decent coverage without any one piece getting excess.  I have found that if you just dip the meat into the rinds, it “grabs” more coating than is necessary, resulting in not having enough rinds to finish the job at hand and you will then have to crush more (voice of experience again) and increase calories.  🙂  Place the coated meat directly onto a METAL baking sheet, preferably non-stick.  DO NOT line with silicone sheet or use a glass dish as this won’t crisp properly. Pop into preheated 425º oven and bake about 20 minutes or until browned to your liking.

As the meat is cooking, make your cream gravy.  Add 1 c. water to the skillet you seared the meat in and over low heat, over low heat, completely de-glaze all the tasty brown bits off the bottom of the skillet by scraping with a spatula.    Add the cream and simmer over very low heat to reduce and thicken.  This adds both color and flavor to your gravy.  Add a dash of black pepper and salt to taste.  If you prefer a thicker gravy, you can slightly thicken with your preferred thickener, like a light dusting of xanthan gum whisked in.

Serve with gravy dipped over meat or on the side.  This goes well with many of your favorite vegetable dishes or a big pile of my Red Radish ‘Cottage Fries’ for a potato substitute.  You’ll swear you’re eating real potatoes when you have these!  I hope you enjoy this “national” food staple of Texas!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes four 4-oz servings, each contains:

471.3 calories, 30.8 g  fat, 1.9 g  carbs, .03 g  fiber, 1.87 g  NET CARBS, 45 g  protein, 356 mg sodium


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