Recipe: chicken fried steak biscuits with chanterelle gravy
We dropped Neva off at the vet’s Monday morning for her spaying appointment, leaving my mobile as the contact number. I got a call a few hours later reporting that her surgery went well and that we’d be able to pick her up that afternoon when the drugs wore off. When we walked into the office to get her, she was chilling out behind the front desk with Aspen, a gorgeous, giant white wolf-like dog who weighs about 100 pounds. Actually, I recall that Aspen is 1/4 wolf, but he is all sweetheart, playing ever so gently with Neva. They were super tight buddies.
Neva seemed practically normal, but Jeremy didn’t want her jumping and possibly tearing her stitches. So he put all manner of items on the couch to deter her from trying. I watched as Neva walked up to the plastic bins on the couch, stepped to the side, and nimbly jumped over the armrest, then curled up in her favorite corner of the couch. Oh little pup… We marveled at her incision, which was nary an inch long. Back in the day, Kaweah’s incision was supposed to be 4 inches long, but was more like 5 inches (we’re guessing because it was at the Vet School) and took forever to heal. But Neva is on a fast road to recovery and we’ll be hitting the trails again in no time.
rest and recovery is so boring for a puppy
pretty autumn sunsets
looking forward to seeing some fall colors like this (from september 2014 in crested butte)
Summer just can’t seem to let go over here. It gets downright hot in the afternoons, so I still give Neva a large ice cube around 3 o’clock to play with, roll on, and eventually eat. Thankfully it is getting chillier overnight, so we can cool the house enough to be comfortable. I like the crisp cold in the mornings. Not cold enough to be punishing like in winter, but cold enough to not mind letting Neva up on the bed to cuddle for another ten minutes before she starts licking my hair.
Seeing as the weekend is coming up, I need to share this recipe for fans of the savory weekend breakfast – chicken fried steak biscuits with chanterelle cream gravy. Feel free to use other mushrooms if you can’t get chanterelles or don’t want to get too spendy. However, if you CAN get chanterelles, please do. They transform the basic cream gravy into the realm of transcendence.
biscuits, chanterelles, flour, black pepper, eggs, salt, cayenne, butter, more salt, more flour, steak, milk, buttermilk
chop the mushrooms into a small dice
tenderize the steak
I didn’t include a biscuit recipe here because you should use your favorite biscuit recipe. If you don’t have one, this buttermilk biscuit is the one I used. I made eight largish biscuits to fit the eight pieces of steak I was frying. The biscuits can be made ahead and heated in an oven before serving. The chicken fried steak, however, is best served fresh. As you cook the chicken fried steak in batches, keep the finished steaks in a low oven (perhaps with the biscuits).
combine the flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne
whisk the buttermilk into the eggs
dip the tenderized beef in the flour, then the egg, then the flour again
fry until golden
For the gravy, you’ll want to sauté your mushrooms first. You can sauté them in butter or you can dry fry them first (to get some of the moisture out) and then add a pat of butter and sauté until the mushrooms are done. Remove the mushrooms to a bowl and use the same pan (yay! fewer dishes!) to make a roux and then the gravy.
sauté the mushrooms in butter
set the cooked mushrooms aside
adding flour to oil (from the chicken fried steaks)
stirring milk into the roux
place the mushrooms, salt, and pepper in the gravy
My original thought was to put chicken fried steak and cream gravy in a biscuit, but then when I added chanterelles to the gravy, my head exploded. The almost perfume-like flavor of the chanterelles transforms the whole ensemble into something dreamier than you could imagine. Chanterelles really shine when paired with fat, so this biscuit is like a chanterelle supernova with the beef and the crispy fried batter and the tender biscuits and that creamy, mushroomy, slightly floral gravy. Go ahead. You’ve worked hard all week. You deserve a little reward (and then a big hike or run or bike)!
best served hot and drippy
knife and fork are optional
Chicken Fried Steak Biscuits with Chanterelle Gravy
modified from Homesick Texan
chicken fried steak
1 1/2 lbs. sirloin steak
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 cup buttermilk
vegetable oil for frying
8 biscuits (I used the biscuits in this recipe)
2 cups chanterelle cream gravy
chanterelle cream gravy
1/2 lb. chanterelles (or other mushrooms), small dice
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsps pan drippings or oil or bacon grease
2 tbsps all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tsp black pepper
salt to taste
Make the chicken fried steak: Cut the steak into eight roundish pieces. Tenderize the pieces with a meat tenderizer or use the back (the unsharp part of the blade) of a chef’s knife until the beef is flattened and nearly doubled in area. Mix the flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a wide, shallow bowl. Whisk the eggs and buttermilk in another wide and shallow bowl. Completely coat each piece of beef in the flour, then dip it into the egg and milk bowl, then coat it in the flour once again. Fill a cast-iron skillet or sauté pan with an inch of oil and heat over medium-high until a flick of the flour sizzles. Place the beef in the oil and let fry until blood begins to pool on the top of each piece. This takes a few minutes. Carefully turn the pieces to fry the other side for about 4-5 minutes more. Remove from the oil and place on a cooling rack to drain. Repeat until all of the steaks are cooked. Keep the rest warm in an oven until ready to serve.
Make the chanterelle cream gravy: Dry fry the chanterelles in a saucepan or sauté pan over medium high heat until they begin to wilt. Add the pat of butter and sauté the mushrooms until completely cooked. Set aside. Put the pan drippings (or whatever you are using) and flour together in a hot skillet or saucepan, constantly stirring until it becomes dark. This takes a few minutes. Slowly pour the milk into the pan while whisking it into the roux to break up any lumps. Turn the heat down to medium low and keep stirring until the liquid begins to thicken. This takes a few minutes, but it will happen. Season with pepper and salt to taste. If too thick for your liking, add a little milk to thin it out. Stir in the cooked chanterelles. Makes 2 cups.
Assemble the biscuits: Split a warm biscuit in half. Set a piece of chicken fried steak on top of the bottom half of the biscuit. Top with a scoop of chanterelle cream gravy. Add a dash of Tabasco sauce if you like (I like). Place the top half of the biscuit on the gravy. Serves 8.
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