As the true and loyal Texan that I am I have a love for chicken fried steak. It’s delicious, crispy, and salty. It is one of my all time favorite meals that is reserved for days when I want to stuff myself full. I love to eat it with mashed potatoes and fried okra.
When my husband and I were dating (he’s my high school sweet heart so I’d of been about 18 at the time) we went on a date to a local restaurant. I, of course, chose to indulge in the expansive chicken fried steak that extended over each edge of the plate. I began to cut my steak and dig in. We visited a little but I was focused on eating. It was a really good steak so didn’t pay much attention to whatever else was going on.
The next thing I new our waitress was by our side. She came to refill our drinks but instead exclaimed, “She ate that whole steak!” My husband (at that time boyfriend) looked at me in shock. His shock quickly turned to embarrassment as other waiters and hostesses began to stand around and gawk at me. I still had okra to finish eating so I just ignored them and continued with my meal.
My date had already finished eating leaving half of his chicken fried steak untouched. He was so embarrassed by the crowd of gawkers and by the fact that his tiny sweet girlfriend had just eaten an entire cow that he went to the counter, paid, and left the restaurant leaving me sitting alone in my booth!
To this day he loves to tease me about how I shocked everyone with how much I ate. I like to tease him about leaving me alone at the table to finish my meal. These days I don’t eat many chicken fried steaks.
When you are a kid they tell you to enjoy eating junk food because you won’t get to do it for long. I always thought they meant that you would put on weight easier as you got older. I realize now they meant that eating junk food would make you feel terrible as an adult. If I were to eat just one bite of chicken fried steak today I would have heartburn for a week.
That is where this recipe comes in. I had to find a way to make chicken fried steak with less calories and without frying it and still maintaining the crunch and taste. Lucky me (and lucky you) I managed to pull it off. Instead of the typical breading I substituted a little almond meal and sliced almonds. Instead of frying I baked it, and to make the gravy I used olive oil, flour, and skim milk.
To start I filled a bowl with three beaten eggs. On a large plate I placed almond meal, flour, almond slices, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. I stirred this with my fingers to combine. I dredged each cube steak in the flour mixture, into the egg mixture till all is moistened, and back into the flour again until well coated.
To get it to bake up extra crisp on all sides I covered a cookie sheet with foil and placed a cooling rack inside. I lightly sprayed it with cooking spray and placed my steaks on top. And, to help make sure it all got nice and crispy, I sprayed the tops with a little butter flavored cooking spray. I know this sounds crazy. It may even sound yucky, but I promise you in the end all you taste is crunch. You only need enough to lightly moisten each top.
I popped these in the oven for about 40 minutes and when they were done they came out golden and crisp.
While the steaks baked I made gravy. Normally you would make gravy with the grease leftover from frying the steaks and cream. I heated a small amount of olive oil over medium heat and added in flour. I cooked the flour and oil until it became lightly brown and hot. Not cooking your flour can make your gravy taste raw.
Once my flour and oil mixture was hot I slowly stirred in milk about ¼ cup at a time. After each addition became thick and bubbly I would add in a little bit more until my gravy reached its desired consistency. In the end I added in the desired amount of salt and pepper.
When my steaks and gravy were both done I poured the hot gravy over each steak. The steaks were crisp and the gravy taste just the way I like it with a good balance of salt and pepper. I got all the same flavors of a traditional chicken fried steak without the week’s worth of heartburn. You should give this recipe a try for your family and see if they can tell a difference.
Healthy Oven Fried Chicken Fried Steak
3 eggs, beaten
1 ½ Cups almond meal
¾ Cup flour
2/3 Cup almond slices
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
About 2.5 pounds cube steaks (tenderized Round Steak That’s Been Extra Tenderized)
Non stick cooking spray, butter flavor (I prefer Pam)
For the gravy:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
¼ Cup flour
3 ½ Cups skim milk
1. Line cookie sheet with foil and place a cooling rack on top. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400. Crack three eggs into a bowl and beat well. On a large plate place almond meal, flour, almond slices, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Mix well with fingers.
2.Dredge each steak into flour mixture until coated. Dip into egg until moisturized and then dredge in flour again until well coated. Place onto prepared cookie sheet. Repeat until each steak is done. Lightly spray each steak with cooking spray until lightly moistened. Bake for about 40 minutes until browned. For well-done cook until meat thermometer reads 160 or 150 for medium well.
3. To prepare gravy heat olive oil over large saucepan. When hot, add in flour and mix with whisk until well combined and mixture is browned. Slowly add in about ¼ cup of milk stirring constantly. Continue to whisk until mixture is thickened. Add in another ¼ cup of milk and whisk until thickened and bubbly. Continue doing this until all milk is used up. Add in desired amount of salt and pepper. If you like your gravy thinner add in more milk or chicken broth. For thicker gravy use less.
4. When steaks reach desire temperature remove from oven and place each steak on a plate. Top with gravy. Dig in!