Chicken Fried Steak with Sage Gravy

 

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.

What you will need

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

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