How to Make The Best Chicken Fried Steak in Texas
John Franke, the corporate chef of the Ranch at Las Colinas, claims his chicken fried steak is the best in Texas. “I stand behind that,” he told me. So I checked it out. While that’s an awful big mouthful, I can’t really disagree with him. His CFS was everything a CFS should be: crispy, crunchy, flavorful on the outside, with a golden brown crust; on the inside, tender and seasoned, with a meaty flavor. Most importantly, when you cut into a good CFS, the crust has to adhere to the meat. Franke agrees. He says his technique of pressing the flour deep into the meat with the palm of his hand ensures that the two become one. It’s a Vulcan mind meld, only with meat. The perfect gravy–cream-based, constructed like a roux from pan drippings and maybe a little bacon fat–has to have flecks of black pepper and be thick enough to eat with your fork without running through the tines. Franke’s does.
Want to know how to make a great CFS? Here’s how.
I tried Franke’s method at home, and it works as advertised (though it sure was a lot easier–and less messy–when I ate it at the Ranch).
How do you like your CFS? Do you know a better technique–or who’s serving a better version than this? Franke says his is the best in Texas. Fighting words? Go ahead and shoot.