Back when I was a teenager and apparently had an appetite similar to Mr. Creosote from the Monty Python skit, anything that wasn’t nailed down at the supper table was in danger.
My father and mother weren’t gourmet chefs but they knew their way around a stove, oven and deep fryer. Dad handled the latter, of course. One of my favorite things my mother would make was fried tenderized steak. Lightly battered with flour, salt and pepper, she’d get it just right and then pull out the pieces to finish sizzling on the serving plate.
I didn’t know until much later that you didn’t fry something completely to being done, because it will continue cooking for a bit after being removed from the grease. Fried fish in a pot of oil, definitely. Fried chicken, or tenderized steak or venison steaks, for sure.
And I didn’t learn until later that chicken fried steak wasn’t related to chickens. But good golly, do I love a good chicken fried steak and gravy. A few years ago my good pal Pete Robbins, a semi-famous outdoor writer type, and I were fishing at Falcon Lake in south Texas. The little town, Zapata, has a restaurant called El Paraiso and it serves a chicken fried steak the size of a small baby. Holy gravy boats, was it ever a good steak.
Our great friends at Food for Hunters whipped up this wonderful Chicken Fried Venison that definitely should find a place on your table if it hasn’t already. The gravy is wonderful over the steak, of course, along with biscuits or in an IV mainlined into your arm should you enjoy it that much. Be sure to visit their site for more great recipes, too.
I highly recommend visiting the Food for Hunters site for a trove of outstanding recipes. Rick Wheatley and Jen Nguyen create and explain amazing recipes like Ca Kho To, which is Vietnamese Catfish braised in a clay pot, and their Deer, Mushroom and Barley soup. They have others for small game, waterfowl, upland birds and even some unique ones. Like what? How about Thai Style Turtle and Potato Curry? Sounds fabulous. Turtle is delicious and curry, well, it can provide outstanding flavor or give you a kick in the pants if the dish is uber-curried.
There are a ton of great recipes on the Food for Hunters site, though, so take a look. And also check out Rick Wheatley and Jen Nyguen’s awesome cookbook, “Hunting for Food”, which covers 13 species and is packed with great cooking tips and super recipes. You can order Hunting for Food here.
Chicken Fried Venison
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
– 2 lbs. venison roast, trimmed of all silver skin and fat
– kosher salt, to taste
– freshly ground black pepper, to taste
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 3 whole eggs, beaten
– 1/4 cup vegetable oil
– 2 cups chicken broth
– 1/2 cup whole milk
– 1/2 tsp. of fresh thyme leaves, or 1/4 tsp. dried
1. Slice roast into 1/2 inch pieces, against the grain. Salt and pepper both sides.
2. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on a flat surface. Lay venison on plastic wrap, leaving 1 inch spaces in between. Lay another piece of plastic wrap on top. With a mallet, or anything heavy and flat, pound meat into 1/4 inch thick steaks. We simply used a rolling pin. For fork tender steaks, use a needling device to cube the meat.
3. Set up your dredging station: one dish with beaten egg and the other with flour. Dredge the meat in flour. Then in the egg. Then flour, egg and flour again. So… repeat after me. Flour, egg, flour, egg, flour!
4. Lay pieces of dredged venison on a dish, and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
5. Heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, fry steaks until golden, about 3-4 minutes each side. Cook in batches and don’t crowd the pan. Place steaks on a wire rack set on a cookie sheet. Place in a 250 degree oven to keep warm.
6. Discard any large chunks of flour that might’ve fallen off steaks. Whisk 3 tbs. of flour into the remaining oil. Cook flour for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Cooking the flour gets rid of the flour taste.
7. Stir in chicken broth, de-glazing the pan and making sure to break up all lumps of flour. You should use a whisk. Whisk until gravy comes to a boil and begins to thicken.
8. Add milk and thyme and whisk until gravy is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. About 5-10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Put More Venison in Your Freezer by Understanding the Rut
In Deer & Deer Hunting’s Guide to Hunting the Rut, grow to understand the three phases of the rut – pre-rut, rut, and post-rut, and how understanding each of these phases can help you become a better hunter. Click here to learn more …