Authentic cowboy cooking relies on a handful of basic recipes: cobbler, biscuits, potatoes and black coffee. But, it's hard to find a more flavorful, resourceful and distinct dish than the chicken fried steak.
Cowboy Kent Rollins started learning how to cook from his mother and he never gave it up. His chicken fried steak is a star on his camp stove.
The cowboy was born and raised in Oklahoma where he helped his father manage cow/calf operations. After spending time with his uncle in New Mexico where he helped feed hunters in the wilderness, he bought a chuck wagon and started cooking for ranches as well as maintaining a catering business. His contribution to maintaining this historic method of cooking even led to Kent securing the title of "Official Chuck Wagon of Oklahoma" by the state governor in 1996.
Since then, Kent has made numerous television appearances including on the Food Network. His famous chicken fried steak beat Bobby Flay on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. He's been a champion on Chopped Grill Masters, Chopped Redemption and Cutthroat Kitchen, and is even undefeated on NBC's Food Fighters. Needless to say, the guy can cook. Kent and his wife Shannon Rollins released their first cookbook in 2015, A Taste of Cowboy which was a #2 bestseller full of traditional ranch recipes.
After you watch the cowboy cook this mouth-watering battered dish, smothered in gravy, it's easy to see how it eventually turned into a delicacy.
Chicken Fried Steak Ingredients
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons Mesquite Seasoning or smoked paprika and black pepper
- 1 egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons Original Seasoning or seasoned salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- fry oil canola, creamy liquid shortening, peanut
- tenderized round steaks we used inside of the round
Rollins starts with some top sirloin to make this dish tender from the get-go. He tenderizes it slightly to give it that thin, iconic texture.
He whisks up a few eggs some whole milk (or canned milk for the authentic camp experience).
Then he dips that cut of meat in some flour. Dunks it in the egg and milk mixture and then dips it back into the flour for a full, flaky texture.
You know what's next. The good stuff. He fries up those battered steaks and on both sides until golden brown.
He transforms the leftover grease from the cooking process into rich gravy by adding flour, canned milk and water. Rollins whisks it together into a smooth concoction and he's done.
Rollins says chicken fried steak, "started out not as any kind of delicacy, but some way to make meat more tender." Follow along with the video or the instructions below which can be found on his website, kentrollins.com.
Chicken Fried Steak Instructions
- In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, Mesquite seasoning and egg. Whisk well.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, Original seasoning, baking powder and cornstarch.
- In a Dutch oven, pour in enough oil to deep-fry the steaks (2 to 3 inches). Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches about 350°F.
- Pick up one piece of meat and dip it into the wet batter and then into the flour mixture. Be sure both sides are well coated. Repeat, or as I call it, "double baptize."
- Fry the steaks for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Be sure there is no red liquid coming from the steaks. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with the gravy.
If you want to try your hand like cooking like a cowboy or cowgirl out on the trail, you can buy your own classic camp stove here.
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