There are many ways to create the coating for chicken fried steaks. The simplest is to dredge the fillets in flour. A second way is to dredge them in flour, dip them in beaten eggs then coat them with breadcrumbs. A third way is to dip the fillets in batter. In this recipe, Alex stirred herbs into flour, dredged the seasoned chicken fillets in the mixture, dipped them in beaten eggs then coated them a second time with the herb-flour mixture. The effect? Alex’s herb-loaded chicken fried steaks were both aromatic and tasty.
So, what herbs were stirred into the flour?
Alex posted this photo on Instagram using my phone; above is a version identifying the ingredients that were stirred into the flour. The only one not in the photo is dried onion flakes. If the nutmeg appears coarser than ground nutmeg in the spice section of the grocery, it’s because we use whole nutmegs at home and grind them using a Microplane grater. Parmesan cheese is not a herb but that went into the flour too.
Alex's Herb-loaded Chicken Fried Steaks
- 6 to 8 chicken thigh fillets (skin-on is recommended)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon sage
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
- 2 egg whites and 1 egg yolk
- cooking oil
- Pat the chicken thigh fillets dry with paper towels. Place on a large sheet of cling wrap. Cover with another sheet of cling wrap. Using a mallet or a rolling pin, pound to flatten to a uniform thickness about 1/3 inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
- Make the glaze by boiling together the soy sauce, honey, lemon juice, rice wine and garlic until reduced to half.
- In a large shallow bowl, stir together the flour, thyme, coriander, sage, paprika, cayenne, nutmeg, Parmesan and onion flakes with about half a teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- In another shallow bowl, beat the egg whites and yolk.
- Start heating enough cooking oil in a frying pan to reach a depth of at least one inch.
- Dredge each chicken fillet in the herbed flour; shake off excess. Dip in the beaten egg to coat the entire surface. Coat with the herbed flour a second time; again, shake off excess.
- Fry the chicken fillet over medium-high heat until the undersides are browned and crisp. Flip the fillets over to brown the other side. If your frying pan cannot contain all the fillets in a single layer, do the frying in batches. Take the chicken fried steaks off the pan and lay side by side on a rack.
- Brush the chicken fried steaks on both sides with the prepared glaze. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
- For Asians, the herb-loaded chicken fried steaks go well with rice.
- For the dipping sauce, mix Japanese mayo with Sriracha, cayenne and chopped pickled jalapeño (available in some groceries). If you don't have pickled jalapeño, just skip it.
As for the side salad that you see in the photo, it follows the principle that vegetable salads need not be boring. Here’s what went into the salad.
Vegetable Salad with Lychees, Pecans and Toasted Coconut Flakes
- 1/3 cup coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup pecans (or your preferred nuts), coarsely chopped
- 1 small head Romaine lettuce (of course you may substitute your preferred lettuce variety; you may even opt for arugula)
- 2 plump and juice tomatoes
- 6 lychees (I used canned)
- Your preferred salad dressing
- Spread the coconut flakes on an oil-free pan. Toast, stirring often, over medium heat until lightly browned. Move to a plate and cool.
- In the same pan, toast the pecans until glistening with its own oil. Transfer to a plate and cool.
- Rinse the lettuce well. Cut off the root end. Dry in a salad spinner or press down lightly with a kitchen towel to remove excess water. Tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces.
- Cut the tomatoes in half. Squeeze out and discard the seeds. Cut the tomatoes into wedges.
- Cut the lychees into halves or quarters.
- Toss together the lettuce, tomatoes, lychees, half of the toasted coconut flakes and half of the nuts with about two tablespoons of salad dressing.
- Divide the salad among plates, drizzle with more salad dressing. Sprinkle with the remaining toasted coconut flakes and pecans.