Kitchn's Delicious Links column highlights recipes we're excited about from the bloggers we love. Follow along every weekday as we post our favorites.
Chicken-fried steak has the crispy coating of fried chicken on the outside and then (surprise!) tender steak on the inside. The combination is a beloved Southern classic simply because it's the best of both worlds.
Using that very same logic, this popcorn chicken-fried steak recipe from The Candid Appetite is the best of THREE worlds. It's got the bite-sized appeal of popcorn chicken, the crispiness of fried chicken, and the absolute satisfaction of perfectly cooked steak. Any indecisive hungry people in the house? This dinner's for them.
According to Jonathan, the blogger behind The Candid Appetite, "There's just something about bite-sized pieces of meat breaded and fried until crispy with lots of dipping sauce on the side for dunking that I find irresistible." And to that, I say, "Agreed."
First, you're going to want to start with the right kind of meat. Jonathan uses cubed steak, but if you can't find that in your grocery store, he recommends asking your butcher to tenderize a few pieces of top sirloin. If you name-drop that you're making chicken-fried steak, they'll hook you up.
Popcorn-ify the meat by cutting it into bite-sized pieces and season it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and Old Bay seasoning. Dredge the pieces in a mixture of whisked eggs and milk, and then seasoned flour and cornstarch. (The cornstarch will make the coating extra crunchy when you fry it.) If you want a thick coating, repeat this process twice.
Fry the nuggets in a cast iron skillet a few at a time to avoid overcrowding. Once cooked through, place them on a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with paper towels — unless you want soggy popcorn chicken-fried steak!
And don't forget about the gravy for dipping! Brown sausage and chopped onions in the same skillet, sans oil. Stir in flour and then slowly whisk in whole milk, simmering until the sauce thickens. Dip!
→ Get the Recipe: Popcorn Chicken Fried Steak from The Candid Appetite