Remember how I wrote about chicken fried steak a few weeks ago in my Only in Texas series? Laurel asked me if I liked the chicken fried steak I had back in Balmorhea, TX… I didn’t. But that was mainly because I had no idea what I was eating; except for the fact that it wasn’t chicken. And then I started thinking… Had I actually had chicken fried steak ever since then? I realized that no, I hadn’t. So, when the opportunity to visit a chicken fried steak festival in Lamesa, TX came up one weekend, I just had to go. By the way, the town is pronounced La-mee-sa. Just in case you were wondering… We’re in Texas, not Mexico, y’all 😉 So, why does Lamesa have a chicken fried steak festival? Well, they claim to be the home of the original Texas chicken fried steak. A cook supposedly misunderstood an order of “chicken, fried steak” as “chicken fried steak” and voila, the chicken fried steak was born. That is widely believed to be a tall tale by the way.
Before indulging in all the goodies, we checked out the classic car show. And one was a real classic: a Ford Model T with wooden wheels! The owners were a really old couple who we joked probably bought it when it was new 🙂 When we got hungry and asked around who made the best chicken fried steak in town, one of the organizers told us we had to try Ms. Jackson’s chicken fried steak. We did and we weren’t disappointed. How do you make chicken fried steak? I watched Ms. Jackson, and here’s what seems to be her famous chicken fried steak recipe:
- You take a pounded & flattened cube steak and dredge it in flour (probably seasoned).
- Then, you dip it in what presume was an egg & milk (or maybe buttermilk) mixture and dredge it in breadcrumbs.
- The next step is to fry it in butter in an big ol’ skillet/pan until it resembles what most of the world knows as fried chicken.
How do you serve it? Typically chicken fried steak is served with mashed potatoes and lots of white gravy. On top of that, Ms. Jackson threw in a glass of iced sweet tea. Doesn’t get much more Southern than that, does it?! Ha, that’s what you think 🙂 When we were barely done with our chicken fried steak, some ladies who were all dressed in some light pink shirts announced the winner of the pie bake-off. A pie bake-off, people! And all that was witnessed by some local TV weatherman and his camera crew 🙂I don’t know why that cracked me up so much, but it seemed so stereotypical. Fun to witness though! Of course we had to have some pie after hearing about all the options. I went with a creamy coconut pie and LOVED it. Don’t know if it was the winner, but if it wasn’t it should have been. Delicious!
Would I go out of my way to visit Lamesa’s chicken fried steak festival? Probably not. But if you are in the area, go check it out. It felt like a very West Texas thing to do. The food was great, the people very nice, there’s a beautiful park with lots of huge trees, there was a roping contest, and they even had a cow patty bingo. You heard me! Cow patty bingo! What’s cow patty bingo you ask? A little calf is kept in a small fenced in area, you can bet money on the little squares they create with spray paint in that fenced in area, and the winner is…. wherever the calf poops. Isn’t that something?!
Here are some pics from our trip to Lamesa’s first annual Chicken Fried Steak Festival. You can find more on my Facebook page.
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