Chicken Fried Venison – How to chicken fry backstraps

Chicken frying venison is an easy and forgiving way to cook it. As long as you don't burn it, you can't mess it up!
Chicken frying venison is an easy and forgiving way to cook it. As long as you don't burn it, you can't mess it up!
Chicken frying venison is an easy and forgiving way to cook it. As long as you don’t burn it, you can’t mess it up!

I know, I had you at “chicken fried”.

Chicken fry anything, and what’s not to like? Chicken fry some venison loins, and you can convert anyone into a wild game eater.

This is a pretty easy recipe. And there are a few ways you can do it. You could fry these up in a pan, no problem (I like cast iron). I like the ease and consistency you get with a little countertop fryer. NOTE: don’t EVER use the fryer on the countertop, in the kitchen. Unless you really like the smell of fryer oil lingering in your house for a few weeks that is. A lesson I learned the hard way..

But anyways.. let’s fry some venison!

The Cut:

You want a tender cut here since we are using a quick high heat method. Loins or tenderloins are amazing cooked this way. You can use steaks cut from some of the larger muscles from the rear quarter – a steak cut cross grain from a sirloin tip would be a perfect size – but I would recommend applying some commercial tenderizer and give it some breakdown time, other wise you will be playing the odds of ending up with a tough fried steak.

The loins (backstraps) are my preference, and what you’ll see in the pictures here. I have a stress relieving tenderizing method that I covered here. I recommend using this method with whatever cut you use for this recipe. When the loin is processed this way, it is much more forgiving to being over cooked – it will still be tender even if you go a little overboard.

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 lbs of venison loins, flattened and cut to appropriate serving sizes (if done this way, I just cut the resulting steaks in half for 4 nice pieces)
  • 2 cups of milk (really, you just need enough to cover the venison)
  • 2 tablespoons of hot pepper sauce. Or so.
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch (or arrowroot starch)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • oil for frying
  • Country gravy (ok, I just get the jar, or sometimes the mix. One day I might make it from scratch…)

Process:

In gallon ziploc bag, mix 2 cups of the milk with the hot sauce. Add the venison, and make sure it gets completely covered. Marinate for about an hour. Tip: If the deer has some game to it – you can soak it longer, even overnight. The milk mixture excels at removing gamey flavor.

Add oil to the fryer and get it up to temp. I put mine on the highest setting, which is 375. Or if you go the pan method, put about a half inch of vegetable oil in a pan and set it on the stove on medium high. On my stove, I find just a few clicks BELOW medium low get’s the oil to the perfect temperature. If the oil starts smoking at any point during cooking, you have it too hot. Get ready for the smoke detectors to go off…

Proceed when the oil is up to temp.

While the oil is heating (or a little before), take the venison out of the fridge and let it warm up a bit.

Mix the flour and cornstarch in a bowl. The cornstarch is key for getting that flakiness when it fries up.

Pull the venison from the bag and let the excess milk/hot sauce drain off, and set the venison on a plate. Salt and pepper and sprinkle the onion and garlic powder over both sides.

Dip the venison in the flour mix, thoroughly cover both sides, and set on a plate.

chickenfriedvenison2Fry till it’s nicely browned, and it doesn’t still bleed if you bend it or poke it. Yes, it will probably be medium to medium well, but if you used my tenderizing method, it will be perfect. You CAN take it out a little rarer, but it just won’t be as pretty.

If you cooked it in a pan, about 5 minutes per side will do. A splatter guard will make your life a lot easier. Don’t flip the venison till the side in the oil has a nice crisp brown on it.

Set on a rack to drain and cool for a minute or two, then serve it up with some mashed potatoes and gravy.

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