Putting breaded things on a soft burger bun only makes them taste better. That’s been a winning philosophy for Dairy Queen when they developed the Dude, a chicken-fried steak sandwich that outsells the chain’s burgers in some locations. The secret to the Dude is using enough oil to allow the batter to form a crisp coating that adds a new textural dimension to a classic burger.
You can pound your own steak cutlets, but the cuts on packaged cube steaks in your supermarket’s meat case is far closer than home chefs can come to the original Dairy Queen version. Make a milk wash with a cup of milk and an egg whisked together until thoroughly blended. In another bowl, combine flour with salt and pepper. Dredge the meat in the milk wash, then transfer it to the flour and coat it thoroughly. Move the cutlets to a plate and let them rest for about 15 minutes while you prepare the oil.
The oil should be about an inch deep in the pan to give the meat room to move. When the oil shimmers in the pan, it is ready to receive the cutlets. Transfer the meat to the pan and turn the cutlets once during cooking. When you remove them from the oil, let them drain on paper towels to remove any excess oil. As the cutlets drain, slice a tomato and wash lettuce leaves to top the burgers. Iceberg lettuce is the usual topper, but crisp romaine or tender butter lettuce leaves make an interesting variation.
The traditional Dairy Queen Dude is topped like a classic burger with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. Some people also enjoy them with pickles, onions and cheese, but purists will skip the additional condiments in favor of more chicken-fried steak flavor. Serve the sandwich hot with fries or potato chips on the side.