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Chicken Fried Steak

If you’re craving a hearty, comforting meal that screams Southern hospitality, look no further than chicken fried steak. But don’t let the name fool you! There’s no actual chicken in this dish. 

It’s called “chicken fried” because the steak is cooked up just like fried chicken, with a crispy, golden batter.  

Delicious chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and green beans
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It’s the ultimate comfort food, topped with a rich, creamy gravy. I love serving it with mashed potatoes and green beans.

Whether you’re making it for a special Sunday dinner or a weeknight treat, this dish is sure to become a favorite.

Why You’ll Love This Chicken Fried Steak

Southern Comfort Food: It’s a quintessential Southern dish that brings the flavors and traditions of Southern cooking to your table.

Crispy and Flavorful: The crispy, seasoned breading combined with the rich, creamy gravy delivers an unbeatable flavor experience.

Crowd-Pleaser: This beloved recipe is always a hit, satisfying even the pickiest of eaters.

Versatile Meal: This hearty dish is suitable for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Ingredients

  • Cube Steaks: Use tenderized top round or sirloin steaks, pounded thin for maximum tenderness.
  • All-Purpose Flour: It provides structure and helps the breading adhere to the steak.
  • Baking Soda and Baking Powder: The secret ingredients for an extra light, crisp texture in the breading.
  • Buttermilk: It lends a tangy flavor and helps the flour mixture stick.
  • Hot Sauce (like Tabasco): It adds a kick of heat and zing to the buttermilk dredge.
  • Large Eggs: They act as a binder, helping the seasoned flour adhere to the steak for a thicker, crunchier crust.
  • Seasonings: Kosher salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder bring savory and smoky flavors.
  • Vegetable Oil: For shallow frying the breaded steaks until golden brown and crispy.
  • Whole Milk and Heavy Cream: The rich, creamy base for the luxurious white gravy smothers the fried steaks.
Gravy poured into a chicken fried steak in a white plate.

How to Make Chicken Fried Steak

Making these steaks is an easy process! 

1. Pound the steaks. Place the cube steaks between plastic wrap and pound to 1/3-inch thick. Pat dry and season with 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Mix the dry ingredients. In a shallow dish, whisk together the flour, remaining salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, baking soda, and baking powder.

3. Prepare the wet mixture. In another shallow dish, whisk together the buttermilk, hot sauce, and eggs.

4. Bread the steaks. Dredge each steak in the flour mixture, then the buttermilk mixture, and back in the flour mixture, pressing to adhere. Place on a wire rack.

5. Fry the steaks. Heat the vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the steaks in batches until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm in a 200°F oven.

6. Make the gravy. Pour off all but 4 tablespoons of oil/drippings from the skillet. Whisk the flour into the drippings and cook for 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and cream. Simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Serve and enjoy. Serve the steaks smothered with creamy gravy. Enjoy!

    Homemade chicken fried steak with gravy in a bed of mashed potatoes.

    Tips for the Best Chicken Fried Steak

    Follow these tips to create the ultimate Southern food experience.

    • Be generous. Season the steaks generously with salt and pepper before breading for maximum flavor.
    • Get the oil nice and hot. Ensure the oil is hot enough (around 350°F) before frying. This ensures a crisp crust and prevents the breading from getting soggy.
    • Fry in batches. Don’t overcrowd the pan when frying. Fry the steaks in batches, so they brown evenly.
    • Keep them toasty. Place the fried steaks on a wire rack in a warm oven while you make the gravy. This keeps them crisp.
    • Try fun variations. Try adding cayenne pepper or Cajun seasoning to the flour for a spicy kick. You can also substitute the buttermilk with regular milk or evaporated milk.
    • Serve them up Southern-style. Serve alongside classic Southern sides like mashed potatoes, green beans, fried okra, and buttermilk biscuits. A dash or two of hot sauce on top is also highly recommended!
    Traditional Southern-style chicken fried steak with creamy gravy.

    How to Store

    Follow these steps to enjoy leftovers at a later date.

    To Store: Cool the chicken fried steak to room temperature and place it in an air-tight container. Store the gravy separately in another airtight container. Both can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

    To Freeze: Wrap the cooled steaks individually in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag, removing excess air. Store the gravy separately in a freezer-safe container. Both can be frozen for up to 3 months.

    To Reheat: For the crispiest results, reheat the steak in a preheated oven at 375°F for about 15-20 minutes, or use an air fryer for 4-6 minutes. Reheat the gravy on the stovetop over medium heat, adding a splash of milk if it has thickened.

    Chicken Fried Steak

    Course: Main CourseCuisine: American
    Servings

    4

    servings
    Prep time

    10

    minutes
    Cooking time

    15

    minutes
    Calories

    793

    kcal

    Chicken fried steak is an old-fashioned classic that never goes out of style! The crispy batter turns ordinary steak into a truly indulgent experience.

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    Ingredients

    • For the Steaks:
    • 4 cube steaks (about 1/3 lb each), pounded to 1/3-inch thickness

    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

    • 2 teaspoons black pepper, divided

    • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

    • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

    • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (like Tabasco)

    • 2 large eggs

    • 1 cup vegetable oil, for frying

    • For the Gravy:
    • 4 tablespoons pan drippings/grease

    • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

    • 2 to 3 cups whole milk

    • 1/2 cup heavy cream

    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

    • Place the cube steaks between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until about 1/3-inch thick. Pat dry with paper towels and season both sides with 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Set aside.
    • In a shallow dish, whisk together the flour, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, baking soda and baking powder.
    • In another shallow dish, whisk together the buttermilk, hot sauce, and eggs.
    • Dredge each steak first in the flour mixture, then the buttermilk mixture, then back in the flour mixture, pressing to adhere. Place the breaded steaks on a wire rack.
    • Heat the vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the steaks in batches until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm in a 200°F oven.
    • Pour off all but 4 tablespoons of the oil/drippings from the skillet. Whisk the flour into the drippings and cook for 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and cream. Simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
    • Serve the steaks smothered with the creamy gravy. Enjoy!

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    author avatar
    Kim - InsanelyGood
    Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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