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Crispy Chicken Fried Steak Recipe: A Southern Classic Delight

Chicken Fried Steak

Hey there, foodies! Are you ready to dive into the mouthwatering world of Southern comfort food? If you’re a fan of crispy, golden goodness with a tender, juicy center, then you’re in for a treat. Today, we’re going to learn how to make the iconic Chicken Fried Steak, a beloved classic that’s sure to satisfy your cravings. Get your aprons on, and let’s cook up some magic!



Chicken Fried Steak, with its crispy and flavorful exterior, has a rich history deeply rooted in the heart of Southern cuisine. Though now considered an iconic American dish, its origins can be traced back to European culinary traditions.

European Origins

The roots of Chicken Fried Steak can be found in the European practice of tenderizing and frying meat. In the 19th century, German immigrants brought with them the culinary technique of tenderizing and frying beef cutlets, a dish known as “Wiener Schnitzel.” As these immigrants settled in the Texas Hill Country, they adapted their traditional recipe to incorporate locally available ingredients.

Evolution in Texas

In Texas, where beef was abundant and readily available, the German immigrants substituted veal (used in Wiener Schnitzel) with tougher and more affordable cuts of beef, such as cube steak. The cube steak was perfect for the dish as it required tenderizing, and the frying process transformed it into a delectable treat.

Influence of Southern Cooking

As Chicken Fried Steak evolved in Texas, it also embraced the flavors and techniques of Southern cooking. The art of frying was already popular in the Southern states, with dishes like fried chicken and country-fried pork. The cooking method used for these dishes served as inspiration for the “chicken-frying” technique used in preparing the cube steak.

Rise in Popularity

As Chicken Fried Steak gained popularity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it made its way into the menus of diners and roadside cafes across the United States. Its affordability and hearty flavor made it a hit during the Great Depression when families sought delicious yet economical meals.

Regional Variations

Like many beloved dishes, Chicken Fried Steak has seen regional variations over time. In the South, the dish is often served with creamy gravy made from the pan drippings, while in other regions, it might be served with a peppery white gravy or even a mushroom sauce.

Culinary Icon

Today, Chicken Fried Steak has become an enduring culinary icon. It has earned a special place on the menus of Southern restaurants and continues to be a comfort food favorite in households all over the country. This timeless dish showcases the fusion of European and Southern culinary influences, creating a unique and beloved American delicacy.


StepTime (approx.)
Tenderizing the Cube Steak10 mins
Creating the Flour Mixture5 mins
Preparing the Egg Wash5 mins
Double Dipping the Steak5 mins
Pressing the Flour Mixture into the Steak3 mins
Frying the Steak8 mins
Making the Creamy Gravy10 mins
Resting the Fried Steak5 mins
Total Time51 mins

Note: The total time does not include any additional time for gathering ingredients or any optional steps such as serving suggestions or making alternative versions. The times mentioned above are approximate and may vary depending on individual cooking speed and experience.


1 pound of cube steak2 pieces (4 oz each)
1 cup of all-purpose flour1/2 cup
1/2 teaspoon of salt1/4 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper1/4 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon of paprika1/4 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder1/8 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon of onion powder1/8 teaspoon
A pinch of cayenne pepperA pinch
1 large egg1
1/2 cup of buttermilk1/4 cup
Vegetable oil for fryingAs needed

Note: The quantities mentioned above are for a 2-person serving of Chicken Fried Steak. Adjust the quantities accordingly if you plan to serve more or fewer people.


Step 1: Tenderizing the Cube Steak

1. Place the cube steak between two sheets of plastic wrap. 2. Gently pound the steak with a meat mallet until it’s about 1/4-inch thick. 3. Repeat the process with each piece of cube steak.

Step 2: Creating the Flour Mixture

1. In a shallow dish, combine the all-purpose flour, salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. 2. Mix all the ingredients together until well incorporated.

Step 3: Preparing the Egg Wash

1. In another dish, whisk the large egg and buttermilk together until well combined. 2. The egg wash is now ready for dipping the steak.

Step 4: Double Dipping the Steak

1. Take each piece of tenderized steak and dredge it in the seasoned flour mixture, ensuring it’s evenly coated. 2. Dip the flour-coated steak into the egg wash, making sure it’s fully covered. 3. Give the steak another coating of the seasoned flour mixture for a double-dipped, extra-crispy crust.

Step 5: Pressing the Flour Mixture into the Steak

1. Gently press the flour mixture into the steak with your hands, ensuring it adheres well. 2. This step helps create an even and crunchy coating when fried.

Step 6: Frying the Steak

1. In a heavy-bottomed skillet or cast-iron pan, heat enough vegetable oil to reach a depth of about half an inch. 2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches around 350°F (175°C). 3. Carefully place the breaded steak into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. 4. Fry each side of the steak for about 4 minutes or until it turns golden brown and crispy. 5. Once cooked, transfer the fried steak to a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil. 6. Let the steak rest for a few minutes before serving.

Step 7: Making the Creamy Gravy

1. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the oil from the pan, leaving the flavorful brown bits (drippings) at the bottom. 2. Add an equal amount of all-purpose flour to the drippings and whisk them together over medium heat. 3. Cook the flour until it turns golden brown, being careful not to burn it. 4. Gradually stir in milk and continue to whisk until the gravy thickens and becomes creamy. 5. Season the gravy to taste with salt and black pepper.

Step 8: Serving the Chicken Fried Steak

1. Place the fried steak on a serving plate. 2. Drizzle the creamy gravy over the top. 3. Serve the Chicken Fried Steak hot and enjoy it with your favorite side dishes.

Follow these steps closely, and you’ll have a scrumptious Chicken Fried Steak that’s sure to impress! Bon appétit!

Equipment Required

Nutrition Information

NutrientAmount per Serving
Serving Size1 piece (4 oz)
Calories420 kcal
Total Fat22g
– Saturated Fat7g
– Trans Fat0g
Total Carbohydrate22g
– Dietary Fiber1g
– Sugars1g

Note: The nutrition information provided above is based on a 2-person serving and is approximate. Actual values may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used in the recipe. Additionally, this table does not include any additional side dishes or variations that may be served with the Chicken Fried Steak. Remember to adjust the values according to your specific dietary needs and preferences.


  • Temperature Matters: Maintain a steady oil temperature of around 350°F (175°C) while frying the steak. This ensures a crispy exterior without overcooking the meat.
  • Resting Time: Allow the fried steak to rest for a few minutes on a paper towel-lined plate. This helps retain its juiciness and prevents the coating from getting soggy.
  • Double Dipping Secret: For an extra crispy crust, double dip the steak in the seasoned flour and egg wash before frying. This creates a satisfying crunch with every bite.
  • Press the Flour In: After double dipping the steak, gently press the flour mixture into the meat with your hands. This ensures an even and crunchy coating when fried.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: Fry the steak in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking and result in a less crispy texture.
  • Check the Oil Temperature: Use a kitchen thermometer to check the oil temperature before adding the steak. The right temperature ensures a perfect fry.
  • Gravy Consistency: Adjust the amount of flour and milk in the gravy to achieve your desired consistency. If you prefer a thicker gravy, add more flour; for a thinner gravy, add more milk.
  • Buttermilk Benefits: Buttermilk not only adds flavor but also helps tenderize the meat. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute it with regular milk mixed with a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Customize the Seasonings: Feel free to adjust the seasonings to suit your taste preferences. Add a little more cayenne pepper for a spicier kick or reduce it if you prefer a milder flavor.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Delicious and Flavorful❌ High in Calories
✔️ Crispy and Crunchy❌ High in Saturated Fat
✔️ Comforting Comfort Food❌ Not Suitable for Gluten-Free Diets
✔️ Simple and Easy to Make❌ May be Less Healthy as a Fried Dish
✔️ Versatile – Can be Served with Various Side Dishes❌ Time-Consuming Preparation


In conclusion, the Chicken Fried Steak recipe is a culinary masterpiece that brings together the best of Southern comfort food and European frying techniques. With its crispy, golden crust and tender, juicy center, this dish is sure to transport your taste buds to foodie heaven.

Preparing Chicken Fried Steak may require a little extra effort, but the mouthwatering results are absolutely worth it. From tenderizing the cube steak to double dipping in the seasoned flour and egg wash, every step in the process adds to the delightful experience of creating this classic dish.

The creamy gravy drizzled on top adds a luxurious touch, elevating the flavors to new heights. And don’t forget the versatility! You can pair this delicious steak with an array of side dishes to suit your taste preferences.

So, why not don your apron, gather your ingredients, and dive into the flavorful world of Chicken Fried Steak? Whether you’re looking to indulge in comfort food or impress your loved ones with your culinary skills, this recipe is a perfect choice.

Bring the warm and inviting essence of Southern cuisine to your kitchen and savor every bite of this crispy delight. Share the joy of Chicken Fried Steak with friends and family, and watch as they delight in this scrumptious and satisfying meal.

Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and create lasting memories around the dining table with this timeless favorite. Happy cooking and bon appétit!


  • 1. The Southern Doppelganger 🤝
    • 🍖 Despite the name “Chicken Fried Steak,” there’s no chicken involved! The dish is actually made with tenderized cube steak, coated in a seasoned flour mixture, and then fried, much like fried chicken. Hence the name “chicken-fried,” referring to the cooking method, not the meat itself.
  • 2. A Presidential Favorite 🇺🇸🏛️
    • 🍽️ Chicken Fried Steak holds a special place in American history, and it even has a presidential connection! This savory dish was one of former President Lyndon B. Johnson’s favorite meals. He loved it so much that he often requested it to be served at the White House.
  • 3. A German-Texan Heritage 🇩🇪🤠
    • 🏞️ The origins of Chicken Fried Steak can be traced back to the German immigrants who settled in Texas. They brought with them the tradition of preparing “Wiener Schnitzel” – a breaded and fried meat dish. As they adapted the recipe to use locally available beef, Chicken Fried Steak was born, combining German and Texan influences.
  • 4. Chicken Fried Steak’s Texan Rivalry ⭐🌵
    • 🏜️ A friendly rivalry exists among Texas cities when it comes to claiming the title of the “Chicken Fried Steak Capital.” Places like Lamesa, Lockhart, and Bandera proudly boast of their versions, each claiming to be the best in the Lone Star State!
  • 5. The State Dish of Oklahoma 🏞️🌽
    • 🍳 In 1988, Chicken Fried Steak was officially declared the “State Meal” of Oklahoma. This recognition celebrates its deep-rooted influence on Oklahoma’s culinary heritage and the hearts of its people.


Can I use a different cut of meat for Chicken Fried Steak?

Yes, you can use other cuts like round steak or sirloin steak if cube steak is not available. Just ensure to tenderize the meat before breading and frying.

Is it necessary to use buttermilk in the recipe?

While buttermilk adds flavor and tenderness, you can substitute it with regular milk mixed with a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar.

Can I make Chicken Fried Steak gluten-free?

Yes, you can make it gluten-free by using gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs in the breading process.

How can I reduce the calorie content of Chicken Fried Steak?

To reduce calories, you can bake the breaded steak instead of frying it. Baking will still yield a delicious result with fewer calories.

Can I make the gravy in advance?

Yes, you can make the gravy ahead of time and reheat it when serving. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Can I freeze Chicken Fried Steak for later consumption?

Yes, you can freeze the cooked and cooled fried steaks in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Reheat them in the oven for best results.

What sides go well with Chicken Fried Steak?

Classic accompaniments include mashed potatoes, green beans, and cornbread. However, feel free to pair it with your favorite sides.

Is it possible to make a healthier version of Chicken Fried Steak?

Yes, you can bake the steak instead of frying it and use leaner cuts of meat to reduce the fat content.

Can I use vegetable or chicken broth for the gravy instead of milk?

Yes, you can substitute milk with broth for a different flavor profile in the gravy.

Why is my breading not sticking to the steak?

Ensure the steak is dry before breading. Press the flour mixture firmly onto the steak to help it adhere, and avoid overcrowding the pan while frying.