This easy Chicken Fried Steak recipe is absolutely delicious! Every steak is tender on the inside, crispy and golden brown on the outside, and smothered in a delectable creamy gravy.
Combine the Southern classic with biscuits or cornbread and green beans for a quick and easy family dinner.
BEST CHICKEN FRIED STEAK RECIPE
A popular dish at Texas Roadhouse, Cracker Barrel, and other Southern restaurants is chicken fried steak with a rich, creamy country gravy.
But you don’t have to eat out to enjoy this classic homestyle dish. Instead, make a cozy batch of the best chicken fried steak recipe in just over 30 minutes from the comfort of your own kitchen!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COUNTRY FRIED STEAK AND CHICKEN FRIED STEAK?
Some people use these terms interchangeably to describe the same dish: a breaded, pan-fried steak with gravy.mid
Historians believe that German immigrants brought the idea for chicken fried steak to the Southern United States in the -1800s, as the recipe is very similar to German wienerschnitzel.
It’s a great way to use tougher cuts of meat, which were plentiful in the South at the time.
While some people confuse chicken-fried steak and country-fried steak, others explain that country-fried steak is flour-dusted and usually served with brown gravy and onions, whereas chicken-fried steak is breaded with eggs and served with a creamy gravy.
Whatever you want to call it, this simple, family-friendly meal is here to stay!
WHY IS IT CALLED CHICKEN FRIED STEAK?
The name “chicken-fried steak” comes from the way the steak is prepared.
The procedure is similar to that of frying chicken: the beef is dredged in flour, dipped in a buttermilk-egg mixture, dredged again in flour, and then pan-fried in oil. In fact, there is no chicken in the recipe at all!
WHAT CUT OF MEAT IS BEST FOR CHICKEN FRIED STEAK?
The most common cut of beef for a chicken fried steak recipe is “cube steak” or “cubed steak.”
Cube steak is a thin cut of beef that has been tenderized and flattened by pounding it with a meat tenderizer. The name alludes to the shape of the indentations created by that process.
This is a quick list of the ingredients for the simple chicken fried steak recipe.
As always, the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post includes precise measurements and detailed cooking instructions.
- Beef cube steaks: These are usually top round or top sirloin steaks that have been tenderized and flattened by pounding with a meat tenderizer by the butcher (leaving “cube-shaped” indentations on the thin patties).
- All-purpose flour: used to bread the steak and thicken the gravy.
- Garlic powder, kosher salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and fresh rosemary: for seasoning the steaks as well as the gravy.
- The wet ingredients that help the breading adhere to the meat are buttermilk and egg.
- For frying the meat, use vegetable oil or another neutral oil with a high smoke point (such as peanut or canola oil).
- The liquid ingredients for the gravy are beef broth and heavy cream.
- Fresh parsley: a garnish that is optional but adds a nice, fresh touch at the end.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN FRIED STEAK FROM SCRATCH
Prepare all of your ingredients ahead of time, because this meal comes together quickly!
- Dredge the steaks in seasoned flour, then in the buttermilk-egg mixture, followed by another dredge in seasoned flour.
- Fry the steaks for 3-4 minutes per side in hot oil, or until golden brown.
- While you make the gravy, drain the steaks on a paper towel-lined tray.
HOW TO MAKE GRAVY FOR CHICKEN FRIED STEAK
Chicken-fried steak is usually smothered in a creamy country gravy made from the pan drippings left over from frying the steaks.
It has a rich, thick, and mild flavor that can be seasoned with your favorite herbs and spices.
I love the earthy rosemary and garlic used here, but feel free to add some spice from cayenne pepper, different herbs like parsley or thyme, or just classic salt and lots of black pepper to make it your own!
- Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside 3 tablespoons of the drippings.
- Cook for 2 minutes after adding 3 tablespoons of flour to the skillet’s oil.
- Whisk in the broth, cream, garlic powder, and rosemary gradually.
- Reduce the heat to low and whisk constantly for 3-5 minutes, or until the gravy bubbles and thickens. It needs to be thick, creamy, and smooth.
- If necessary, season the gravy with salt and pepper.
- Serve the fried steaks immediately with the gravy!
Fresh and crispy chicken fried steak is the best. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days; however, the bread will not be as crispy when reheated.
To Freeze: The fried steak can be frozen for up to 3 months. It does not need to be defrosted before reheating.
Preheat your oven to 400° F to reheat. In the meantime, arrange the steaks on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Then, reheat the steaks for about 10 minutes for room temperature steaks or about 20 minutes for frozen steaks, or until the breading feels hot and crispy (flip halfway through).
- Seasoning should be adjusted. For a spicy fried steak and gravy, increase the cayenne pepper in the seasoning. Use your favorite herbs, such as chives or thyme. Anything goes, so experiment with the mix to suit your tastes.
- Buttermilk. If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, you can make your own by combining 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice with 1 cup milk in a liquid measuring cup. Allow to stand for 5 minutes after stirring.
- Depending on the size of your family, adjust the number of steaks you fry. Are you only cooking for two? All of the ingredients should be cut in half. If you need more, increase the ingredient amounts accordingly!
- In place of heavy cream, use whole milk in the gravy.
TIPS FOR THE BEST CHICKEN FRIED STEAK RECIPE
- Thin Steaks: Some stores sell cube steaks that have already been pounded thin. If your steak isn’t already about 14-inch thick, you’ll need to pound it flat with a meat mallet, rolling pin, or empty wine bottle.
- While the oil heats, heading to the meat as it cooks.
- Never use foil to cover a warm fried steak. This traps steam and moisture, making your steak soggy.
- Maintain a constant temperature for the oil. Don’t crowd the pan by attempting to cook too many steaks at once, as this will lower the temperature. If the oil is too cool, the meat will absorb it and become soggy when done. If the temperature is too high, the breading will burn.
While you finish frying the remaining steaks in batches and make the gravy, keep the fried steaks warm on wire racks on baking sheets (uncovered) in a 200° F oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
The country fried steak from Cracker Barrel is an explosion of flavors that will leave you impressed. Chicken fried steak is a southern comfort food, but it has fans all over the country (and rightfully so). Don’t undervalue this dish in the least.
Country-Fried Steak is also referred to as pan-fried steak, country fried steak, or CFS. It’s tenderized round steak (a cheap and tough cut of beef) cooked like fried chicken with a milk gravy made from the pan drippings.
Country Fried Steak, also known as Chicken Fried Steak, is a Southern food classic that is surprisingly simple to prepare at home. Tenderized round steak or cube steak is breaded and fried until golden brown. To smother the steaks, the pan drippings are used to make a flavorful creamy milk gravy.
Country fried steak is a dish made with breaded cube steak and served with onions and brown gravy. Chicken fried steak, on the other hand, is a dish made of breaded cube steak topped with eggs and served with cream gravy.
Chicken Fried Steak With Gravy Recipe [Cracker Barrel Style]
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
The Ultimate Chicken Fried Steak is deep-fried to golden perfection and topped with the creamiest gravy you’ve ever tasted. It’s difficult to imagine a more traditional Southern meal. The difficult part is deciding whether to make it for breakfast or dinner. My family can’t get enough of these tender steaks with a delicious crispy, crunchy coating. What about the gravy? Heaven!
- 4 cube steaks (about 1/3 lb each)
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided
- 2 tsp kosher salt or sea salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 tsps TABASCO® Sauce (original)
- 2 eggs1 cup vegetable oil
Chicken Fried Steak Gravy
- 4 tbsp grease
- 4 tbsp flour
- 2 to 3 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping creamsalt and pepper to taste
- In a shallow mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Place aside.
- Whisk together buttermilk, TABASCO® Sauce, and eggs in a separate shallow bowl. Place aside.
- Using a paper towel, pat dry the cube steaks to remove as much moisture as possible. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow for 5 minutes before patting dry with a paper towel.
- Dredge the cube steaks in the flour mixture, shaking off excess, then in the buttermilk-egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off, and then in the flour mixture again, shaking off excess. Place the breaded cube steaks on a sheet pan or metal rack and press any remaining flour mixture into the cube steaks, making sure to coat the entire steak. Allow for a 10-minute resting period.
- Preheat the oven to 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet or heavy skillet over medium high heat. The amount of oil required is determined by the size of your skillet. It should be about 1/4-inch deep. We’re not deep frying the steaks, but rather shallow frying them.
- Drop a small amount of breading into the oil to test it. Around the breading, the oil should sizzle and bubble. About 320-340 degrees F, the oil should be glistening but not smoking. We’re now ready to fry.
This cut of meat is known as cube or cubed steak depending on where you live. It’s usually a round steak that’s been through a mechanical meat tenderizer and has tiny holes punched in it (see my image below.)
It can be thick even after it has been tenderized. If that’s the case, you’ll want to pound it until it’s thinner so it cooks quickly and evenly.
- Category: Chicken
- Method: Steak
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 6 servings
- Calories: 534kcal
- Sugar: 4g
- Sodium: 671
- Fat: 24g
- Fiber: Mo1g
- Protein: 43g
- Cholesterol: 184mg
Keywords: Chicken fried steak recipe, chicken fried steak, steak recipe, chicken recipe