This chicken fried steak recipe served with country with gravy is a classic southern dish. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, this lightly breaded beef is good old fashioned comfort food.

Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy on a white a plate


 

Chicken fried steak, also known as country fried steak, is a classic southern dish. Tender pieces of beef are breaded just like a piece of fried chicken and cooked to crispy perfection.

Every great comfort food has a delicious sauce and just like Salisbury steak, Swedish meatballs, or beef stroganoff this classic dish is paired with a creamy gravy that you’ll want to scoop up with a biscuit.

Serve with mashed potatoes (make them in the Instant Pot!), collard greens, and some creamed corn casserole for a complete southern dinner.

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Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy on a hwote plate with green beans and mashed potatoes

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s everything you’ll need for chicken fried steak and gravy are listed below separately. 

For the steak, you’ll need:

  • Cube steak – You can use another cut of tenderized beef or use a cheaper cut and tenderize it yourself with a meat mallet.
  • Whole milk – The milk gives the chicken fried steak breading a richer flavor.
  • Eggs – The eggs help hold the breading together.
  • Flour – We just use a simple all purpose flour, but you can make this keto friendly or low carb using a keto-friendly flour if you prefer.
  • Seasonings – We use a combination of salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne.
  • Vegetable Oil – You want to use an oil with a high smoking point since you’ll be using it to fry. You could use canola oil or peanut oil if you prefer.

For the gravy, you’ll need:

  • Reserved oil – This is reserved after you finish frying your steaks. It adds some additional flavor, but you could use fresh oil if you did not make the steak at the same time.
  • Flour – You can use all-purpose flour or sub in a keto friendly flour.
  • Whole milk – You could use a lower fat milk, but the gravy works best with whole milk.
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy dripping off the side

Instructions

The instructions are broken down into how to make the steak and how to make the gravy for easy of following it.

To make the steak

Step 1 – Combined liquids. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the milk and eggs together until fully combined.

Step 2 – Combine dry ingredients. In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne and whisk together.

Step 3 – Bread the steaks. We recommend placing the steaks, flour bowl, and egg wash bowl next to each other to form an assembly line. Once ready, lightly sprinkle the steak with remaining salt. 

Dip the steak into the flour to lightly coat it, then into the egg mixture, and finally back into the flour mixture for each piece of cube steak.

Set the breaded pieces aside on a plate as you work.

Step 4 – Fry the steak. Heat a skillet with ½ a cup of vegetable oil in it over medium heat. You will know it is hot enough when you toss a small piece of flour into the oil and it sizzles.

When hot, add the steaks to the oil and cook until the outer coat is medium brown and crisp. Once one side is done, flip and continue to cook until the meat has cooked through. It will take about 3 to 5 minutes per side. You may need to cook the beef in batches to avoid overcrowding the skillet.

Place the cooked steaks on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil and until all steaks are cooked.

To make the chicken fried steak gravy

Step 1 – Prepare the pan. Remove the excess oil from the pan. Make sure to reserve ¼ cup of it in a heat-proof container. You’ll use this in the next step.

Step 2 – Make a roux. Carefully pour the reserved oil back into the pan and heat over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk it together with the hot oil. This makes what is called a roux which will be the base for thickening your gravy.

Allow the roux to cook for about 2 minutes or until it has turned a golden brown. As it cooks make sure you are whisking constantly so it doesn’t burn.

Step 3 – Add the milk. Slowly add the milk to the roux, whisking the whole time, as you bring the gravy to a boil. Next, add in the salt and pepper. Allow the gravy to cook for about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until smooth and the desired thickness is reached.

Serve the gravy over the steaks.

Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy on a black fork
Why is it Called Chicken Fried Steak?

As the name implies, Chicken Fried Steak means you are preparing steak the same way you would prepare fried chicken. First, you blend the flour, herbs, and spices together. You then dredge the steak through an egg wash and the flour mixture before deep frying it until it becomes hot and crispy.

What Cut of Meat is Chicken Fried Steak?

Traditionally this dish is made with cubed steak (sometimes called cube steak) This is a cut of steak that has been tenderized, you’ll see the little cube-shaped indentations all over it giving it the name cubed steak.

Because it has been tenderized you get the best, most tender results with this cut of meat.

What is a Substitute for Cube Steak?

If you are unable to find cube steak at your grocery store, you can substitute it with another inexpensive cut of meat such as round steak. You’ll need to tenderize it by pounding it out thin with a meat mallet or rolling pin before using.

You can also use ground beef in a pinch. You’ll form it into thin patties before breading and frying it.

What is the Difference Between Chicken Fried Steak and Country Fried Steak?

Country fried steak and chicken fried steak are very similar. In fact, many people use the names interchangeably.

One (potential) difference is that chicken fried steak is often crispier than country fried steak, but this is not always the case.

The biggest difference is the gravy you serve with it. The creamy gravy on chicken fried steak is usually a white gravy, made with a roux of flour and oil and thinned with milk. 

Country fried steak gravy is usually more brown and made with a roux of flour, oil, and sometimes onions and then thinned with beef broth.

That doesn’t mean you won’t see brown gravy on chicken fried steak or vice versa. It’s all about family traditions, and how your grandma’s grandma made it :).

If you don’t have a family recipe, the difference will come from what recipe you end up following. Ours follows a more traditional chicken fried steak style and gravy.

How to Make it Ahead of Time

You can make chicken fried steak ahead if you like, but we recommend making the gravy fresh when you are ready to serve it. 

First, make the recipe as described and then let it cool. Once cooled, place the steak into air tight containers and either refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Allow frozen steak to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

To reheat, place the steak in a large skillet over medium heat with a small amount of oil in it. Cook the steak until heated through, flipping the steak occasionally. This will take about 10 minutes. 

As it heats, make the gravy and serve.

What Should I Serve with Chicken Fried Steak?

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Servings: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy

Chicken Fried Steak is a thin slice of tender cube steak fried until it is golden brown and then topped with a creamy gravy. It’s classic Southern comfort food at it’s best.
Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy on a white a plate
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Ingredients

Chicken Fried Steak

  • 2 pounds Cube steak
  • 1 ½ cups Whole milk
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 ½ cups Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Salt , divided
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Paprika
  • teaspoon Cayenne
  • ¾ cup Vegetable Oil , divided

Gravy

  • ¼ cup Reserved grease
  • cup Flour
  • 3 cups Whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Pepper

Instructions

Chicken Fried Steak

  • In a bowl combine milk and eggs, whisking together until they are fully combined.
  • In a separate bowl combine flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne, whisking together.
  • Place cube steak, the flour bowl, and the egg bowl next to each other in an assembly line.
  • Using the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt lightly salt the steak.
  • Dip the steak into the flour lightly coating it.
  • Dip the steak into the egg mixture.
  • Dip the steak back into the flour, making sure it is well coated before sitting aside. Repeat steps for each piece of cube steak.
  • Heat a skillet with ½ a cup of vegetable oil in it over medium heat. You will know it is hot enough when you toss a small piece of flour into the oil and it sizzles.
  • Add the steaks to the oil, cooking in batches. Cook until the outer crust is a medium brown and crisp. Then turn and continue to cook until the other side is the same and the meat is cooked through. Approximately 3-5 minutes per side.
  • Set cooked pieces of steak on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Continue the process until all of the steaks are cooked. If needed add the remaining vegetable oil.

Gravy:

  • Once all of the steaks are cooked drain the oil from the pan reserving ¼ cup in a heat-proof container.
  • Add the oil back to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add the flour to the oil and whisk together until it forms a roux and the flour becomes light golden brown. Approximately 2 minutes.
  • Add the milk to the roux and continue to cook and whisk, bringing the gravy to a boil. Add salt and pepper and stir until the gravy is smooth and has thickened to the desired consistency. Approximately 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Serve over the Chicken Fried Steak.

Nutrition

Serving: 1steak, Calories: 866kcal, Carbohydrates: 54g, Protein: 45g, Fat: 51g, Saturated Fat: 32g, Cholesterol: 181mg, Sodium: 1160mg, Potassium: 831mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 475IU, Calcium: 258mg, Iron: 5.6mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Handwritten signature for Kat & Melinda

This post first appeared over at Real Housemoms where I was a contributor.