Southern Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak…3 words that make my Texan heart swoon.

Folks, if you’ve never heard of chicken fried steak, or if you have it every other meal…get ready for one of the best (if not the best) chicken fried steak recipes in all of the Lone Star State and beyond!

And heck, we’ve gotta add some Black Pepper Cream Gravy, right? Let’s do this!

Chicken fried steak covered in cream gravy with mashed potatoes on the side.

CHICKEN FRIED STEAK IS EASY TO MAKE AT HOME

There are many, many different recipes for preparing classic Southern Chicken Fried Steak.

We’ve tested most of them. And we’ve come up with our own version that we think will rival even the best of the West.

Watch us show you how to make incredible Chicken Fried Steak!

TENDERIZED CUBED STEAK WORKS WELL

I (Kris) recently had the privilege of competing on Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games.” And guess what? The first dish I made was my classic Chicken Fried Steak! And the judges LOVED it! Read more about this amazing experience from a wonderful writer, Sarah Blaskovich from the Dallas Morning News: Adventures in Feeding.

To impress the judges, I went with a more expensive cut of meat, a beautifully marbled ribeye. Though the result was luxurious in taste and texture, you can absolutely achieve chicken fried steak perfection with an inexpensive cut of meat, such as cubed, or round steak. Just ask you butcher to tenderize the steaks for you. Or, you can do it yourself carefully with a meat mallet.

Here is an shot of me (Kris) looking like a goofball talking about my Southern Chicken Fried Steak on Guy’s Grocery Games on the Food Network.

A shot of a TV with Kris talking about Chicken Fried Steak on Guy's Grocery Games.

SET UP A DREDGING STATION

Creating a crunchy and extremely flavorful crust around the steak requires a 3-step approach.

Corn starch is commonly used in Asian/Chinese cooking. It helps to create a crunchy exterior. So why not use it on our chicken fried steak? Let’s do it!

Followed up by amazing batter of flour, beef broth, milk, chili powder, smoked paprika, onion salt and black pepper.

A final dredge through season flour will provide the extra crunchy exterior we all want.

Dredge the cube steak in corn starch.
Dip the steak into a wet batter flour, beef broth, milk and seasonings.
A final dredge through seasoned flour for crunch chicken fried steak.

Take a large sturdy skillet and add just enough oil so only about half the steak is submerged.

You want the weight of the steak to hold down the cutlet as it cooks, this helps to ensure the batter will adhere to the meat.

Once golden brown (about 4 minutes), flip over and cook until golden on both sides (about a total of 8 to 10 minutes). Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

Fill a large skillet with just enough oil to partially submerge the steak as it fries.

WARM COOKED STEAKS IN THE OVEN

If you are feeding a crowd of hungry folks (like we usually are), you can make the steaks an hour or so before serving.

As each chicken fried steak is cooked to perfection, just place on a baking sheet with a rack, and keep warm in a low-temp oven (200°F).

The steaks will stay nice and crispy until ready to serve.

Place the cooked steaks on a baking sheet and in a low temp oven until ready to serve.

And trust us when we tell you that if you’re doing chicken fried steak, you gotta make some cream gravy.

HOW TO MAKE CREAM GRAVY

  • Heat 2 tbsp grease in a skillet
  • Add equal amount of flour to create a roux.
  • Add milk and cream and whisk to remove lumps.
  • Season with salt and lots of black pepper.
  • Stir until thickened.

Pour cream gravy over the cooked chicken fried steak.

Chicken Fried Steak is a classic dish in Texas and the Southern U.S.

The meat is tender and flavorful and the crunchy batter is absolutely delicious.

Serve this with mashed potatoes and fried okra, and you will be in yummy heaven.

Gravy poured over the top of the steaks.

A CLASSIC SOUTHERN DISH

Well, you can take the boy out of Texas, but you can’t take the Texas out of the boy.  Which really isn’t an issue anymore, since the Loon and I moved back to Texas.

Once you dig in and take your first bite, you’ll understand why we get so excited about this dish.

Come on…you know you want it…

A fork holding a bite of Southern Chicken Fried Steak

A plate of Southern chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and cream gravy.

Southern Chicken Fried Steak

Southern Chicken Fried Steak is a staple down South. I developed this recipe about 15 years ago, and think it will rival any Chicken Fried Steak you'll ever try. Yummy yum yum!
4.84 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken fried steak
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
For the Gravy (can be made ahead): 15 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 628kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 8 oz round sirloin steaks, or cubed steaks tenderized
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Louisiana hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp seasoned salt, such as Adobo divided
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour divided
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 cup milk might need more if batter too thick
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Oil for frying

FOR THE GRAVY

  • 2 tbsp bacon grease or butter
  • 2 to 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, add just enough of the oil so it reaches about 1/4 inch up the side. Heat to 350° F, or unitl a pinch of bread tossed in sizzles and turns a nice golden brown in a couple minutes.
  • Season one side of the steaks with Worcestershire sauce, Adobo, and pepper.
  • Season the other side with hot sauce, Adobo, and pepper
  • On a platter or plate, spread the cornstarch
  • In a medium-size bowl, make a wet batter by mixing 1 1/2 cups flour with the stock, milk, egg, chili powder, salt, paprika and pepper. (If too thick, add more milk...the consistancy should be like a thin/runny milk shake)
  • On a separate platter, add remaining flour plus 1 tbsp of the Adobo seasoning, mix well.
  • Dredge the prepared steaks in the corn starch.
  • Add the steaks to the wet batter. Let excess drip off.
  • Add to the flour mixture.
  • Working in batches, carefully place the steaks in the hot oil.
  • Cook for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Approx. 4 minutes per side
  • Drain for a couple minutes on plate lined with paper towels. (Keep cooked steaks in low-temp oven (200°F) until ready to serve.)

MAKE THE GRAVY

  • Heat the bacon grease (or butter) over medium heat.
  • Add the flour, and stir to incorporate. Add more flour if too wet (should resemble wet sand). Cook for 3 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Gradually add the milk and cream, whisking vigerously until lumps are gone. Continue to stir with a wooden spoon until thickened.
  • Add salt (and seasoned salt, if using) and pepper, to taste.
  • Pour gravy over cooked steaks.

Nutrition

Calories: 628kcal
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

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14 Comments

  • This is the best Chicken Fried Steak ever. Love the crispiness and the flavor is wonderful. This is the only recipe I will use from now on.

  • My daughter and I made this last night, it is the Best Thing Ever! We had it for supper last night and we all had it for breakfast this morning again! Thank you for this delicious recipe, we’ll be making this again soon. I took a picture, I would post but I don’t see an option. Also shared your video on my FB page. YUMMY

    • Hi Jessica!! That’s the best news we’re heard all week!! AWESOME!! So glad y’all loved it. We sure love it a lot, too!! And thank you so much for letting us know! Means the world to us!! Stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • First…they sent you home for serving fried meat in the first two rounds! I was yelling at the tv, “he’s from Texas!” Seriously, couldn’t believe they kept the chef who gave them canned sloppy joe sauce in spades.

    I’m making this again tomorrow and will use beer in the batter…love this!

    • I know!!! I was thinking the same thing…oh well. So glad you like the CFS…beer is definitely a good addition. I’m going to add that back into the recipe. I did that on the fly on the show, and it was good!!

  • You know, boys, you CAN also use this on chicken. I wanted chicken fried steak but had no beef and it was too hot to go to the store. Found chicken in the freezer. tenderized the chicken and followed your recipe. Worked just fine. We’re gonna have the REAL thing this weekend after we go shopping. (Gotta tell ya, my husband was disappointed it was chicken, but said it’s the best chicken he’s ever had!)

  • There’s also a meat press “Fast Cutlet Maker V2”. It flattens the meat and create a cube pattern on it. It’s popular among germany people.

  • Definitely can’t take the Texas out of a person! I had such a hankering for chicken fried steak yesterday so I got the steak but was hunting for a recipe today. I think it is more Texan to call it “chicken fried” instead of “southern fried”. I stumbled across your blog today and look forward to using your recipe. Thanks!

    • Awesome, Kristin! Growing up in Texas, I sure understand the need for a delicious chicken fried steak recipe. I agree, growing up, it was always called Chicken Fried Steak, but I have found most people outside of the Lone Star State think that means its some sort of chicken dish. This is one of our favorite recipes…Let me know how it turns out!! All the best, Kris & Wesley (The Loon)

    • Hi Thalia! This is actually a popular dish in the Southern U.S. (I grew up in Texas). It’s seasoned/tenderized round steak (beef) that is battered and then deep fried. Served with black peppercorn cream gravy. It’s crazy good!! I guess it’s called chicken fried steak, because you fry the steak in a similar way you would fried chicken. Yum!!

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