Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak is a staple if you live in the south. Beef cutlets are battered just like fried chicken and served up fresh.

Homemade Southern Chicken Fried Steak and gravy with Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes

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Having lived in the South now for more than half of my life, there are a few staple dishes around here that everyone loves. Homemade Chicken Fried Steak is one of those dishes.

When traveling around Texas you may be amazed at how many restaurants serve up the best chicken fried steak. I promise it’s more than just one or two restaurants.

Most restaurants serve white gravy with their chicken fried steak and often it is Pioneer White Gravy mix. It’s easy to prepare, and it works every time.

Homemade white gravy is easy to make and the recipe includes it too.

What Kind of Meat is Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak is made with beef, either steak cutlets or tenderized beef.

What are the good characteristics of the perfect chicken fried steak? For me, it is using a whole cut of meat. A lot of people use tenderized meat from the grocery store. I don’t like to do this because you don’t know what cut of meat you are getting.

I used to work in a grocery store years ago, the tenderizer machine in the meat department was used to weave together scraps of meat. I don’t like knowing exactly what cut of meat I am using.

I like to use a lean chuck steak or some thinly sliced sirloin.

Chicken Fried Steak Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need to make chicken fried steak:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Onion powder
  • Buttermilk
  • Sirloin steak

Here’s what you need to make white gravy:

  • Butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper

Ingredient Notes

The breading must be flavorful. So you really need to season your flour. Now, if you live in Texas, I really recommend HEB’s seasoned flour, if not, you can make some homemade.

Buttermilk is the key to make a thick crust. Don’t get the low-fat buttermilk. Use regular buttermilk. Buttermilk is like the glue that binds that batter to the meat.

Now, the name is chicken fried steak, so you are going to be frying the meat. I use plain vegetable oil or vegetable shortening.

Where is the Chicken in Chicken Fried Steak?

You might wonder where is the chicken in this recipe. There is no chicken in chicken fried steak. It is beef that is battered and fried like fried chicken.

Boneless chicken may be referred to as chicken fried chicken at some restaurants to distinguish between the beef and chicken options on their menu.

How to Make Chicken Fried Steak

  1. Place flour, salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder in a large shallow container. Stir or whisk until well combined.
  2. Pour buttermilk in a separate shallow dish.
  3. Coat a steak with seasoned flour and shake off the excess.
  4. Dip flour coated steak into the buttermilk and shake off excess buttermilk
  5. Place steak back into the flour, coat it well with flour, then shake off excess.
  6. Place breaded steak on a wire rack over a baking sheet.
  7. Repeat with the remaining steaks.
  8. Heat oil to 350 degrees.
  9. Place one or two steaks at a time in the oil and cook the meat until the top of it looks like it is beginning to brown.
  10. Turn steaks over and cook about 3 to 4 minutes.
  11. Remove fried steaks from the oil and drain on a clean wire rack.

How to Make White Gravy

  1. Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat.
  2. Add flour and cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Add milk and stir until the mixture thickens.
  4. Season the gravy with salt and pepper.

While not necessary, I love to cook this in my trusty iron skillet. Using an iron skillet isn’t necessary, but I find they are deep enough to cook the steak in.

Chicken Fried Steak and gravy with mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts

What to Serve with Chicken Fried Steak

You might wonder what you serve when you make this classic dish. Here are some sides to round out your meal:

Favorite Beef Recipes

Check out more of my easy beef recipes and the best comfort food recipes here on CopyKat!

Homemade Southern Chicken Fried Steak and gravy with Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes

Southern Chicken Fried Steak

Make classic southern chicken fried steak at home.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Fried Steak, Southern Chicken Fried Steak
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 586kcal

Ingredients

Chicken Fried Steak Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • pounds sirloin steak

2 packages Pioneer Gravy Mix OR homemade gravy

    Gravy Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • cups whole milk
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

    Instructions

    Chicken Fried Steak Instructions

    • Prepare seasoned flour by combining flour, salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder. Stir until well combined. Place seasoned flour in a large shallow container.
    • Pour buttermilk into a shallow dish.
    • Batter a steak by dusting it with seasoned flour and shake off the excess.
    • Dip the floured steak into the buttermilk. Shake off excess buttermilk and then place the steak back into the flour.
    • Coat the steak well with flour and then shake off excess flour.
    • Place battered steak on a wire rack on a baking sheet (this will help the crust dry out a bit, and result in a better crust). 
    • Repeat with the remaining pieces of steak.
    • Add about 3 inches of oil into a skillet.
    • Heat skillet until the oil gets to about 350 degrees.
    • Place steak, one or two pieces at a time, in the oil and cook the meat. Do not touch the meat until the top of it looks like it is beginning to cook and brown. Turning the meat too early will mean the crust may fall off. This may take about 7 to 8 minutes for the first side.
    • Turn the steaks over and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes.
    • Remove fried steaks from the oil and drain on a clean wire rack.

    Gravy Instructions

    • You may want to use the Pioneer gravy mix. If so, prepare it according to the package instructions.
    • If not, in a small pot, add 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
    • When the butter melts completely, add the flour and stir to combine.
    • Cook the flour for about 1 minute.
    • Add 1¾ cups of milk and stir until the mixture thickens.
    • Season the gravy with salt and pepper.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 586kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 132mg | Sodium: 1146mg | Potassium: 810mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 495IU | Calcium: 195mg | Iron: 5.8mg

    About Stephanie Manley

    I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

    Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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    Reader Interactions

    Comments

    1. Richard J. McCracken

      Consider replacing the AP flour with Wondra Flour. AP tends to continue to thicken where as the mix of Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour IMO makes better gravy.

    2. Susan

      How do you make it not tough or chewy? I used to be able to make it really well about 20 yrs ago. I can’t find the right cut of meat I guess. Flavor was good though. May just have to wait till my next trip to TX and let them make it for me:)

      • Stephanie

        There is no chicken in chicken fried steak. It is meat that is battered and fried like you would make fried chicken. In many places in the south, boneless chicken may be referred to chicken fried chicken at some restaurants to distinguish between the beef and chicken option on this dish.

    3. Lucy

      Looks divine. Fried steak is probably my all time favorite dish. One question: do you tenderize your steak since you don’t use the pre tenderized ones? BTW, good info on mystery weaved steak! Don’t think I’ll buy it again!

      • Sandie

        You can ask the butcher to run any type of meat through the tenderizer? I usually buy cube steak that has already be tenderized, but I’m loving this idea. I’m going to give it shot.

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