Southern Chicken Fried Steak

Southern 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. Chicken Fried Steak is one of those dishes. When traveling around in 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.

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.

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.

While not necessary, I love to cook this in my iron skillet. Now, the name is chicken fried steak, so you are going to be frying the meat. I use plain vegetable oil or vegetable shortening. I cook this in my trusty iron skillet. While the iron skillet isn’t necessary, but I find they are deep enough to cook the steak in.

Most restaurants serve a 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.

What to serve with Southern Chicken Fried Steak?

You might wonder what you serve when you make this classic dish. Texas Toast, mashed potatoes, and green beans or Brussel sprouts are great choices to round out that meal.

Chicken Fried Steak and gravy with mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts

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 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.

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
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Fried Steak, Southern Chicken Fried Steak
Servings: 4
Calories: 586kcal

Ingredients

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

2 packages Pioneer Gravy Mix OR homemade gravy

    Gravy Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
    • 1 3/4 cup milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

    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 in a shallow dish. Batter steak by dusting with seasoned flour. Shake off the excess, then dip into the buttermilk. Shake off excess buttermilk and then place back into the flour. Coat well with flour and then shake off. Place battered steak on a wire rack on a baking sheet. (this will help the crust dry out a bit, and result in better crust). 
    • Complete the with the remaining pieces of meat. Add about 3 inches of oil into a skillet. Heat skillet until the oil gets to about 350 degrees. Place meat 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, and about 3 to 4 minute for the remaining side. Remove from oil and drain. 

    Gravy

    • You may want to use the Pioneer gravy mix. If not, in a small pot add 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. When the butter melts completely add the flour. Cook the flour for about 1 minute. Add 1 3/4 cup of whole milk. Stir until the mixture thickens. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black 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
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    About Stephanie

    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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