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I could munch on this all day!

Classic Chicken Fried Steak Recipe: A Southern Comfort Delight

There’s something undeniably comforting about a classic chicken fried steak, especially on those chilly evenings when you just need a bit of southern comfort. Originating from the German and Austrian immigrants’ dish, Wiener Schnitzel, this American South staple has found its way into the hearts of many. Chicken fried steak is perfect for a hearty dinner and is a fantastic way to spruce up cube steak. Whether you’re introducing someone to Midwestern cuisine or just craving a decadent meal, this recipe is sure to satisfy.

Perfect Pairings for Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken fried steak pairs wonderfully with traditional sides that balance its richness. A dollop of creamy mashed potatoes or buttered corn are classic choices. For a crunchier side, you might opt for some coleslaw or green beans. And don’t forget the gravy — a generous pour of creamy, peppery white gravy is essential for the full experience.

Classic Chicken Fried Steak Recipe

Servings: 4


For the Steak:

  • 4 cube steaks (about 1/3 pound each)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the Gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons of reserved frying oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Step 1: Prepare the Coating

  1. In a shallow dish, mix together the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.

Step 2: Prepare the Egg Wash

  1. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together.

Step 3: Coat the Steaks

  1. Dip each steak first in the flour mixture, then in the egg mixture, and again in the flour mixture to coat completely.

Step 4: Fry the Steaks

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the steaks in batches until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.

Step 5: Make the Gravy

  1. For the gravy, reduce the heat to medium and in the same skillet, use about 2 tablespoons of the reserved frying oil. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk for about 1 minute. Gradually pour in the milk, continuing to whisk to prevent lumps. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the gravy has thickened, about 5-6 minutes.
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Step 6: Serve

  1. Serve the steaks hot with the gravy poured over the top.

Variations & Tips

  • Spicy Twist: For a spicy kick, add a dash of cayenne pepper to both the meat seasoning and the gravy.
  • Lighter Option: Fry the steaks in a mixture of half vegetable oil and half butter for added flavor without all the heaviness.
  • Gluten-Free Alternative: For the gluten-sensitive, swap out the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free alternative. Just be sure to check the consistency of the batter and adjust as needed.

Cooking Tips

  • Proper Coating: Ensuring that each steak is thoroughly coated will help achieve that perfect, crispy texture.
  • Oil Temperature: Make sure the oil is hot enough before adding the steaks to prevent them from becoming greasy.
  • Gravy Consistency: Gradually add the milk while whisking to avoid lumps and achieve a smooth gravy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use a different cut of meat?

Yes, while cube steak is traditional, you can use any tenderized steak or even chicken breast for a different take on this classic dish.

What oil is best for frying?

Vegetable oil is commonly used, but you can also use canola oil or a blend of vegetable oil and butter for added flavor.

How can I store leftovers?

Store any leftover chicken fried steak and gravy separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. They should be consumed within 3 days for the best quality.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the steaks and the gravy ahead of time. Reheat the steaks in the oven to maintain their crispiness, and warm the gravy on the stovetop, adding a bit of milk if it’s too thick.

How do I reheat chicken fried steak without it becoming soggy?

Reheat the steaks in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes, or until heated through, to keep them crispy.

Chicken fried steak is a quintessential comfort food that brings warmth and satisfaction to any meal. Its rich flavors and crispy texture make it a beloved dish in many households. Enjoy this classic recipe with your favorite sides and savor the taste of southern comfort!