The Ultimate Guide to Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy


Chicken fried steak with gravy is the epitome of comfort food. A crispy, golden-brown exterior encasing tenderized beef, smothered in rich, creamy gravy—this dish has been warming hearts and satisfying appetites for generations. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the origins of chicken fried steak, break down the recipe step by step, and share tips for creating the perfect rendition of this beloved Southern classic.

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The Origins of Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken fried steak’s origins are deeply rooted in Southern cuisine, with its exact inception shrouded in culinary history. While its name might suggest a dish made with chicken, it’s actually thinly pounded steak that’s breaded and fried, much like fried chicken. Some culinary historians believe it originated in Texas in the early 20th century, where German immigrants introduced a method of tenderizing and frying tough cuts of meat. Others argue that it has older roots, possibly tracing back to German and Austrian immigrants who settled in the Midwest.


4 cube steaks (tenderized round steaks)1 cup all-purpose flour1 teaspoon garlic powder1 teaspoon onion powder1 teaspoon paprikaSalt and black pepper to taste2 eggs1/4 cup milkVegetable oil for fryingFor the Gravy:1/4 cup all-purpose flour1/4 cup pan drippings (from frying the steak)2 cups milkSalt and black pepper to taste


Prepare the steak: Season the cube steaks with salt and pepper. In a shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. In another dish, whisk together the eggs and milk.Dredge the steaks: Dredge each steak in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Dip the steaks into the egg mixture, then coat them again in the flour mixture. This double coating will ensure a crispy crust.Fry the steaks: In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Carefully place the coated steaks into the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer the cooked steaks to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.Make the gravy: Pour off all but 1/4 cup of the oil from the skillet. Whisk in 1/4 cup of flour to create a roux, cooking until golden brown. Gradually whisk in the milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Cook the gravy until thickened, then season with salt and pepper to taste.Serve: Serve the chicken fried steaks hot, smothered in gravy. Pair them with mashed potatoes, green beans, or your favorite Southern sides for a complete meal.

Tips for Success

Tenderize the steaks: Use a meat mallet to pound the steaks until they are thin and tender. This will ensure they cook evenly and remain tender after frying.Keep the oil hot: Make sure the oil is hot enough before adding the steaks to the skillet. If the oil is too cool, the steaks will absorb more oil and become greasy.Let the steaks rest: Allow the cooked steaks to rest on a wire rack for a few minutes before serving. This will help them retain their crispiness.


Chicken fried steak with gravy is a quintessential Southern dish that never fails to satisfy. With its crispy exterior, tender meat, and creamy gravy, it’s a comfort food classic that deserves a place in every home cook’s repertoire. Whether you’re serving it up for a cozy family dinner or a weekend brunch, this recipe is sure to become a favorite. So grab your apron and get ready to indulge in a taste of Southern hospitality with this delicious dish.