Chicken fried steak is a Southern comfort food that has been around for a long time. This dish is a delicious mix of cubed beef steaks or cutlets that have been pounded thin, coated in a crispy golden layer, and smothered in a rich, creamy gravy. Just thinking about it will make your mouth water. Chicken Fried Steak has its roots in the heart of Southern cooking, and it is the very definition of hearty, home-cooked goodness.
To clear the air of any confusion, regardless of what the recipe states, there is absolutely no chicken in this recipe. It’s all glorious beef. Being that I'm not a southerner, I'm not going to tell you how long it took me to figure out that chicken fried steak contains no chicken. I guess the name comes from the way classic fried chicken is breaded and made.
Peanut oil is my go-to for frying any kind of fried chicken or beef. It doesn't burn as quickly as vegetable or canola oil because it has a higher smoke point. Remember that you need to keep your oil around 350°F no matter what kind of oil you use, and the more you fry, the darker your oil will get.
- 2 lbs of cubed beef steaks (5–6-ounce pieces)
- 2–3 cups peanut oil (you need enough to come up with at least a 1" skillet)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ to 2 cups flour
- 1 tbsp. seasoning salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 4 C milk (whole or 2%)
- 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 Tbsp. flour
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Set the oven temperature to 350°F. Using a baking rack, add it to the inside of a larger baking or cookie sheet. Spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place to the side.
- On medium-high heat, add your peanut oil in a big, heavy-duty pan (the pan needs to be at least 3 to 4 inches deep). The oil needs to reach 350°F. While the oil is getting hot, you can coat the pieces of cubed steak.
- Set up a breading station (deep-dish pie plates work well for this). by putting the milk and eggs in one dish and mixing them together. In another dish, add your flour, seasoning salt, black pepper, onion, and garlic powder.
- Steaks should be dipped one at a time in the flour mixture, then in the egg mixture. Make sure both sides are well coated. Then back into the flour mixture. Place cubes of steak that have been breaded on a big plate or covered baking sheet. Do this until all of your steak cubes have been well coated.
- Depending on the size of your pan (you don't want your steaks to be crowded), carefully put two to three pieces of the floured cube steak into the hot oil. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side to get a nice golden color on your crust. As a reminder, your country fried chicken will finish cooking in the oven.
- Take the pieces of chicken-fried steak out of the oil when they are golden brown and let any extra oil drip off, or place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Once the extra oil has drained, place the pieces on the baking tray that has been prepared.
- Repeat steps 6 and 7 until all of your meat is cooked.
- Put the sheet tray with the fried steak cubes in the oven for 20 minutes to finish cooking.
- While your chicken-fried steaks are in the oven, you can make the gravy. Add 4 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup of flour into a medium pot. Over medium heat, cook for 3 minutes. You want your flour to absorb the butter and get rid of the raw taste of the flour. Slowly pour the milk into the pan with the butter and flour, mixing as you go to avoid lumps. Toss in your salt and pepper and allow your gravy to thicken. It should take around 5-7 minutes; whisk often so the milk doesn't burn. Once your gravy is done, remove it from the heat.
- When the chicken-fried steak is done, put each piece on a plate and pour that delicious gravy all over top.
- Enjoy, friends! ❤️