Rating: 4.5 stars
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  • 1 star values: 38

This chicken fried steak recipe is one I received from a co-worker about 5 years ago. A Southern favorite, these crispy, breaded, tenderized cube steaks drenched in creamy gravy can be served for breakfast or dinner. It's by far the best chicken fried steak I've ever had. I've made this numerous times for my picky son and my Southern-raised better half, as well as for other family and friends and each time, I get nothing but rave reviews.

Recipe Summary

cook:
20 mins
total:
40 mins
prep:
20 mins
Servings:
4
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Looking for the best chicken-fried steak of all time? Well, your search ends here! This top-rated recipe results in a tender, juicy steak with an irresistibly crispy coating. Learn how to make the greatest chicken-fried steak of your life — and get smart storage and serving tips.  

What Is Chicken-Fried Steak?

The aptly named chicken-fried steak is a dish that consists of steak fried in the same manner as fried chicken. The meat is coated with a seasoned flour mixture, then deep-fried to crispy perfection. A Southern favorite, chicken-fried steak is actually very similar to Wiener schnitzel (an iconic Austrian dish of breaded and fried veal). 

Chicken-Fried Steak vs. Country-Fried Steak

Chicken-fried steak and country-fried steak are very similar Southern dishes that are often confused with one another. Many people use the terms interchangeably, but they are slightly different: Chicken-fried steak is often topped with a cream gravy, while country-fried steak is typically served with brown gravy and onions. Also, chicken-fried steak is usually slightly crispier than its country-fried counterpart. 

Best Cut of Beef for Chicken-Fried Steak

The best cut of beef for chicken-fried steak is cube steak, or another steak variety that has already been tenderized. This recipe, like most others you'll find on the internet, calls for cube steak.

How to Make Chicken-Fried Steak

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's what you can expect when you make the best chicken-fried steak ever:  

Pound the Meat

Using a meat mallet, pound the steak until it's about ¼-inch thick. 

Make the Coating

Place two cups of flour in a shallow bowl and set aside. In another bowl, combine the baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon of the pepper, and ¾-teaspoon of the salt. Add buttermilk, hot sauce, egg, and garlic to the second bowl. Stir to combine. 

Dredge and Fry

Heat vegetable shortening oil in a deep cast-iron skillet to 325 degrees F. While the shortening is heating, dredge a steak in flour and shake off the excess. Dip the entire flour-covered steak in the buttermilk mixture, then dredge it again in flour. Repeat with the remaining steaks. Fry steaks until evenly golden brown. Remove steaks and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Make the Gravy

Drain the fat from the skillet, reserving ¼ cup and as much of the solid remnants as you can. Add the reserved fat and heat the skillet over medium-low heat. Whisk in the remaining flour. Add the milk and bring the gravy to a simmer. Cook until thick and season to taste. Serve over finished chicken-fried steaks.

What to Serve With Chicken-Fried Steak

Looking for delicious side dish inspiration? Pair your chicken-fried steak with one of these classic Southern sides:

Plus, explore our entire collection of Southern Side Dishes

How to Store Chicken-Fried Steak

Store leftover chicken-fried steak in an airtight container in the fridge for three to four days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven until warmed through. 

Can You Freeze Chicken-Fried Steak?

Yes, you can! Allow the steaks to cool completely, then wrap them individually in one layer of storage wrap followed by one layer of foil. Place them in a freezer-bag or airtight container, label with the date, and freeze for up to four months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat in the oven until warmed through. 

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise 

"This was absolutely amazing," raves alrondm. "Made this for my roomies and they all raved. Even the boy from the South. Couldn't think of any major changes needed. Though I did find that using some buttermilk in the gravy gave it a better flavor in the end."

"I am always looking for new chicken-fried steak recipes, but often find that the batter doesn't end up with enough crunch — which is what I absolutely love," says colinger. "This recipe did not disappoint. I used thinly cut round steak (my personal preference) and they turned out great!"

"This recipe is the best chicken-fried steak I have ever used," according to Renee Ann Galvan. "It's Southern quality, has that nice crunch, and was sooo delicious. I wanted to eat another streak. I didn't, but I really wanted to! I would like to make one suggestion: Salt and pepper the steaks before you dredge in the flour and batter. Absolutely delicious!"

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams

Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place steaks between 2 layers of plastic and pound to a thickness of 1/4 inch.

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  • Place 2 cups flour in a shallow bowl.

  • Stir together baking powder, baking soda 1 teaspoon pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in second shallow bowl. Add buttermilk, Tabasco sauce, egg, and garlic; stir to combine.

  • Heat shortening in a deep cast-iron skillet to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Place a wire rack over a sheet of parchment paper.

  • While the shortening is heating, dredge a steak in flour to coat; shake off excess. Dip into buttermilk batter; lift up so excess batter drips back into the bowl. Press in flour again to coat both sides completely. Place breaded steak on the wire rack and repeat to bread remaining steaks.

  • Fry steaks, in batches if necessary, until evenly golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove steaks to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Cover with foil to keep warm while you make the gravy.

  • Drain fat from the skillet, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid and as much of the solid remnants as possible.

  • Return the skillet to medium-low heat; add the reserved oil. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup flour into the oil. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to release solids into the gravy.

  • Stir in milk, increase the heat to medium, and bring the gravy to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until thick, 6 to 7 minutes. Season with kosher salt and pepper.

  • Transfer steaks to a platter and pour gravy over top.

Editor's Notes:

The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the breading ingredients. The actual amount of the breading consumed will vary.

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts

832 calories; protein 68.2g; carbohydrates 71.1g; fat 28.6g; cholesterol 206.3mg; sodium 1273.4mg. Full Nutrition
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