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Chicken-Fried Steak & Gravy

As a child, my grandmother taught me how to make this chicken-fried steak. I taught my daughters, and when my granddaughters are bigger, I’ll show them, too. —Donna Cater, Fort Ann, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% milk, divided
  • 4 beef cubed steaks (6 ounces each)
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 cup water

Directions

  • Place 1 cup flour in a shallow bowl. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk eggs and 1/2 cup milk until blended. Sprinkle steaks with 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Dip in flour to coat both sides; shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture, then again in flour.
  • In a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet, heat 1/4 in. of oil over medium heat. Add steaks; cook until golden brown and a thermometer reads 160°, 4-6 minutes on each side. Remove from pan; drain on paper towels. Keep warm.
  • Remove all but 2 tablespoons oil from pan. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until smooth; cook and stir over medium heat until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Gradually whisk in water and remaining milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Serve with steaks.

Chicken-Fried Steak Tips

What is the difference between country-fried steak and chicken-fried steak?

Many people use the terms interchangeably, so there is no guaranteed difference when you’re comparing this to a country-fried steak recipe. Some Southerners may differentiate the two by their gravies: chicken-fried steak is typically served with a milk-based gravy, while country-fried steak often has a beef-based gravy (or a gravy made with both beef broth and dairy). That’s not universal, though—Cracker Barrel serves its country-fried steak with sawmill gravy, which is made with milk. (We have a similar recipe, as well as other Cracker Barrel copycat recipes.) 

What is the best cut of meat for chicken-fried steak?

Tough and cheap cuts of steak like cubed steak or round steak work best. Cubed steaks are from the round, and they’ve already been pounded with a tenderizing mallet at the butcher. You can tenderize your own round steaks at home by buying thin steaks, covering them with plastic wrap and beating them with a mallet to achieve roughly a 1/4-inch thickness.  

Do you wash cubed steak before cooking?

No, there’s no need to wash cubed steak before cooking.

Can chicken-fried steak be a little pink?

Yes, it’s safe for chicken-fried steak to be a little pink. The thinner your steak, the faster it will cook, though. So by the time you get a nice golden brown exterior, your steak might already be cooked through.

Research contributed by
Nutrition Facts
1 steak with 1/3 cup gravy: 563 calories, 28g fat (5g saturated fat), 148mg cholesterol, 839mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 1g fiber), 46g protein.

Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • SaraMarx
    Feb 17, 2021

    It tasted ok but I will never prepare this again! What a greasy, messy job! I'll grab this at a restaurant if I want to eat it again

  • tina
    Jan 9, 2021

    Why is it called chicken fried steak, but using beef?

  • Rhonda Noh
    Sep 24, 2020

    This has been my basic recipe for a lifetime except after dipping in eggs (I don't add water or milk), I put the steak in crushed saltine cracker crumbs, then fry.

  • MamaMeese
    Aug 11, 2020

    This is one of the worst recipes I have made in years. It was bland and unappetizing. We threw it all in the trash.

  • Hellen
    Jun 8, 2020

    Absolutely delicious. Easy to prepare and a meal the whole family loved.

  • RovingWino
    Jun 7, 2020

    I agree with most that it is a good basic start. It's really bland as written and I would add garlic and onion powder. I like spice so I would take it a step further and add a little paprika and cayenne. The gravy is a lot better using milk with no water. You'll probably want to make more than called for if you make mashed potatoes with it.

  • cdun
    May 17, 2020

    Jersey...Richard said it was a start so he either made it with additions or knew of which he spoke because he was familiar with the best chicken fried steak to ever hit a plate!!

  • Jersey
    Apr 16, 2020

    Richard-are you aware all reviews are added together for an overall rating? Do you feel it's ok to rate a recipe 3 stars and then brag about a restaurants recipe? Did you even make this? Mine came out great.

  • Donna
    Mar 21, 2020

    No comment left

  • Richard
    Mar 20, 2020

    This is a start, but there is a great restaurant in Austin named Threadgill's that makes as good a CFS as any. Mary's is sometimes the winner at this, but at least you can get the recipe from Threadgill's by checking online. Basically, the same as this one with the important additions of several more seasonings for flavor and making the gravy white, which is the usual color in Texas. CFS is an awesome dish anytime, IMO!