This easy Chicken Fried Steak is full of flavor, making a hearty and satisfying meal the family will love!
We love Chicken Fried Steak - the hearty, crowd-pleasing comfort food that satisfies on so many levels!
Tender cube steak, encrusted in a crispy flavorsome batter, and smothered in a creamy, peppery gravy - hungry yet? We know we are!
Despite its name, this dish doesn’t have any actual chicken in it! 'Chicken fried' refers to the way the steak is cooked - just like fried chicken! You can serve it with gravy and green beans, or inside Chicken Fried Steak Sandwiches.
This Southern classic is always a hit and is quick and easy to put together. You'll only need around 10 minutes preparation time and just 15 minutes to cook it - yet the flavors are as good as if you’d slaved over the oven all day!
How to make easy Chicken Fried Steak
This recipe serves 4
For the steaks:
4 cube steaks, approx. 1⁄4 lb each
1 1⁄2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp black pepper, divided
2 tsp salt, divided
1⁄2 tsp smoked paprika
1⁄2 tsp onion powder
1⁄2 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1 1⁄2 cups buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
For the gravy:
3 tbsp pan drippings
4 tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1⁄2 cup heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste
To prepare the steaks
- Start by mixing the dry ingredients from the steak ingredients, but only use 1 tsp each of the salt and pepper.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs.
- Pat dry the steaks and season each steak with the remaining tsp each of salt and pepper.
- Dredge the steaks in the flour. Shake off any excess and then dredge in the liquid mixture, then back in the flour one more time. This will help create a nice, thick batter that will crisp up perfectly.
- Lay the steaks on a wire rack and let them sit for 10 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees fahrenheit.
- Fill a heavy skillet or iron-cast skillet with vegetable oil and place over a medium heat. To keep these a bit healthier, we recommend shallow-frying the steaks, so only use enough oil to fill the pan about 1⁄4 inch deep.
- Test the temperature of your oil to see if it’s ready for frying - it should be anywhere between 320-240 degrees fahrenheit. You’ll want your oil to glisten, and not to be smoking (this is so that the meat will cook without the batter burning).
- Fry steaks 2 at a time, 4 minutes on each side. Only turn once, otherwise the batter may fall off.
- Drain the steaks on paper towel to remove any excess oil.
- Place the drained steaks into the pre-heated oven to keep warm.
To prepare the gravy
- Drain the skillet of oil, reserving 3 tbsp, but do not scrape the pan! This will help create the base for a gravy full of flavor.
- Add the 3 tbsp of the oil back to the pan.
- Stir the flour into the oil and cook for a few minutes until golden.
- Combine the milk and cream and drizzle about 2 1⁄2 cups into the pan, whisking constantly.
- Keep whisking until the gravy comes to a simmer, which should take anywhere between 5-7 minutes. Your gravy should be creamy and rich, but not too thick.
- Season with salt and pepper (this gravy is meant to be quite peppery, so don’t be sparing on the seasoning).
Remove the steaks from the oven and place on a serving dish. Smother the steaks in the delicious, creamy gravy and serve alongside homemade mashed potatoes and buttered green beans - you’ve got yourself a winner!
You can store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days, but we wouldn’t recommend storing for any longer than this due to the fresh cream used in the gravy.