How to Make Chicken-Fried Steak

Treat your family to a chicken-fried steak and gravy dinner

fried steak
Diana Rattray

Chicken-fried steak has been popular in the South, Southwest, and Midwest for decades. Less expensive round steak is typically used for the fried steaks. The steak is pounded to thin and tenderize and then it's battered and fried in oil or shortening. Some of the drippings are used to make the tasty milk gravy.

Country-fried steaks are similar, but they're usually dusted with seasoned flour (no eggs) and finished with a brown gravy.

Onions are often cooked and added to the gravy. You might find that the names are used interchangeably in various recipes and restaurants.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: 25 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Cut large round steak -- about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds -- into 4 serving-size portions. Place pieces between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper and pound with a meat mallet until quite thin and tenderized.
  2. Sprinkle the steaks on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. In a bowl, whisk 1 egg with 1 cup of milk.
  4. Put about 1 cup of flour in another bowl.
  5. Dip the steak pieces into the egg mixture and then dredge in the flour.
  6. Melt about 3 to 4 tablespoons of shortening or vegetable in a heavy skillet over medium heat.
  7. Arrange the coated steaks in the hot fat and fry until crisp and golden brown on both sides.
  8. Remove steaks to a rack to drain; transfer to a warm plate and keep warm while making gravy. 
  1. Pour off most oil in the skillet, leaving about 1 tablespoon; sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour into the drippings left in the bottom of the pan. Cook while stirring constantly, scraping up the browned bits in the bottom of the pan, until the flour is lightly browned. 
  2. Add 1 cup of milk, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over low heat for about 4 minutes, or until thick and creamy.
  1. Season the gravy with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour the gravy over the steak and serve hot.


Serving Suggestions

Serve chicken-fried steaks with mashed potatoes and southern greens or green beans. Or serve with cream-style or butter-fried fresh corn.

What You Need:

Steak

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds round steak
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • flour for dredging

Gravy

  • 1 cup milk or light cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Tips:

  • Country-fried steak is often made without the egg batter and a brown gravy. Just dredge in seasoned flour then fry. Make the gravy with unsalted beef stock or water.
  • Brown onions in the skillet in the shortening or oil. Remove them and set aside. Cook the steaks and then add the onions back to the pan when you make the gravy.

See Also

Country Fried Cube Steak with Gravy

Cube Steak Casserole with Potatoes and Carrots