Chicken Fried Steak with Country Gravy

Chicken Fried Steaks with Country Gravy and Mashed Potatoes

Despite all the meat I’ve eaten this week (pork, beef shanks, and lamb), I still found myself with a hankerin’ for some meat. Not just any meat though, I’m talking about a deep fried slab of chicken fried steak smothered in a rich creamy gravy.

Yep, that’s right… chicken fried steak is a piece of beef that’s been fried like chicken then covered with a gravy made from the fry fat. If you’re from the South, this dish needs no introduction, but for all my Yankee and foreign readers, this is a Southern staple that’s about as tasty as it is bad for you.

It’s basically a cheap cut of beef (such as a bottom round or cube steak) that you beat the living daylights out of. Then it’s dredge in buttermilk, egg, and seasoned flour before being deep fried until golden and crisp on both sides. The chicken fried steak alone would make for a cardiologists nightmare, but then it’s drown in a cream based gravy. I’ve tried to reduce the heart attack quotient a little by shallow frying in vegetable oil (instead of lard) and by making the gravy with milk instead of cream, but I won’t lie to you, there’s not much you can do to make this “healthy” without stealing from the soul of this dish.

I love having this with mashed potatoes (for which I use skin-on yukon golds) and if I’m feeling ambitious I’ll make a side of cheesy fried green tomatoes to go with it. If you want to go for the full coronary, fry up a couple eggs sunny side up and pile them on top. All of this must then be liberally covered in the heavenly gravy.

Chicken Fried Steak

2 1/2 lbs bottom round steaks
plain yogurt (or buttermilk)

for flour mixture
1 c flour
1 Tbs kosher salt (1/2 tsp table salt)
black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cayennne pepper

for egg wash
1 extra large egg
2 tbs milk

for gravy
2 tbs flour mixture (from dredging the steaks)
2 tbs oil
2 tbs shallots
1/4 C chicken stock
1 C milk
1/4tsp dried thyme
salt pepper

Bottom Round steaks pounded out

Yogurt smeared all over steaks

Pound out the steaks using a mallet or the bottom of a heavy pan such as a cast iron skillet or dutch oven. Then using a needle style tenderizer jab at the meat until it’s about 1/4″ thick. If you’re steaks are oblong you may want to cut them in half to make them easier to handle. Salt and pepper both sides then rub about a tablespoon of yogurt onto each side of the steak. Set them on a wire rack to air dry for about 15-20 minutes.

In one shallow bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the flour mixture. In another shallow bowl whisk together the egg and milk. Drop a steak in the flour and thoroughly coat with flour. Then dip it in the egg, shake off the excess then coat it with flour again. Place the steak back on the rack and repeat with the other pieces.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F and put a wire rack over a baking sheet in the oven.

Add about 1/4″ of oil to a heavy bottomed frying pan and place over medium heat until the oil is shimmering and hits 375 degrees F. When the oil is hot, add a steak (or 2 if they fit) and do not disturb until you see the edges become golden brown. Carefully flip and let the other side brown. When they’re golden brown on both sides, transfer them to the wire rack in the oven to keep them warm then fry the rest of the steaks.

When the steaks are done, Use paper towels to sop up all but 2 tablespoons of oil leaving the browned bits in the pan. Add the shallots and saute until they are fragrant. Add 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture you used to dredge the steaks in and stir to absorb the grease.

Turn down the heat and whisk in the chicken stock and milk continuing to whisk until there are no lumps left. Turn up the heat then add the thyme and salt and pepper to taste. It will thicken as it comes to a boil.

To serve, just plate the fried steaks and cover with gravy. I like to serve this with mashed yukon gold potatoes with the gravy all over everything.

  • http://www.figandcherry.com/ Christie @ fig&cherry

    You are evil Marc!!

  • http://www.figandcherry.com/ Christie @ fig&cherry

    You are evil Marc!!

  • http://www.shelbymaelawstories.blogspot.com/ HoneyB

    Grumpy LOVES Chicken Fried steak. I bet he would love to be sitting at YOUR dinner table! :D

  • http://www.shelbymaelawstories.blogspot.com HoneyB

    Grumpy LOVES Chicken Fried steak. I bet he would love to be sitting at YOUR dinner table! :D

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com/ Peter G

    Bring it on! You need to indulge occasionally to remind yourself “life is worth living”…divine! I’ll have seconds please!

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com Peter G

    Bring it on! You need to indulge occasionally to remind yourself “life is worth living”…divine! I’ll have seconds please!

  • http://www.janespice.com/ ursula

    this is a perfect way to break my diet of no fried food. On a side note: I was asked to put together a top ten great food blog list from blogs.com. I really enjoy your site. You are featured. Here is the link:
    http://www.blogs.com/topten/10-great-food-blogs/

  • http://www.janespice.com ursula

    this is a perfect way to break my diet of no fried food. On a side note: I was asked to put together a top ten great food blog list from blogs.com. I really enjoy your site. You are featured. Here is the link:
    http://www.blogs.com/topten/10-great-food-blogs/

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    I’ve usually been afraid to try CFS at restaurants because of the health factor (but really, how much more unhealthy is it than the usual…) and deep frying sounds like a really easy way to make the meat tough. Your recommending it goes a long way in alleviating my fears. Also, it helps to take as much care in preparing it as you did :)

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    I’ve usually been afraid to try CFS at restaurants because of the health factor (but really, how much more unhealthy is it than the usual…) and deep frying sounds like a really easy way to make the meat tough. Your recommending it goes a long way in alleviating my fears. Also, it helps to take as much care in preparing it as you did :)

  • http://schweetnsavory.blogspot.com/ Melissa

    Wow! I think I am going to need to go to the store right now and get the stuff to make this.

  • http://schweetnsavory.blogspot.com/ Melissa

    Wow! I think I am going to need to go to the store right now and get the stuff to make this.

  • http://www.eatingclubvancouver.com/ [eatingclub] vancouver || js

    That just looks freakinfantastic! For all my desire to eat “healthy,” I really can’t resist anything that’s been breaded and fried. Your version looks dynamite!

  • http://www.eatingclubvancouver.com [eatingclub] vancouver || js

    That just looks freakinfantastic! For all my desire to eat “healthy,” I really can’t resist anything that’s been breaded and fried. Your version looks dynamite!

  • http://www.palatetopen.com/ Jen

    This meal easily makes my top five, no doubt! Now the yogurt I ate for lunch just isn’t cuttin’ it :)

  • http://www.palatetopen.com Jen

    This meal easily makes my top five, no doubt! Now the yogurt I ate for lunch just isn’t cuttin’ it :)

  • http://www.soyandpepper.com/ Nilmandra

    Mmm gravy… :D

  • http://www.soyandpepper.com Nilmandra

    Mmm gravy… :D

  • http://www.cookeatfret.com/ claudia (cook et FRET)

    the gravy would be made with milk anyway…
    and these days, it’s all fried in vegetable oil

    you don’t really see much in the way of frying with lard and i’m in nashville.

    you did a perfect job on this
    i try and stay clear but like if i came over and you made this i’d lick the plate

  • http://www.cookeatfret.com claudia (cook et FRET)

    the gravy would be made with milk anyway…
    and these days, it’s all fried in vegetable oil

    you don’t really see much in the way of frying with lard and i’m in nashville.

    you did a perfect job on this
    i try and stay clear but like if i came over and you made this i’d lick the plate

  • http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.com/ Wandering Chopsticks

    Oh man! You’ve got me hungry! Love chicken fried steak. Love it so much, I even like the frozen Banquet dinners. :)

    • HB

      Haha I’m the same way…heck sometimes those frozen ones taste better than my “homemade” ones :)

  • http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.com Wandering Chopsticks

    Oh man! You’ve got me hungry! Love chicken fried steak. Love it so much, I even like the frozen Banquet dinners. :)

    • HB

      Haha I’m the same way…heck sometimes those frozen ones taste better than my “homemade” ones :)

  • John

    Man, I love chicken fried steak and I never made them at home. Your recipe convinced me to give it a try!

    Cheers,
    John

  • John

    Man, I love chicken fried steak and I never made them at home. Your recipe convinced me to give it a try!

    Cheers,
    John

  • http://gagainthekitchen.blogspot.com/ gaga

    I love chicken fried steak. Too bad I can only enjoy it once in a while since it’s so darn bad for you, but that’s what makes it so good too!

  • http://gagainthekitchen.blogspot.com gaga

    I love chicken fried steak. Too bad I can only enjoy it once in a while since it’s so darn bad for you, but that’s what makes it so good too!

  • Jason

    This is my first time on this site, so maybe I’m confused, but why is there a recipe on NORECIPES.com?

  • Jason

    This is my first time on this site, so maybe I’m confused, but why is there a recipe on NORECIPES.com?

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  • http://www.brendengunnell.com/ Brenden

    oh so bad for you, but oh so good. I have heartburn just thinking of it. But im STILL gonna make it tonight! : )

  • http://www.brendengunnell.com Brenden

    oh so bad for you, but oh so good. I have heartburn just thinking of it. But im STILL gonna make it tonight! : )

  • Sylvia

    made this last night and my partner LOVE the gravy. he practically licked the plate clean. cheers.

  • Sylvia

    made this last night and my partner LOVE the gravy. he practically licked the plate clean. cheers.

  • http://appetiteforgood.com patrick

    Marc!!! one question! how do you get the breading to stick onto the cfs?? Im a born and bred texan and chicken fried steak is MY FAVORITE FOOD in the ENTIRE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NYC is ridiculous in not having a decent chicken fried steak so i've spent the past 4 years trying to perfect my chicken fried steak and it tastes pretty damn good! BUTTTTTT my main problem is i cant get the breading to stick! I miss a good texan chicken fried steak!

  • norecipes

    Hi Patrick, if you flour the steak first, before you egg it and flour it
    again, the breading should stick to the meat.

  • http://www.homewithmandy.com Home with Mandy

    YUM! Just like my momma made them in Houston growing up. I'm making chicken fried steak sliders for dinner tonight and needed a refresher on the recipe. I can't wait for the gravy, my favorite part – hopefully there will be leftover gravy for biscuits in the morning. Great post!

  • http://twitter.com/swordofdestiny swordofdestiny

    Quick question, what’s the yogurt for? I’ve made cfs plenty of times (in fact you’ve seen a picture of my cfs http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p85/swordofdestiny/Food/IMG_1307.jpg), but I’ve never used yogurt. I also rub it down with my spices before tenderizing it in an attempt to have the spices penetrate the beef more. Also, I don’t know if you know, but there is an interesting story behind the conception of the chicken fried steak. Basically, one of the staple exports from Texas was beef. In order to make the most profit, we (I was born here, raised here and still live here in Texas today) shipped off all the select cuts of beef. A majority of the immigrants to Texas were German so CFS has its roots in the Germany’s version of “Schnitzel” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schnitzel#Germany). Chicken Fried Steak was an attempt to utilize the worst cuts of beef so that they could maximize profits and so that they wouldn’t waste beef. In my opinion, if you use premium, select, etc cuts of beef for chicken fried steak, you’re missing the point of it and abusing good steak.

    • Anonymous

      I used yogurt that day because I didn’t have any buttermilk. It serves as a
      meat tenderizer and it also makes it more moist. As for the cut, I was under
      the impression that bottom round is a cheap cut of meat. My local market
      carries it for 3.99/lbs which makes it about the cheapest cut next to
      chuck.

      • http://twitter.com/swordofdestiny swordofdestiny

        I wasn’t saying your cut was expensive. I was mentioning that because I’ve seen a lot of people online saying things like, “Bottom round? That’s terrible steak! Why not use tenderloin?” The whole point of the dish is to be able to make even the worst cuts of meat tender and edible. Sorry for the confusion there.

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I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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