This Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy is the epitome of Southern comfort food. Fried in a cast iron skillet until crispy and golden, it’s smothered with a creamy rich pan gravy for the finish.
Easy Southern Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy Recipe
What is chicken fried steak? Depending on the region of the South you’re from, you may have also heard it called country fried steak. It’s a breaded sirloin steak that’s been coated with a coating similar to fried chicken. It begins with tenderized thin cut sirloin steak that the butcher has run through an electric tenderizer. The process transforms it into cube steak. It’s then dipped into a seasoned flour and egg wash using the same technique for making fried chicken, hence the name.
How to Make the Best Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy Recipe
- Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy: Sirloin cube steak, self rising flour (or all purpose), panko breadcrumbs, seasoned salt, granulated garlic, onion powder , paprika, cayenne, whole milk, large eggs and vegetable oil or peanut oil for frying. You’ll also need fresh snipped chives for garnishing.
- To make the homemade gravy you’ll need: Pan drippings from frying the steak, all purpose flour, half and half or whole milk, black pepper, salt and beef stock or beef broth. Self rising flour adds another level of crispy texture to the breading. You can use the same amount of all-purpose flour for the breading add 2 tsp baking powder.
- Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: A large skillet, three shallow bowls to prepare the dredging station, a whisk, measuring cups and spoons.
- What kind of steak do you use to make chicken fried steak? A thin cut sirloin or top round will work perfectly for this recipe although sirloin is most commonly used.
- What is cube steak? This refers to a sirloin steak that’s been run through a meat tenderizer by the butcher resulting in “cubes” hence the name. Depending on where you are in the country it’s referred to as cube or cubed steak.
- I like to add panko breadcrumbs to a seasoned flour mixture to give the coating more crunch. It’s a bit of a departure from a traditional Southern breading, but it adds such a nice crispy texture. It’s become my preferred method to add the extra crunch that we love. The coating is applied in a dredging fashion similar to Southern fried chicken.
- How long do you cook chicken fried steak? Cube steak cooks fairly quickly and will only take about 3-4 minutes per side to cook through. When frying in batches, it’s helpful to have nearby a pan with an oven safe rack to place cooked steaks on and into the oven to keep warm.
- To keep steaks crisp after frying, rest pieces on a wire rack and place them into a preheated 225°F oven to keep warm while you make the gravy.
- How do you make pan gravy? Rich pan gravy is the classic topping for this steak and it’s not hard to make. Scrape all the brown bits on the bottom of the skillet from frying the steaks. Add all purpose flour, cooking for 1-2 minutes then whisk in the seasonings. while whisking constantly, add the liquids per the recipe until it’s fully combined. Once it begins to bubble, immediately lower the heat and allow it to gently bubble and thicken for 5 minutes. Serve it drizzled over the steak and it’s ready to serve.
- Chicken fried steak is best made and served. Store leftover Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in a skillet or crisp in a preheated 350°F oven for a few minutes.
Side Dishes to Serve with Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy
Serve this gravy smothered chicken fried steak with a generous scoop of mashed potatoes, or buttered rice and bacon wrapped asparagus. A stack of buttered biscuits to sop up the gravy sure wouldn’t hurt, and a pitcher of sweet tea to wash it all down would make it a well rounded meal. Other Southern comfort food favorites to make:
- Finger licking delicious Buttermilk Fried Chicken.
- Creamy and simple to make Southern Style Macaroni and Cheese.
- For more Southern comfort dishes checkout my Chicken Fried Chicken with Peppered Milk Gravy, too.
- Other main dish inspiration you may like to try are this recipe for Salisbury Steak from Miss in the Kitchen.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy
- 3 lb cube sirloin steaks
- 2 1/2 cup self-rising flour (or all purpose flour)
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt or creole seasoning
- 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 Tbsp pan drippings
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp seasoned salt
- 1 14.5 oz can beef broth
- 2/3-3/4 cup half and half or cream
- 2 tsp fresh chives chopped
- Season the cube steaks on both sides with seasoned salt and black pepper.
- Sift together the self-rising flour, panko breadcrumbs, 1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt, 1 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder, smoked paprika and cayenne. Set aside.
- Whisk together the milk and eggs.
- Dip the steaks into the seasoned flour, then into the egg wash, then back into the seasoned flour.
- Place onto a pan. After all of the steaks are breaded refrigerate for 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.
- To prepare: Preheat the oven to 225°F and fit a baking rack into a baking pan.
- Heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil to 345-350°F in a 12-inch cast iron skillet or similar.
- Fry the steak in batches cooking for 3-4 minutes per side until golden. Monitor the level of heat so as not to over brown.
- Place on the rack and into the oven to keep warm while you make the gravy.
- To make the gravy: Discard all but 4 Tbsp of the drippings.
- Add the flour to the drippings stirring constantly over medium. Cook until brown around 1 minute. Add the seasonings.
- Gradually add the beef broth whisking constantly. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the half & half. Bring to a boil. Thin further with additional half & half, if desired.
- Lower the heat and allow the gravy to gently simmer for 3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt, if needed.
- Stir in the chives just before serving.
- Serve drizzled over the chicken fried steak.