Delicious Chicken Fried Steak Recipe: Southern Comfort Food at Its Best
Chicken fried steak is a classic Southern American dish that features a breaded and fried steak. Despite its name, it doesn’t actually contain chicken, it’s beef that’s prepared in a similar way to fried chicken.
Here’s a basic recipe for making chicken fried steak:
- 4 beef cube steaks
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for some heat)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- Vegetable oil, for frying
1/ In a shallow dish, combine the flour, salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper (if using). This will be your coating mixture.
2/ In another shallow dish, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk.
3/ Heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it reaches 350-375°F (175-190°C).
4/ While the oil is heating, dip each cube steak into the flour mixture, making sure it’s coated evenly on both sides. Then, dip it into the egg mixture, allowing any excess to drip off, and coat it again with the flour mixture.
5/ Place the coated steaks into the hot oil. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown and crispy.
6/ Remove the chicken fried steaks from the skillet and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
7/ Serve hot with creamy country gravy, mashed potatoes, and your favorite Southern side dishes.
8/ For creamy country gravy, you can use the leftover oil in the skillet and add a few tablespoons of the leftover flour mixture to make a roux. Gradually whisk in milk and cook until the gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy your homemade chicken fried steak!
Tips and Tricks for Making a Delicious Chicken Fried Steak
Choose the Right Cut: Opt for cube steak, which is a tenderized cut of beef. It’s typically used for chicken fried steak due to its tenderness. If you can’t find cube steak, you can use round steak and tenderize it yourself with a meat mallet.
Tenderize the Steak: If you’re using round steak or if your cube steak isn’t very tender, tenderize it with a meat mallet to break down the muscle fibers and make it more tender.
Proper Seasoning: Season both the meat and the flour mixture generously.
Let the Coating Adhere: When coating the steak with flour, make sure it’s evenly and thoroughly coated. Press the flour mixture onto the steak to help it adhere properly.
Double Coating: Dip the steak in the egg mixture and flour mixture twice for an extra crispy coating.
Preheat the Oil: Make sure your oil is hot (around 350-375°F or 175-190°C) before adding the steaks. If the oil isn’t hot enough, the coating may become greasy.
Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: Fry the steaks in batches, if necessary, to avoid overcrowding the pan. Overcrowding can lower the oil temperature and make the coating less crispy.
Use a Thermometer: To ensure the steak is cooked perfectly, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should reach 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare and up to 160°F (71°C) for well done.
Drain on Paper Towels: After frying, place the chicken fried steaks on a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil and keep them crispy.
Serve with Gravy: Chicken fried steak is often served with creamy country gravy. Be sure to make a delicious gravy to go with it.
Pair with Southern Sides: Common side dishes include mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, or biscuits to complete the Southern comfort food experience.
Garnish: You can garnish your chicken fried steak with some fresh parsley or a sprinkle of paprika for a touch of color and flavor.
Common Mistake to Avoid
Here are some typical errors to watch out for:
Not Tenderizing the Meat: If you’re not using cube steak, failing to tenderize the meat can result in a tough and chewy steak. Always tenderize round steak or similar cuts before coating and frying.
Inadequate Seasoning: Under-seasoning the steak or the flour mixture can result in a bland dish. Be generous with your seasoning to infuse flavor into both the meat and the breading.
Using Cold Meat: Using cold steak can cause the breading to separate from the meat during frying. Let the meat come to room temperature before breading and frying.
Overcrowding the Pan: Frying too many steaks at once can cause the oil temperature to drop, resulting in soggy, greasy breading. Fry in batches if necessary to maintain a consistent oil temperature.
Improper Oil Temperature: Frying at the wrong oil temperature can lead to uneven cooking. The oil should be between 350-375°F (175-190°C) for the best results.
Skipping the Double Coating: A single dip in the egg and flour mixture may result in a less crispy coating. Double-coating the steak ensures a thicker and crunchier crust.
Using the Wrong Oil: Use a neutral oil with a high smoke point, like vegetable oil or canola oil. Avoid oils with strong flavors like olive oil.
Not Draining Excess Oil: Failing to drain the fried steaks on paper towels can leave them excessively greasy. Drain them properly to maintain the desired texture.
Overcooking the Steak: Overcooking the steak can result in a dry and tough texture.
Not Making Gravy: Chicken fried steak is traditionally served with creamy country gravy. Skipping the gravy can leave the dish feeling incomplete.
Choosing the Wrong Sides: Pairing with the wrong sides can detract from the overall experience. Stick to classic Southern sides like mashed potatoes, greens, or biscuits for an authentic meal.
Not Letting It Rest: Allowing the cooked steak to rest for a few minutes before serving can help the juices redistribute, making for a juicier and more tender result.
By being mindful of these common mistakes, you can ensure your chicken fried steak turns out crispy, flavorful, and satisfying.
The Nutrition Facts
The nutrition facts for chicken fried steak can vary depending on the specific recipe and portion size. However, here’s a general approximation for a typical serving of chicken fried steak (about 4-6 ounces of meat) without gravy:
- Calories: Approximately 300-400 calories
- Protein: 20-30 grams
- Total Fat: 15-25 grams
- Saturated Fat: 4-8 grams
- Trans Fat: Varies depending on cooking method
- Carbohydrates: 15-25 grams
- Dietary Fiber: 1-2 grams
- Sugars: 1-2 grams
- Sodium: 800-1,200 milligrams
The exact nutritional values can vary based on factors like the size of the steak, the thickness of the breading, and the amount of oil absorbed during frying. Additionally, the nutrition facts can change significantly if served with gravy, biscuits, and other side dishes.