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Chicken-Fried Steak & Gravy

As a child, my grandmother taught me how to make this chicken-fried steak. I taught my daughters, and when my granddaughters are bigger, I’ll show them, too. —Donna Cater, Fort Ann, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% milk, divided
  • 4 beef cubed steaks (6 ounces each)
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 cup water

Directions

  • Place 1 cup flour in a shallow bowl. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk eggs and 1/2 cup milk until blended. Sprinkle steaks with 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Dip in flour to coat both sides; shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture, then again in flour.
  • In a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet, heat 1/4 in. of oil over medium heat. Add steaks; cook until golden brown and a thermometer reads 160°, 4-6 minutes on each side. Remove from pan; drain on paper towels. Keep warm.
  • Remove all but 2 tablespoons oil from pan. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until smooth; cook and stir over medium heat until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Gradually whisk in water and remaining milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Serve with steaks.

Chicken-Fried Steak Tips

What is the difference between country-fried steak and chicken-fried steak?

Many people use the terms interchangeably, so there is no guaranteed difference when you’re comparing this to a country-fried steak recipe. Some Southerners may differentiate the two by their gravies: chicken-fried steak is typically served with a milk-based gravy, while country-fried steak often has a beef-based gravy (or a gravy made with both beef broth and dairy). That’s not universal, though—Cracker Barrel serves its country-fried steak with sawmill gravy, which is made with milk. (We have a similar recipe, as well as other Cracker Barrel copycat recipes.) 

What is the best cut of meat for chicken-fried steak?

Tough and cheap cuts of steak like cubed steak or round steak work best. Cubed steaks are from the round, and they’ve already been pounded with a tenderizing mallet at the butcher. You can tenderize your own round steaks at home by buying thin steaks, covering them with plastic wrap and beating them with a mallet to achieve roughly a 1/4-inch thickness.  

Do you wash cubed steak before cooking?

No, there’s no need to wash cubed steak before cooking.

Can chicken-fried steak be a little pink?

Yes, it’s safe for chicken-fried steak to be a little pink. The thinner your steak, the faster it will cook, though. So by the time you get a nice golden brown exterior, your steak might already be cooked through.

Research contributed by
Nutrition Facts
1 steak with 1/3 cup gravy: 563 calories, 28g fat (5g saturated fat), 148mg cholesterol, 839mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 1g fiber), 46g protein.