Classic Chicken Fried Steak Recipe: Southern Comfort at Home


Chicken Fried Steak stands as a quintessential dish in Southern cuisine, celebrated for its crispy coating and tender, flavorful beef. Despite its misleading name, it isn’t chicken but a steak that’s breaded and fried to perfection, much like fried chicken. Complemented by a rich, creamy gravy, this dish epitomizes comfort food. Perfect for family gatherings or special occasions, Classic Chicken Fried Steak with Creamy Gravy is a meal that unites people with its hearty and satisfying flavors.

Ingredients for Chicken Fried Steak


For the Steak:

  • 4 cube steaks (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (optional)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

For the Creamy Gravy:

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preparing the Chicken Fried Steak

1. Tenderize the Steaks:
If your cube steaks aren’t pre-tenderized, place them between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound them with a meat mallet until they are about 1/4 inch thick. This step helps break down the muscle fibers, ensuring a tender steak.


2. Set Up the Dredging Stations:
In one shallow dish, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. In another shallow dish, mix the buttermilk, eggs, and hot sauce (if using).

3. Dredge the Steaks:
Dip each steak into the flour mixture, ensuring to shake off any extra coating. Dip it into the buttermilk mixture, allowing any excess to drip off, and then coat it again in the flour mixture, pressing the flour onto the steak to ensure a good coating.

4. Heat the Oil:
Pour enough vegetable oil into a large, heavy skillet to come up about 1/2 inch up the sides. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F (175°C), ensuring it’s adequately hot. You can use a thermometer or test the temperature by dropping a small piece of bread into the oil; if it sizzles and turns golden brown within a few seconds, the oil is ready.

5. Fry the Steaks:
Carefully place the breaded steaks into the hot oil, ensuring not to overcrowd the pan. Fry each side for approximately 3 to 4 minutes or until they turn golden brown and crispy. The internal temperature should reach 145°F (63°C). Remove the steaks from the oil and place them on a wire rack or paper towels to drain any excess oil. Repeat with the remaining steaks.

Preparing the Creamy Gravy

1. Make the Roux:
In the same skillet, carefully pour out all but about 1/4 cup of the oil, leaving the browned bits (fond) in the pan. Add the flour to the oil and whisk continuously over medium heat until the mixture turns golden brown and starts to bubble, which usually takes about 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Add the Milk and Cream:
Slowly whisk the milk and heavy cream into the mixture, ensuring it remains smooth without any lumps forming. Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the gravy thickens to your desired consistency, about 5-7 minutes.

3. Season the Gravy:
Season the gravy with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. If the gravy thickens too much, adjust the consistency by adding a small amount of milk.

Serving the Chicken Fried Steak

1. Plate the Steaks:
Place each fried steak on a serving plate. Generously spoon the creamy gravy over the top of each steak.

2. Garnish and Serve:
For an extra flourish, sprinkle chopped fresh parsley or chives on top. Serve promptly alongside traditional sides such as mashed potatoes, green beans, or a crisp salad.


Classic Chicken Fried Steak with Creamy Gravy embodies the warmth and hospitality of Southern cooking. The crispy, golden crust combined with the tender, flavorful beef and rich, savory gravy makes this meal a true comfort food staple. Whether you’re preparing it for a special family dinner or simply craving a taste of home, this recipe is sure to become a beloved favorite in your culinary repertoire. Enjoy the hearty, delicious flavors of this timeless dish, and savor the joy it brings to your table.

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