Southern Chicken Fried Steak: A Taste of Southern Comfort

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Prepare to embark on a culinary journey to the heart of the South with our recipe for Southern Chicken Fried Steak. This beloved classic is a testament to Southern comfort food at its finest, featuring tender cube steaks coated in a crispy, golden breading and smothered in a rich and creamy gravy. Whether you’re craving a taste of nostalgia or looking to impress your family and friends, this dish is sure to hit the spot.

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  • 4 cube steaks, 4 to 6 ounces each
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups flour, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 cups milk, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Prepare the Cube Steaks: Season the cube steaks on both sides with 1 teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Set aside while you prepare the breading.
  2. Create the Breading: In a shallow dish, combine 2 cups of flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix well to combine.
  3. Dredge the Steaks: In a separate shallow dish, whisk together 2 eggs and 1 cup of milk. Dip each seasoned cube steak into the egg mixture, then dredge in the flour mixture, ensuring the steaks are evenly coated.
  4. Fry the Steaks: In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Carefully add the breaded cube steaks to the hot oil, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the skillet. Fry the steaks for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer the cooked steaks to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  5. Make the Gravy: In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes to create a roux. Gradually whisk in the remaining 5 cups of milk, stirring until the mixture thickens and begins to simmer. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve and Enjoy: Spoon the creamy gravy over the fried cube steaks and serve hot, alongside your favorite Southern sides such as mashed potatoes, collard greens, or biscuits.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Tenderize the Steaks: For extra tender cube steaks, use a meat mallet to pound the steaks to an even thickness before seasoning and breading.
  • Add Flavor to the Breading: Enhance the flavor of the breading by adding additional seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, or smoked paprika.
  • Double Dip for Extra Crispiness: For an extra crispy coating, dip the breaded cube steaks back into the egg mixture and flour mixture before frying a second time.
  • Customize the Gravy: Personalize the gravy by adding diced onions, minced garlic, or a splash of Worcestershire sauce for added depth of flavor.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

Q: Can I use a different cut of meat for this recipe? A: While cube steak is traditional for Chicken Fried Steak, you can also use round steak or sirloin steak as alternatives. Just be sure to tenderize the meat before breading.

Q: Can I make this recipe gluten-free? A: Yes, you can make this recipe gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour blend in place of all-purpose flour and ensuring that all other ingredients are gluten-free.

Q: How can I keep the breading from falling off the steaks during frying? A: To help the breading adhere to the steaks, pat the steaks dry with paper towels before dredging in the flour mixture, and press the breading firmly onto the steaks to ensure it sticks.

Q: Can I make this recipe ahead of time? A: While Chicken Fried Steak is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the breaded steaks in advance and refrigerate them for up to 4 hours before frying. Cook the steaks just before serving for the best results.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

Keto Version:

  • Replace the all-purpose flour and cornmeal with almond flour or coconut flour for a low-carb breading.
  • Use heavy cream or almond milk in place of regular milk in both the breading and gravy for a keto-friendly option.
  • Cook the steaks in avocado oil or another keto-friendly oil instead of vegetable oil.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Reduce the amount of flour and cornmeal in the breading mixture and use almond flour or crushed pork rinds for a lower carb option.
  • Serve the Chicken Fried Steak with low-carb sides such as cauliflower mash, sautéed spinach, or roasted broccoli for a complete low-carb meal.
  • Use a low-carb thickener such as xanthan gum or arrowroot powder in the gravy in place of flour.

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Indulge in the comforting flavors of Southern Chicken Fried Steak for a taste of true Southern hospitality. With its crispy, golden breading, tender cube steaks, and creamy gravy, this dish is a true Southern classic that never fails to satisfy. Whether enjoyed as a hearty dinner or served up for a special occasion, Chicken Fried Steak is sure to bring joy to your table and leave your guests asking for seconds. So roll up your sleeves, dust off your skillet, and get ready to savor the irresistible flavors of the South with this beloved recipe!

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