chicken-fried steak

Chicken fried steak

Chicken fried steak (also known as country fried steak) is a piece of beef steak (tenderized cube steak) coated with seasoned flour and pan fried. It is associated with Southern U.S. cuisine and hospitality. Its name is likely due to chicken fried steak's similarity in preparation to fried chicken, though the dish is also similar to the classic Viennese dish Wiener Schnitzel, a tenderized veal cutlet, coated with flour, eggs and breadcrumbs and fried.


The precise origins of the dish are unclear but many sources attribute its development to German and Austrian immigrants to Texas in the nineteenth century who brought recipes from Europe to the USA: Wiener Schnitzel. The German preparation, of course, is different but the similarities are obvious. Lamesa, the seat of Dawson County on the Texas South Plains, claims to be the birthplace of chicken fried steak, as does Bandera, TX, home to the Corn Bread cafe, owned and operated by former chuck wagon chef, John Neutzling.

Chicken fried steak is among numerous popular dishes which make up the official state meal of Oklahoma.


Chicken fried steak is prepared by taking a thin cut of beef steak and tenderizing it by pounding. It is then either immersed in egg batter and/or dredged in flour to which salt, pepper, and often other seasonings, have been added (called breading). After this, the steak is fried in a skillet or, less commonly, deep-fried. The frying medium has traditionally been butter, lard, or other shortening, but in recent years health concerns have led most cooks to substitute vegetable oil. Country fried steak, as it is called in states east of the Red River, is made without egg wash.

The cuts of steak used for chicken fried steak are usually the less expensive, less desirable ones, such as chuck steak, cubed steak , round steak, and occasionally flank steak. The method is also sometimes used for chopped, ground, or especially cube steak. When ground beef is used, it is sometimes called a "chuckwagon". Chicken Fried Steak is usually served for lunch or dinner topped with cream gravy, and with mashed potatoes and vegetables, and biscuits served on the side.

The "CFS", as it also known, can be served on a hamburger bun as a sandwich, cubed and stuffed in a baked potato with the gravy and cheese, or cut into strips and served in a basket with fries and gravy, which is then known as "steak fingers".


Variants are common, with chicken fried chicken having appeared on many menus substituting a boneless chicken breast for the steak. The dish known as "chicken fried chicken" differs from the dish known as "fried chicken" because the meat has been removed from the bones, but the breading process is similar. Another variant is steak fried chicken.

Boneless pork chops, usually center cut, are served in this manner, as well as beef cutlet (tenderized round steak), or boneless chicken breasts.

Note that although the dish described here is the most common definition of "Country fried steak," some regions of the U.S. use this term to refer to what in other regions would be called chicken fried chicken (or at least something similar depending on how one precisely defines the recipes). Typically, in Texas, chicken fried steak is served with traditional peppered milk gravy.

In some areas, Country Steak may refer to Salisbury steak, a chopped beef patty in brown gravy.

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