👨‍🍳 Authentic Texas Chicken Fried Steak Recipe

by | Jul 2, 2024 | Chicken Recipes, Fried Chicken Recipes

The Texas Chicken Fried Steak is a beloved star of Southern meals. It’s an iconic part of Texan culture, much like chili or the Alamo. This dish is known for its rich flavor and satisfying crispiness. In fact, the state even has a special day for it, on October 26.

Picture yourself savoring a beef cutlet that has been tenderized, coated twice in seasoned flour, and fried until it’s a beautiful golden brown. The recipe’s key is in the right choice of meat. Cubed steak, top round, sirloin, or eye of round are great options, giving each bite a distinct feel. When served with a luscious, buttery gravy made from evaporated milk, this meal becomes more than food—it becomes a cherished experience.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day is celebrated on October 26.
  • Cube steak is the traditional cut, though top round, sirloin, or eye of round are also recommended.
  • For creamy and buttery gravy, evaporated milk is highly recommended.
  • Resting the breaded steaks for 15-20 minutes before frying ensures the coating adheres well.
  • Ideal frying temperature is around 350°F, not dropping below 325°F.

Watch out as we explore the rich history, cooking tips, and hidden secrets of this Texas favorite.

Introduction to the Classic Texas Dish

Chicken fried steak is at the heart of Texas comfort food. It’s a traditional southern dish that tells a story through its rich flavors. This dish has a special place in Texan culture and cuisine.

History of Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken fried steak’s story begins in the 19th century with German and Austrian immigrants in Texas. They used a method similar to schnitzel but with the local ingredients. Originally, it was made from top-round beef and cooked like fried chicken, giving it its name. By the early 1950s, it was referred to as “chicken-fried steak” in print, solidifying its place in American food.

Today, it’s a favorite at family events and is celebrated on Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day, thanks to a 2011 decision by the Texas House of Representatives. This dish is more than food; it’s a cultural icon.

Why It’s a Texas Comfort Food Favorite

Chicken fried steak is known for its crunchy outside and juicy inside. It’s a big hit in Texas, where about 800,000 servings are enjoyed daily. Not just in Texas, it’s part of the official state meal in Oklahoma too.

Serving this meal feels like sharing a warm, comforting hug. It’s a top choice for many, with over 20,000 sold every year at three well-known spots. And let’s not forget the creamy gravy that makes it even more delicious. Whether it’s a special day or a regular meal, chicken fried steak signifies Texan tradition and pride.

The Best Cuts of Beef for Chicken Fried Steak

Choosing the right beef is key for a perfect Texas chicken fried steak. While cube steak is the classic pick, other cuts like top round and eye of round work well too. They can be just as tender and full of flavor.

Cube Steak

Cube steak, cut from top round or top sirloin, is a top choice. It’s already tenderized, which makes it simple to cook and very juicy. On top of that, it’s friendly to your wallet, offering a great value. best cuts of beef

Top Round

If you can’t find cube steak, top round is a great option. It has a strong beef flavor, but needs a little tenderizing. Pounding it helps it get a crispy crust, perfect for chicken fried steak. Cooking it in a cast iron skillet makes the best golden crust that gravy loves.

Eye of Round

Eye of round is a leaner choice but still works great for chicken fried steak. This cut is known for its consistent taste and tenderness. With a bit of tenderizing and seasoning, it can be a wonderfully tender steak.

Choosing the right cut is just the start of a great chicken fried steak. With the proper tenderizing and cooking, any of these cuts can make your dish amazing.

Ingredients You’ll Need

To make a delicious Texas chicken fried steak, you need the right ingredients. You start by creating a crispy fried steak. Then, you add a rich, creamy gravy. Each part is very important.

The Essentials for the Batter

A great crispy steak begins with a perfect batter. Mix together these for the best result:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Key Ingredients for the Gravy

Creating a good gravy is as key as the steak. For a tasty and hearty sauce, you need these:

  • Dark lager beer (like Lone Star Beer or Shiner Bock)
  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Drippings from the cooked chicken fried steak

When you use these ingredients, your chicken fried steak will stand out. It will be tasty and rich in flavor. The traditional flavors mix well, making a perfect meal.

Preparing the Beef

To start making chicken fried steak, you need to prepare the beef well. It’s key to pick the right beef cut. You also need to know how to tenderize the meat properly and season it just right. These steps are vital for a tasty dish.

Tenderizing the Meat

Choosing the right beef cut is the first step. You can pick top round or eye of round. These are cheaper than ribeye but just as good when made right. It’s important to tenderize these cuts well to make them soft and flavorful.

First, cut the beef into steaks. Then, use a meat mallet to make them thin. This pounding softens the meat by breaking down tough fibers. The meat becomes easier to chew and soaks up seasoning better.

how to make chicken fried steak

Seasoning the Steak

Seasoning adds rich flavor to the steak. A mix of kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder is great. This mix makes a tasty base for the breading.

Many places don’t season well, so doing this step right makes your dish stand out. Make sure to season every part of the meat. This way, every bite will be delicious.

Preparation Details Time
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Setting Up Your Breading Station

A perfect breading station is key for a crispy fried steak. Mix seasoned flour with a good egg wash for the best results. This combo brings unbeatable crunch and flavor to your steak.

The Flour Mixture

Start by making a flour mix with 3 cups of all-purpose flour. Add salt, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, baking powder, and ground cumin for flavor. This mix is at the heart of the South’s top breading secrets.

The Egg Wash

Now, whisk together 1 large egg and 1 cup of buttermilk for the egg wash. This step is vital for getting the flour to stick to your steak. It’s important to get the egg wash’s thickness right.

Double Dredging for Extra Crispiness

Double dredging makes the steak really crispy. First, coat it in flour mix. Then, dip it in egg wash, and cover it with flour again. After breading, let the steaks sit for 30 minutes. This step helps the breading stick better while it cooks.

Frying to Perfection

Getting the chicken fried steak just right needs careful work, especially when frying it. We’re going to share some secrets and top tips for that perfect, crunchy crust.

Choosing the Right Oil

In the process of learning how to cook chicken fried steak, choosing the best oil is critical. You want oils that don’t burn easily, like canola, sunflower, or grapeseed oil. This ensures your steak gets that golden, crispy outside. These oils hold up well at high heat, helping you achieve the perfect crispy layer.

Managing Oil Temperature

Controlling the oil’s temperature is vital. Aim for around 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat level is perfect for a steak that’s crispy on the outside and juicy inside. Using a thermometer can make this step a lot easier.

Frying to Perfection

Tips for a Crispy Coating

Getting a great crispy coating is a key part of making chicken fried steak. Here are some important tips:

  • Generous Oil Amount: Make sure the steak is fully covered in oil for even frying.
  • Bread in Batches: Don’t put too many steaks in the skillet at one time. This keeps the oil hot and prevents a soggy crust.
  • Immediate Post-Frying Seasoning: Season the steaks as soon as they finish cooking to make them taste even better.
  • Drain Excess Oil: Let the steak drain on a wire rack over paper towels. This keeps the crust crispy.

Following these methods ensures your chicken fried steak has the best crispy layer. It also shows the tradition and care that goes into making this beloved Southern dish.

Aspect Detail
Recipe Serves 4 People
Preparation Time 10 Minutes
Cooking Time 15 Minutes
Calories per Serving 546 Calories
Skillet Overcrowding Fry in Batches
Oil Temperature 350°F
Post-Frying Season Immediately

Making the Creamy Gravy

The best creamy gravy starts with the fat left in the pan after frying chicken. Southerners know this makes the gravy rich and full of meaty taste. When you mix it with whole milk and cream, the gravy gets perfect for your steak.

Using Pan Drippings Effectively

To make your gravy stand out, use the pan drippings efficiently. Keep 4 tablespoons of the grease in the pan and mix in 4 tablespoons of flour to start. Let that mix cook for 2 minutes, then slowly pour in 2 to 3 cups of milk. It thickens up right and tasty in about 6 to 7 minutes.

Secret Ingredients for Rich Flavor

For the best gravy ever, mix in heavy cream with the milk. Adding ½ cup of cream makes it super rich. Plus, a bit of salt and pepper – 1 ½ teaspoons and ½ teaspoon – will make it taste just right. Your gravy will be smooth and full of flavor. It will be the perfect partner for your favorite Texas comfort food.

Ingredient Quantity
Whole Milk 2 – 3 cups
Heavy Whipping Cream ½ cup
Flour 4 tablespoons
Grease (from pan drippings) 4 tablespoons
Salt 1 ½ teaspoons
Pepper ½ teaspoon

All you need are these ingredients to make a gravy that kicks up your fried chicken steak. It’s the perfect comfort food from Texas that everyone will love.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoying this classic Texas dish is all about picking the right sides. These savory southern sides make chicken-fried steak taste even better. They ensure you get a satisfying and tasty meal.

Traditional Sides

Think about these classic southern sides to go with chicken-fried steak:

  • Mashed Potatoes: They’re creamy and rich, perfect with cracked-pepper gravy.
  • Green Beans: Lightly seasoned, they bring a crisp freshness to the meal.
  • Fried Okra: Adds a crunchy twist, enhancing the meal’s texture.

Pairing with Beverages

Choosing the right drink makes this southern dish even better:

  • Iced Tea: Quenches your thirst and balances the meal’s flavors, great for the Texas heat.
  • Robust Beer: It pairs nicely with the steak, enhancing your dining experience.
Side Dish Description Beverage Pairing
Mashed Potatoes Creamy and buttery Iced Tea
Green Beans Lightly seasoned and fresh Robust Beer
Fried Okra Crunchy and flavorful Iced Tea

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Good storage and reheating methods keep your top chicken fried steak tasty and safe. Follow these tips to enjoy your leftovers safely.

Best Practices for Refrigeration

Store your chicken fried steak in the fridge within a couple of hours after making it. Keep it in an airtight container. This way, it can stay good for up to three days. Also, a paper towel can help keep the steak crispy by soaking up extra moisture.

Freezing Tips

Freezing is an option for storing your chicken fried steak for longer. Wrap each steak separately in plastic wrap and then in foil. Put these into freezer bags for extra protection. They will keep well in the freezer for up to four months without losing flavor and texture.

Reheating Leftovers

Reheating your chicken fried steak well is key. Using an oven is better than a microwave. It avoids the steak turning rubbery. For safety, the steak should reach at least 165°F inside. Oven preheating to 350°F to 375°F is advised.

For those loving air fryers, preheat it to 350°F. Reheat the steak until it’s hot and crispy.

Reheating should make the chicken fried steak just as tasty as before. For in-depth storage and reheating tips and for leftover recipes, check with reliable sources.

Category Temperature Time Notes
Oven Reheat (Best Method) 350°F to 375°F 20 minutes Ensures steak remains crispy
Air Fryer Reheat Around 350°F Few minutes Quick and effective

By following these storage tips or using the best recipe, you can enjoy your chicken fried steak later just as much as the first day.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Making a perfect texas chicken fried steak recipe can be hard. Often, cooks face issues that can ruin the dish. It’s key to avoid these problems to keep the breading intact and the steak meaty.

Preventing Breading from Falling Off

The breading falling off can ruin your meal. This problem comes from not frying right. After breading, let the steak sit to stick well. Also, frying between 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit is a must. Use a kitchen thermometer to check this. The oil must be just right to get that crispy finish.

Avoiding Soggy Steaks

Soggy chicken fried steak is a big issue to dodge. Don’t overcrowd the pan, as this drops the oil’s temperature and sogginess sets in. Keep a steady 350°F oil and only a few steaks in the skillet at a time. Each steak should fry for 5-7 minutes, flipped once. This method ensures all steaks cook evenly and avoids soggy results.

By following these cooking tips closely, you can make a great texas chicken fried steak. Paying attention to the seasoning, temperature, and timing can turn a dish from good to perfect. This advice is valuable for cooks at any level.

Regional Variations of Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak, a Texas favorite, comes in many different styles across the country. These variations show the different ways people cook and enjoy this dish. Exploring these differences helps us understand the complex flavors of this southern classic.

Country Fried Steak vs. Chicken Fried Steak

Country Fried Steak and Chicken Fried Steak are similar but distinct. The former is often served with brown gravy and onions. Its taste is more about being savory. In comparison, Chicken Fried Steak has a crunchy coating and is topped with a cream gravy, making it a Texan favorite for its texture and flavor.

Southern Influence on the Recipe

The influence of the South on Chicken Fried Steak is clear. It uses spices like cumin and oregano in the breading mix, adding bold flavors. Even regional twists like red chile gravy bring extra depth to the dish. The cream gravy, a staple in Texas, is also part of classic Southern cuisine.

Alternative Ingredients for a Twist

Trying new ingredients can really change up a classic Texas chicken fried steak. If you’re up for something new, it’s easy to make your meal hotter. You can focus on adding more spice or pick healthier options. Let’s look at spicy twists and ways to make it healthier.

Spicy Variations

Want to turn your plain chicken fried steak into something spicy? Try using cayenne pepper, hot paprika, or a bit of jalapeño powder. These ingredients will please anyone who loves spicy food. You can add these spices to the flour or mix them into the gravy. This will give your dish a new and exciting kick.

Healthier Alternatives

Looking for a healthy twist on southern favorites? You can change this dish to be healthier without losing its charm. Use low-fat dairy for the coating and gravy. Also, try almond flour or whole wheat flour instead of regular flour. These swaps make a big difference in nutrition. You’ll get a healthier meal that still tastes great.

User Testimonials and Reviews

Both home cooks and those new to Southern cooking love the Texas chicken fried steak recipe. People are excited about the crunchy coating and tasty gravy. They say it’s just as good, if not better, than what they find in restaurants. A user even shared, “The gluten-free recipe is amazing. 15 people gave it almost 5 stars, showing how great it is.”

Success Stories

Users are happy with the cubed steak, which stays tender because of a special process. They like that it stays juicy and gets a crispy outside quickly. Many mention the recipe’s double coating that makes it extra crunchy. They’re also pleased they can keep the leftovers for a few days or even freeze them. A quick bake in the oven at 350ºF brings them back to life.

Readers add great tips to improve the recipe. They recommend seasoning the steak before breading and including buttermilk in the gravy. Using a gluten-free flour mix, paprika, garlic powder, and more are popular choices. These tips and stories show a community coming together over their love of Texas-style comfort food.


What is the history of chicken fried steak?

Chicken fried steak comes from the heart of Texas. It started with cube steaks, which were affordable and easy to find. This made it a key part of Texas’ food culture, like chili or the Alamo.

Why is chicken fried steak considered Texas comfort food?

It represents Texas’ food traditions and is known for its simple yet delightful taste. Cover it in white gravy, and you’ve got a beloved Texan dish. This is why Texas celebrates it on October 26 as Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day.

What are the best cuts of beef for making chicken fried steak?

Chefs often pick top round, sirloin, or eye of round for their tenderness. These self-tenderize well, giving you a juicy result.

What ingredients are essential for making the batter?

You need flour, eggs, and milk for the batter. Also, add seasoned salt, pepper, and garlic for flavor.

What makes the gravy for chicken fried steak so special?

The gravy uses pan drippings and evaporated milk. This mix creates a creamy, rich flavor. It’s then seasoned with garlic, onion, and sometimes lemon.

How do you tenderize the meat for chicken fried steak?

First, cut the steak into thin slices. Then, use a meat mallet to softly pound them. This gives the steak its classic tenderness.

What techniques ensure a crispy coating on chicken fried steak?

For a crispy outer layer, do a double dredging. First, coat the steak in flour, then in egg, and lastly in flour again. Let the steaks sit before you fry them.

What are the best practices for frying chicken fried steak to perfection?

Use oils that can handle high heat, like canola or sunflower. Heat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The steaks should be completely covered in oil for the best outcome.

What are some traditional side dishes to serve with chicken fried steak?

Serve it with mashed potatoes, green beans, or fried okra on the side. Drink options often include iced tea or beer to complement the meal.

How should you store and reheat leftover chicken fried steak?

Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to four days. Or, freeze them for up to four months. When reheating, use an oven so it stays moist and crispy.

What are common mistakes to avoid when making chicken fried steak?

Let the breading stick well before frying it. Also, keep the oil between 325 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This prevents soggy or loose breading.

How does country fried steak differ from chicken fried steak?

Country fried steak often has brown gravy and onions. It may not be as crispy as chicken fried steak, which is topped with cream gravy.

What are some alternative ingredients that can be used for a twist on chicken fried steak?

To change things up, try adding cayenne pepper for heat. For a healthier option, use low-fat dairy and different flours. This keeps the dish’s appeal but with a twist.

Have users had success with the authentic Texas chicken fried steak recipe?

Many enthusiasts and those familiar with Southern cooking adore this recipe. Some advise seasoning the steak early and adding buttermilk to the gravy for more flavor.