Southern Fried Chicken Steak

Sharing is caring!

My grandmother was a storyteller. Whenever she cooked, she often narrated tales from her younger days. On warm summer evenings, while the sun’s golden hue painted the skies, I recall sitting on the porch with her as she prepared dinner. One of her signature dishes was the Southern Fried Chicken Steak. Every bite took me on a culinary journey to the times when she and her neighbors would exchange recipes over the fence. One such neighbor, Miss Clara, traveled from the deep South and introduced this recipe to my grandmother. It became an instant hit in our family gatherings.

As years passed and I traveled the world, I sampled various dishes, but the taste of the Southern Fried Chicken Steak from my childhood remained unparalleled. Once, during a trip to Vienna, I tasted the famed Wiener Schnitzel and was pleasantly surprised at its resemblance to our family’s cherished chicken fried steak. This made me realize how recipes travel across borders, connecting cultures and histories. Inspired by these memories and experiences, I’m sharing our treasured country fried chicken steak recipe with you.

How to Prepare Southern Fried Chicken Steak

Ingredients for Southern Fried Chicken Steak

  • 4 beef cube steaks (1/2 pound each)
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (separated for coating and gravy)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon spicy pepper sauce (like Tabasco™)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3 cups vegetable shortening (for frying)
  • 4 cups milk (for gravy)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper (to taste for the gravy)

Directions for Southern Fried Chicken Steak

  1. Start by placing the steaks between two plastic sheets. Using a mallet, gently pound them to a thickness of about 1/4 inch.
  2. In a shallow bowl, put 2 cups of flour. In another, combine baking powder, baking soda, pepper, salt, buttermilk, pepper sauce, egg, and garlic. Mix until well-combined.
  3. Heat the vegetable shortening in a deep cast-iron skillet until it reaches 325°F. As it heats, prepare a wire rack over a sheet of parchment paper.
  4. Dredge each steak in the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip it into the buttermilk mixture, ensuring an even coat, and then back into the flour. Place each prepared steak on the wire rack.
  5. Once the shortening is heated, fry the steaks in batches. Each side should take 3 to 5 minutes to reach a golden brown hue. Place the cooked steaks on a paper towel-lined plate and cover with foil to retain warmth.
  6. For the gravy, drain the skillet while preserving 1/4 cup of the liquid and solids. Return the skillet to a medium-low heat, whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup flour, and gradually introduce the milk. Continuously stir until the gravy thickens, which should take around 6-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.
  7. Transfer the steaks to a serving dish and generously pour the gravy on top. Serve and enjoy!

What’s the difference between Chicken-Fried and Country-Fried Steak?

Chicken-fried steak is typically crispier and is served with a cream gravy. On the other hand, country-fried steak usually comes with brown gravy and onions. Though they’re similar, these minor differences distinguish the two.

Which beef cut is best for this recipe?

The cube steak, already tenderized, is the most preferred cut for this dish. Its texture and consistency deliver the best results for chicken fried steak southern living.

How do I store leftover Southern Fried Chicken Steak?

Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate. They will remain fresh for up to 3-4 days. For reheating, you can use a microwave or oven until it’s warmed thoroughly.

Can I freeze the Chicken Steak?

Absolutely! Allow the steaks to cool, wrap them in storage wrap followed by foil, and place them in a labeled freezer-bag or container. They can be stored for up to four months. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven.

What side dishes pair well with this steak?

Classic Southern sides like Kickin’ Collard Greens, Okra and Tomatoes, Slow Cooker Spicy Black-Eyed Peas, Southern Green Beans, or Baked Cream Corn complement the steak wonderfully.

Why is it called Chicken Fried Steak?

It’s named so because the steak is fried in a manner similar to traditional fried chicken, even though it’s beef. The process of breading and frying gives it a crispy exterior resembling that of fried chicken.

Do I have to use a cast-iron skillet?

While a cast-iron skillet is recommended for its even heat distribution and retention, you can use other heavy-bottomed pans. Just ensure that the frying temperature is maintained.

Can I use other hot sauces besides Tabasco™?

Yes, you can! While Tabasco™ adds a specific flavor, you can substitute it with your preferred hot sauce. Just ensure it complements the dish’s overall flavor profile.

How do I ensure the steak remains crispy?

Drain the fried steaks on a wire rack instead of paper towels. This ensures air circulation, keeping the crust crisp. Also, avoid covering them for too long as steam can make the crust soggy.

Southern Fried Chicken Steak

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 19 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 4 1/2 pound beef cube steaks
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce e.g. Tabasco™
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 cups vegetable shortening for frying
  • 4 cups milk
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste


  • Place steaks between 2 layers of plastic and pound to a thickness of 1/4 inch.
  • Place 2 cups flour in a shallow bowl.
  • Stir together baking powder, baking soda 1 teaspoon pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in second shallow bowl. Add buttermilk, Tabasco sauce, egg, and garlic; stir to combine.
  • Heat shortening in a deep cast-iron skillet to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Place a wire rack over a sheet of parchment paper.
  • While the shortening is heating, dredge a steak in flour to coat; shake off excess. Dip into buttermilk batter; lift up so excess batter drips back into the bowl. Press in flour again to coat both sides completely. Place breaded steak on the wire rack and repeat to bread remaining steaks.
  • Fry steaks, in batches if necessary, until evenly golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove steaks to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Cover with foil to keep warm while you make the gravy.
  • Drain fat from the skillet, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid and as much of the solid remnants as possible.
  • Return the skillet to medium-low heat; add the reserved oil. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup flour into the oil. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to release solids into the gravy.
  • Stir in milk, increase the heat to medium, and bring the gravy to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until thick, 6 to 7 minutes. Season with kosher salt and pepper.
  • Transfer steaks to a platter and pour gravy over top.
Food Riddles Challenge
How to Brine a Turkey
Ingenious Kool Aid Hacks
No Fridge necessities
Things You Should Never Put In The Microwave
Women stylish haircut

Sharing is caring!

Scroll to Top