Classic Chicken Fried Steak with Creamy Gravy

Chicken Fried Steak is an iconic dish in Southern cuisine, known for its crispy breading and tender, flavorful beef. Despite its name, it’s not chicken but rather a steak that is breaded and fried in the manner of fried chicken. Paired with a rich, creamy gravy, this dish is the epitome of comfort food. Perfect for family dinners or special occasions, Classic Chicken Fried Steak with Creamy Gravy is a meal that brings people together with its hearty and satisfying flavors.


For the Chicken Fried 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:

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder


Prepare the Chicken Fried Steak:

  1. Tenderize the Steaks:
    If your cube steaks are not already 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 helps to break down the muscle fibers and ensures a tender steak.
  2. Set Up Dredging Stations:
    In a shallow dish, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. In another shallow dish, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and hot sauce (if using).
  3. Dredge the Steaks:
    Dredge each steak in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Then, dip it into the buttermilk mixture, allowing any excess to drip off. Finally, dredge the steak again in the flour mixture, pressing the flour onto the steak to ensure a good coating.
  4. Heat the Oil:
    In a large, heavy skillet, pour enough vegetable oil to come up about 1/2 inch up the sides. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F (175°C). You can use a thermometer to check the temperature or test it 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, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until 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.

Prepare 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. Sprinkle the flour into the oil and whisk constantly over medium heat until the mixture is golden brown and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the Milk and Cream:
    Gradually whisk in the milk and heavy cream, ensuring no lumps form. 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 becomes too thick, you can thin it out with a little more milk.

Serve the Chicken Fried Steak:

  1. Plate the Steaks:
    Place each fried steak on a serving plate. Spoon the creamy gravy generously over the top of each steak.
  2. Garnish and Serve:
    For an added touch, garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives. Serve immediately with classic sides like mashed potatoes, green beans, or a fresh salad.


Classic Chicken Fried Steak with Creamy Gravy is a dish that 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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