While chili (particularly “Texas Red”, and yes, that means no beans.) is the official state food of Texas, there is little doubt that the unofficial state food of Texas is the chicken fried steak.
I’ve known the wonderful delight of chicken fried steak all my life. While I grew up in California’s wine country, my family and many others were originally dust bowl immigrants from Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Southern cuisine was my staple as a boy, mixed with a strange variety of Italian, Mexican, Hungarian and Asian influences. The restaurants of Northern California don’t serve “country fried steak” they serve chicken fried steak, and that’s the way we like it.
I know that there are some Texans who will rail at me for even hinting that any Californian can produce a real chicken fried steak, but we do, at least it’s done well North of San Francisco, where the population is mostly rural. That being said, this is still a Texan tradition, and I’m passing it on as such, as is only fair, since it moved with our families from Texas, Texoma, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
If you’ve never had, or heard of chicken fried steak, you may wonder exactly what it is. In a nutshell, it’s a steak cooked in the same manner as Southern fried chicken. That is to say it’s breaded and fried in a cast iron skillet with plenty of oil (read Crisco, lard or perhaps, in rare cases, suet) until it’s crisp, juicy and delicious and slathered in gravy, either made from the pan drippings (not my preference, I just don’t like beef gravy) or in Southern White Gravy.
If served for breakfast or brunch, you’ll find it with a side of fried potatoes or hash browns. When served for dinner it will usually be found accompanied with mashed potatoes, also slathered in gravy, and some form of vegetable or other. (This is where your basic green bean or, better yet some fried okra comes into play.)
So, no matter where you hang your hat, kick your feet up, set a spell and make up a bit of Texas for supper tonight. You’ll be glad you did, I assure you.
Chicken Fried Steak Recipe
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 880Total Fat: 47gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 286mgSodium: 474mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 78g
What I would have done differently if I had thought of it at the time:
To be honest, I change this up occasionally depending on my mood. If I’m in the mood for a bit of spice, I’ll add some cayenne pepper to the buttermilk while he steak is soaking and add a bit of hot paprika to the flour. It really just depends. you can pretty much change up the flavors in any way you choose.
Share a little Love, Guys!
As always, I love you guys. You’re the reason I’ve been fortunate enough to do this for over 10 years. I don’t know where I’d be without you. Really. I love sharing new recipes and tips with you and I hope you found this useful, or funny, or both.
If you liked this Leftover Turkey Ramen recipe, please take a second to share this recipe on your various social media platforms. Maybe grab one of the items we highlight above the recipes. If you do, we make a few pennies here and there, and we appreciate it.
Maybe drop a comment and leave a rating on the recipe. We love to hear from you.
Remember, this is a conversation. We’ll never know what you want to see if you don’t tell us, right?
Until Next time,
Food is love. Share and enjoy.
Dear God, I love chicken fried steak. Yours looks fan-freakin’-tastic.
My only question is: why do the best foods in life have calorie counts equal to the national debt?
You can thank Mrs. seat of her Pants for the steak. It was incredible. So good in fact that we’ll probably be having it again on Saturday.
This time I’ll be posting a far more traditional southern Gravy recipe to go with it.
That picture is enough to make my mouth water. Chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy. That is comfort food at its best!
Thanks for my calorie free treat.
I hope you like the new pictures as much as the original. I’ve gotten a bit better at taking them since then, LOL
The first time I ever tasted chicken fried steak, it was made by a Texan foodie friend. I thought it sounded horrible, but one bite changed my mind. Still on the fence about the white sauce, though.
.-= Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)´s last blog ..The Perfect Pantry’s top 10 asparagus recipes =-.
The gravy is what makes it!
Stumbled upon your blog and really have enjoyed reading the recipes and accounts of day to day living with the little ones.
Now, I have seen this ‘chicken fried steak’ food item many times on blogs and being British, and therefore ignorant of American terms for food, what exactly does it *mean*? There seems to be no chicken involved, is it just the name for a battered and deep-fried steak? – have thus far been too embarrassed to ask anyone and Google has been nothing but unhelpful in my quest of unraveling this mysterious name.
Look forward to hearing back on this one from you or indeed any of your loyal readers!
“Chicken Fried” refers to the method of cooking. The steak is breaded and pan fried in the same manner as Southern Fried Chicken, so people in the Southern states began referring to it as Chicken Fried Steak.
Hope that clears it up for you!
i always wondered how it got that name
Glad I could clarify that for you ;)
I had never had chicken fried steak in all my 60 years of living in Texas–not a meat kind of girl, but on one trip, that was all that was left at a buffet for lunch at 2pm, their closing time. What the heck, I said. OMG! I nearly swooned off my chair! My husband laughed, being a die-hard CFS eater since childhood. What was I thinking all those years? Have I moved to The Dark Side!!!??? I don’t care! The next time I stop by a little mom and pop restaurant serving CFS, I’m in!
Im curious, why the baking soda in the egg mixture??
It mixes with the flour and helps the crust get fluffy & crispy
I’m making this tonight. Wish me luck.
You’ll love it!