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My easy Chicken Fried Steak recipe taste just like the diner menu staple. Battered in buttermilk, fried until crispy brown and smothered in a delicious, creamy homemade gravy, enjoy Chicken Fried Steak for breakfast or dinner this week.

Country fried steak and mashed potatoes on a plate.

Admittedly, “Chicken Fried Steak” sounds like a pretty odd concept. But the name of this diner menu mainstay makes a lot of sense when you think about it. The steak is coated similarly to how you might work with chicken pieces for classic fried chicken (in a buttermilk batter), then fried to shatteringly crispy, golden brown perfection.

Even better than fried chicken, though? The fact that most Chicken Fried Steak recipes, including my restaurant copycat rendition, includes a creamy gravy. It’s so luscious and layered with flavor I could eat it by the spoonful.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Chicken Fried Steak Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for chicken fried steak.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Buttermilk: Snag a carton at the grocery store, or to make your own buttermilk, pour 1 cup of full-fat milk into a bowl. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice or plain white vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes to curdle and thicken.
  • Cube steak: Also labeled as “cubed steak,” this is the most common cut of beef used for Chicken Fried Steak. It’s most often made with top round or top sirloin steak that’s pounded flat and tenderized via a meat tenderizer. This prep step results in indentations that look like little cubes, hence the name. It’s thin, quick-cooking, and ideal for skillet meals like this.
  • Chicken broth: Store-bought or homemade chicken broth; either will work well as a teammate to milk, herbs, spices, and aromatics to create the easy gravy recipe.
  • Whole milk: If you prefer, use heavy cream or half and half instead for the base of this epic (seriously, wait until you taste it) gravy.

Step-by-step instructions

To make the steak:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line 1 rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil. Line a second rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack on top. In a large shallow bowl, whisk together flour, cayenne pepper, 5 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. In a second shallow bowl, whisk egg with baking powder and baking soda. Whisk in buttermilk.
Ingredients for breading country fried steak.
  1. Pat steaks dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working with one steak at a time, drop into seasoned flour and turn to coat. Shake to remove excess flour, then dip in egg mixture and turn to coat. Return to flour mixture and dredge a second time, shake off excess flour, and set on lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining steaks.
Country fried steak being breaded.
  1. In a Dutch oven or large stock pot, heat 1 inch oil to 350 degrees. Working in batches, fry steaks until deep golden brown all over, turning frequently, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Country fried steak being deep fried.
  1. Transfer to wire rack and place in oven. Return oil to 375 degrees and repeat with remaining steaks (do not discard fat). Keep warm in oven while making gravy.
Country fried steak on a cooling rack.

To make the gravy:

  1. Reserve 2 tablespoons oil from the pan and discard the rest (drain the oil through a fine-mesh sieve if desired). Reheat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Garlic and onion being sautéed in a skillet.
  1. Whisk in flour until cooked through, about 1 minute. Whisk in broth, scraping up any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. 
Flour, onion and butter being cooked in a saucepan.
  1. Whisk in milk, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Bring to simmer over medium-high heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. The gravy will thicken more as it cools.
Gravy in a saucepan.
  1. Serve steaks warm with gravy on top and mashed potatoes on the side if desired.
Country fried steak and mashed potatoes on a plate.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 8 steaks and 3 cups gravy, enough for 2 steaks and 3/4-cup gravy per person.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: The steaks can be made ahead and kept warm in a 200-degree oven one hour in advance (cover tightly with foil to prevent them from drying out).
Country fried steak and mashed potatoes on a plate.
Chicken Fried Steak with Mashed Potatoes.

Recipe FAQs

What is the difference between Country Fried Steak and Chicken Fried Steak?

Country Fried Steak is actually pork steak that’s coated with flour, fried, and served with brown gravy and onions. Chicken Fried Steak, on the other hand, starts with beef that’s coated with buttermilk batter, fried, and served with creamy gravy. They’re different but each is delicious in its own right.

Is Chicken Fried Steak breakfast or dinner?

There’s no wrong time of day to dig into a plate of Chicken Fried Steak, if you ask me. For breakfast or brunch, pair chicken fried steak with eggs cooked your way (scrambled, poached, fried; you can’t go wrong). For dinner, serve the Chicken Fried Steak alongside mashed potatoes and drizzle the silky gravy over both.

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More brunch favorites

Chicken fried steak on a platter.

Chicken Fried Steak

My easy Chicken Fried Steak recipe taste just like the diner menu staple. Battered in buttermilk, fried until crispy brown and smothered in a delicious, creamy homemade gravy, enjoy Chicken Fried Steak for breakfast or dinner this week.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 4 servings
Course Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 824

Ingredients 

For the steak:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk (see note 1)
  • 8 (4 ounce) cube steaks pounded to 1/3-inch thickness (see note 2)
  • 4 cups vegetable oil

For the gravy:

Instructions 

To make the steak:

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line 1 rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil. Line a second rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack on top.
  • In a large shallow bowl, whisk together flour, cayenne pepper, 5 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  • In a second shallow bowl, whisk egg with baking powder and baking soda. Whisk in buttermilk.
  • Pat steaks dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working with one steak at a time, drop into seasoned flour and turn to coat. Shake to remove excess flour, then dip in egg mixture and turn to coat.
  • Return to flour mixture and dredge a second time, shake off excess flour, and set on lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining steaks.
  • In a Dutch oven or large stock pot, heat 1 inch oil to 350 degrees. Working in batches, fry steaks until deep golden brown all over, turning frequently, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Transfer to wire rack and place in oven. Return oil to 375 degrees and repeat with remaining steaks (do not discard fat). Keep warm in oven while making gravy.

To make the gravy:

  • Reserve 2 tablespoons oil from the pan and discard the rest (drain the oil through a fine-mesh sieve if desired). Reheat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Whisk in flour until cooked through, about 1 minute. Whisk in broth, scraping up any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. 
  • Whisk in milk, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Bring to simmer over medium-high heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. The gravy will thicken more as it cools.
  • Serve steaks warm with gravy on top and mashed potatoes on the side if desired.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Buttermilk: Snag a carton at the grocery store, or to make your own buttermilk, pour 1 cup of full-fat milk into a bowl. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice or plain white vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes to curdle and thicken.
  2. Cube steak: Also labeled as “cubed steak,” this is the most common cut of beef used for Chicken Fried Steak. It’s most often made with top round or top sirloin steak that’s pounded flat and tenderized via a meat tenderizer. This prep step results in indentations that look like little cubes, hence the name. It’s thin, quick-cooking, and ideal for skillet meals like this.
  3. Chicken broth: Store-bought or homemade chicken broth; either will work well as a teammate to milk, herbs, spices, and aromatics to create the easy gravy recipe.
  4. Whole milk: If you prefer, use heavy cream or half and half instead for the base of this epic (seriously, wait until you taste it) gravy.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes 8 steaks and 3 cups gravy, enough for 2 steaks and ¾ cup gravy per person.
  6. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  7. Make ahead: The steaks can be made ahead and kept warm in a 200-degree oven one hour in advance (cover tightly with foil to prevent them from drying out).

Nutrition

Serving: 2steaks + ¾ cup gravyCalories: 824kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 59gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 229mgSodium: 622mgPotassium: 1130mgFiber: 2gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 393IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 342mgIron: 6mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. I made this for my wife and me tfe other day and it was delicious and not that expensive to make using a cheap cut of meat that has been tenderrised a little messy but the finished product is well worth it5 stars

  2. Thanks for clarifying chicken v country fried steaks. I’m making your recipe for our men’s group in April along with hash browns and pan-sized plain, egg omelettes for slice n serve. Β And maybe cranberry or currant scones.Β 5 stars