What Is Chicken-Fried Steak?The aptly named chicken-fried steak is a dish that consists of steak fried in the same manner as fried chicken. The meat is coated with a seasoned flour mixture, then deep-fried to crispy perfection. A Southern favorite, chicken-fried steak is actually very similar to Wiener schnitzel (an iconic Austrian dish of breaded and fried veal).
Chicken-Fried Steak vs. Country-Fried SteakChicken-fried steak and country-fried steak are very similar Southern dishes that are often confused with one another. Many people use the terms interchangeably, but they are slightly different: Chicken-fried steak is often topped with a cream gravy, while country-fried steak is typically served with brown gravy and onions. Also, chicken-fried steak is usually slightly crispier than its country-fried counterpart.
Best Cut of Beef for Chicken-Fried SteakThe best cut of beef for chicken-fried steak is cube steak, or another steak variety that has already been tenderized. This recipe, like most others you’ll find on the internet, calls for cube steak.
How to Make Chicken-Fried SteakYou’ll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here’s what you can expect when you make the best chicken-fried steak ever:
Pound the MeatUsing a meat mallet, pound the steak until it’s about ¼-inch thick.
Make the CoatingPlace two cups of flour in a shallow bowl and set aside. In another bowl, combine the baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon of the pepper, and ¾-teaspoon of the salt. Add buttermilk, hot sauce, egg, and garlic to the second bowl. Stir to combine.
Dredge and FryHeat vegetable shortening oil in a deep cast-iron skillet to 325 degrees F. While the shortening is heating, dredge a steak in flour and shake off the excess. Dip the entire flour-covered steak in the buttermilk mixture, then dredge it again in flour. Repeat with the remaining steaks. Fry steaks until evenly golden brown. Remove steaks and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Make the GravyDrain the fat from the skillet, reserving ¼ cup and as much of the solid remnants as you can. Add the reserved fat and heat the skillet over medium-low heat. Whisk in the remaining flour. Add the milk and bring the gravy to a simmer. Cook until thick and season to taste. Serve over finished chicken-fried steaks.
What to Serve With Chicken-Fried SteakLooking for delicious side dish inspiration? Pair your chicken-fried steak with one of these classic Southern sides:Kickin’ Collard Greens
Okra and Tomatoes
Slow Cooker Spicy Black-Eyed Peas
Southern Green Beans
Baked Cream CornPlus, explore our entire collection of Southern Side Dishes.
How to Store Chicken-Fried SteakStore leftover chicken-fried steak in an airtight container in the fridge for three to four days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven until warmed through.
Can You Freeze Chicken-Fried Steak?Yes, you can! Allow the steaks to cool completely, then wrap them individually in one layer of storage wrap followed by one layer of foil. Place them in a freezer-bag or airtight container, label with the date, and freeze for up to four months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat in the oven until warmed through.
Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise“This was absolutely amazing,” raves alrondm. “Made this for my roomies and they all raved. Even the boy from the South. Couldn’t think of any major changes needed. Though I did find that using some buttermilk in the gravy gave it a better flavor in the end.”“I am always looking for new chicken-fried steak recipes, but often find that the batter doesn’t end up with enough crunch — which is what I absolutely love,” says colinger. “This recipe did not disappoint. I used thinly cut round steak (my personal preference) and they turned out great!”“This recipe is the best chicken-fried steak I have ever used,” according to Renee Ann Galvan. “It’s Southern quality, has that nice crunch, and was sooo delicious. I wanted to eat another streak. I didn’t, but I really wanted to! I would like to make one suggestion: Salt and pepper the steaks before you dredge in the flour and batter. Absolutely delicious!”Editorial contributions by Corey Williams
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