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What Is Chicken Fried Steak and How is it Made?

What Is Chicken Fried Steak?

Chicken fried steak is a popular American dish associated with Southern cuisine.

It consists of breaded beefsteak that is typically deep-fried or pan-fried.

This dish originated in Texas in the 19th century and was influenced by German and Austrian immigrants.

The steak is usually tenderized, coated in an egg batter or buttermilk and seasoned flour, and then fried until golden.

Cream gravy is commonly served with deep-fried chicken fried steak, while pan-fried chicken-fried steak is served with brown gravy.

Cheaper cuts of steak like cube steak, chuck, round steak, and flank steak are often used.

It is commonly served with mashed potatoes, vegetables, biscuits, or Texas toast.

In the Midwest, it is even enjoyed as a breakfast dish with toast and hash browns.

In Texas and surrounding states, chicken-fried steak is typically deep-fried or fried in a thick layer of oil and served with peppered milk gravy.

This delicious and comforting dish is well-loved in Oklahoma and is even part of the official state meal.

Quick Tips and Facts:

1. Chicken fried steak is not actually made with chicken. Despite its name, chicken fried steak is a dish made with a tenderized cut of beef that is breaded and fried, similar to how chicken is prepared.

2. The origin of chicken fried steak is disputed. While many believe it to be a traditional Southern dish, there are claims that it was first created in Germany and Austria, with immigrants later bringing the recipe to the United States.

3. Chicken fried steak is sometimes referred to as “country fried steak.” The two terms are often used interchangeably to describe the dish, depending on the region.

4. Chicken fried steak is typically served with gravy. Creamy white gravy, also known as country gravy, is the most common accompaniment, though it may also be served with brown gravy or tomato gravy, depending on personal preference and regional variations.

5. Chicken fried steak is a popular comfort food in the southern United States. It is often enjoyed for breakfast, served with eggs and hash browns, but it can be eaten for any meal of the day. In fact, it is not uncommon to find it on menus across the country, as it has gained popularity outside of its southern roots.

Origin Of Chicken-Fried Steak In Texas

Chicken-fried steak is a beloved dish deeply associated with Southern cuisine in the United States. However, its roots can be traced back to the German and Austrian immigrants who settled in Texas during the 19th century. These immigrants brought with them their culinary traditions, including the art of breading and frying meats. It was their influence that eventually led to the creation of chicken-fried steak.

The term “chicken-fried steak” was first used in a restaurant advertisement in 1914, giving the dish its name. Since then, it has become a staple in Texas and other Southern states, gaining popularity for its deliciously crispy exterior and tender meat on the inside.

  • Chicken-fried steak is a beloved dish in Southern cuisine.
  • Its roots can be traced back to German and Austrian immigrants in Texas.
  • Chicken-fried steak is made by breading and frying meat.
  • First referred to as “chicken-fried steak” in 1914.
  • It is known for its crispy exterior and tender meat.

Traditional Preparation Of Chicken-Fried Steak

The traditional preparation of chicken-fried steak involves tenderizing the meat to ensure it’s tender and easy to eat. This is done by using a meat mallet or a mechanical tenderizer.

After tenderizing, the meat is coated in an egg batter or buttermilk, allowing the breading to stick to the steak. It is then generously coated in seasoned flour, which may include a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and other desired spices.

Once properly coated, the steak can be cooked in two ways: either deep-fried in hot oil or pan-fried in a skillet. Deep-frying results in a crispier and evenly browned exterior, while pan-frying allows for a more controlled cooking process. In both methods, the end result is a mouth-watering golden-brown crust that gives chicken-fried steak its signature appearance.

To summarize:

  • Tenderize the meat using a mallet or tenderizer.
  • Coat the meat in an egg batter or buttermilk.
  • Generously cover the steak in seasoned flour.
  • Cook the steak by deep-frying or pan-frying.
  • Achieve a golden-brown crust for the perfect chicken-fried steak.

Types Of Steak Used In Chicken-Fried Steak

Chicken-fried steak often makes use of cheaper cuts of beef, such as cube steak, chuck, round steak, and flank steak. These cuts are more affordable and can be tenderized to achieve the desired texture. While they may not be as tender as premium steaks, the cooking process and breading techniques help create a succulent and flavorful dish.

Sauces And Gravies Served With Chicken-Fried Steak

Chicken-fried steak is typically served with a generous serving of gravy to enhance the flavor and moisten the crispy outer coating. The choice of gravy depends on the cooking method. Deep-fried chicken-fried steak is often served with creamy white gravy made from milk, flour, and pepper. This creamy gravy is drizzled over the steak, providing a luscious and savory accompaniment.

On the other hand, pan-fried chicken-fried steak is traditionally served with brown gravy. This gravy is typically made from pan drippings, flour, and beef broth, resulting in a rich and savory sauce that complements the flavors of the dish.

Popular Sides For Chicken-Fried Steak

Chicken-fried steak is a popular dish that is typically served with a range of flavorful side dishes, enhancing the overall dining experience. Some common options for sides include creamy mashed potatoes, buttery corn, and seasoned green beans. Additionally, biscuits or Texas toast are often included to complement the meal and add a warm, comforting element.

In the Midwest, chicken-fried steak can even be enjoyed as a breakfast option. It is traditionally served with toast and crispy hash browns, creating a hearty morning meal. The steak’s flavorful breading and tender meat provide a delightful contrast to the familiar breakfast favorites.

To summarize the options for sides when enjoying chicken-fried steak:

  • Creamy mashed potatoes
  • Buttery corn
  • Seasoned green beans
  • Biscuits or Texas toast

In the Midwest, it can also be served with toast and crispy hash browns for a satisfying breakfast experience.

“Chicken-fried steak is often served with a variety of delicious sides, adding depth and variety to the meal.”

Chicken-Fried Steak, A Beloved Dish In Oklahoma

While chicken-fried steak is a beloved dish across the Southern United States, it holds a special place in the heart of Oklahomans. In fact, it is even part of the official state meal in Oklahoma. The dish has been embraced by the state’s residents, who have made it their own by adding their own unique twists and flavors.

In Oklahoma and surrounding states, chicken-fried steak is often deep-fried or fried in a thick layer of oil to achieve that perfect crispy coating. It is then served with a peppery milk gravy that adds a dash of spiciness to the dish. The combination of the crunchy exterior, juicy meat, and peppery gravy has made chicken-fried steak a true comfort food in Oklahoma.

Chicken-fried steak is an iconic dish deeply rooted in Southern cuisine, with its origins in Texas and influences from German and Austrian immigrants. Its preparation involves tenderizing the meat, coating it in a seasoned flour mixture, and frying it to a golden crisp. It is traditionally served with creamy white gravy for deep-fried variations and brown gravy for pan-fried variations. Popular sides include mashed potatoes, vegetables, and biscuits or Texas toast. Chicken-fried steak has also become an integral part of Oklahoma’s culinary heritage, cementing its status as a beloved dish in the region.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is chicken-fried steak made of?

Chicken-fried steak is a delectable dish made from a tender and flavorful cut of steak, typically cube or round steak, that undergoes a delightful transformation into a crispy delight. The steak is coated in a carefully seasoned breading, giving it a crunchy outer layer, before being cooked to perfection through either pan frying or deep frying. This unique cooking method and its resemblance to fried chicken are the reasons behind its whimsical name, which has endured throughout the years to become a beloved classic.

Why is called chicken-fried steak?

The name “chicken-fried steak” originated from the cooking method used to prepare this dish. The term “chicken fried” is used to describe the technique of breading and frying the steak, similar to how fried chicken is prepared. To make a chicken-fried steak, the meat is coated in seasoned flour, dipped in egg, then battered and fried in oil, resulting in a crispy and flavorful exterior. Despite its name, chicken-fried steak does not contain poultry; it is a clever play on words that describes the cooking process rather than the ingredients.

What is the difference between chicken fried chicken and chicken-fried steak?

The main distinction between chicken fried chicken and chicken-fried steak lies in the type of meat used. While chicken fried chicken is made with tender and juicy chicken breast, chicken-fried steak is crafted from tenderized beef cutlets. Additionally, chicken-fried steak typically has a thicker breading that results in a crunchy exterior, while chicken fried chicken tends to have a slightly lighter and crispier coating. Both dishes are adorned with a tempting cream gravy, allowing for a delightful combination of flavors.

What is the difference between chicken-fried steak and chicken chops?

While both chicken fried steak and chicken chops share the common element of being breaded chicken dishes, one notable distinction lies in their accompanying gravies. Chicken fried steak is typically served with a white, creamy gravy, while chicken chops are complemented by a brown, savory-tasting gravy. This distinction in gravies gives each dish a unique flavor profile, highlighting the contrast between the creamy and savory elements in the two dishes. So, while they may share some similarities, the distinction in their gravies sets chicken fried steak and chicken chops apart in terms of taste.

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