Monday, April 15, 2013

Chicken Fried Steak

Cubed steak was not on my grocery list this past week.  In fact, it hasn't made the list in years.  It was a midweek meal of my childhood but it wasn't called "chicken fried".  That term didn't enter my culinary vocabulary until we moved to Lubbock, Texas.  When we arrived in town before the moving van, we made our home in a hotel and ate a number of meals at a delicious cafeteria..  My memory tells me it was Furr's and The Baker says Luby's.  Whatever the name, the chicken fried steak was very good.  It was a memory from my mother's table.  She called it "steak and thickened gravy".  We sisters called it "easy to eat".  I was actually looking for ground pork when I spied the cubed steak.  It was a package of two--just the right size for me and The Baker with enough extra for a bite or two for the dalmatian.  At first, I thought to just do the steak but decided to go ahead with the gravy as well.  The gravy is not nearly so thick as mother's.  Her liquid was water and milk.  She did not add thyme.  

Chicken Fried Steak and Not My Mother's Gravy from a delicious memory and an "assist" from Alton Brown

2 cubed steaks (about six ounces each)
6 Tbsp flour
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper
3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1.  Season both sides of the meat with the salt and pepper.
2.  Place the flour on a plate and dredge the meat on both sides.  Carefully dip both sides into the beaten egg and then, back into the flour on both sides.  Let the meat sit for about five minutes.
3.  Heat a 10-inch skillet and add the vegetable oil, reduce the heat to medium and add the steaks.  Saute about four minutes per side.  Place on a rack set in a baking pan (this is important as it will keep the meat from getting soggy) in a warm oven while you make the gravy.

Thickening Gravy

1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp thyme
Vegetable oil
2 Tbsp flour

1.  Add enough vegetable oil to the pan, set over medium heat,  so that you have about 3 Tbsps.  When hot, add the flour and lightly brown in the pan drippings, about a minute.  Stir in the thyme, chicken broth and milk.  Stir until slightly thickened.  Season to taste.
2.  Spoon a little over each steak.



  1. mother called it what your mother did and i was raised on it and raised my kids on the same thing. we don't eat it now, but did before hubby had his first heart attack. it is one of my favorites. i don't eat beef and never have, the two beef dishes i love are this one and burgers. other than that no beef.

  2. I wish my mother would have made this. Yum!

  3. Oh my this sounds really good.

  4. Oh yes! A family favorite!! My Mom is from Texas, and Chicken Fried Steak was on our menu often when I lived at home. I used to make it from time to time, but have not in years! What a feel good meal that reminds me of my childhood! Yours looks wonderful!!
    xo Kris

  5. Yum. And there's nothing like food from the Old South -- particularly cafeteria-style! I remember going to Morrison's Cafeteria in Georgia as a child --

  6. Yum---I love that chicken fried steak... There was a restaurant in Hendersonville, TN where Dad and Mom Adams used to live. We'd visit them --and always go to this restaurant and get chicken fried steak... Delicious --but OH how fattening!!!!

    My mother used to make cubed steak --but don't remember the gravy back then....


  7. Bonnie, I have never made chicken fried steak before, but my husband loves it. If I show him your photo, I think that he'll pack up and leave me and move in with you!

    I'm saving this one!


  8. Bonnie, My mother called it minute steak. We always looked forward to the "minute steak and gravy"; one of the first things I learned to cook. Mother called her gravy milk gravy. It was in Austin, Tx. I first heard it called chicken fried steak...they were huge pieces of meat. I can't even remember the last time I enjoyed chicken fried steak. Oh I do remember Furrs cafeteria.

  9. I have to chuckle, I've never made this but cube steak caught my eye at the supermarket last week... I'd like to try it:@)

  10. Now you're making me miss Texas! We didn't eat this often growing up...but when we good! Thank you for sharing!

  11. This looks fantastic! I wanted to thank you for your kind words yesterday. All of us in Boston appreciate it xo

  12. YES YES YES!!!!! GOOD, and SIMPLE!!! Looks like the chicken fried steak of my dreams, which would not be right without the gravy. Finally a recipe, I am turning on the printer!!! Our grocery store always has piles of the cubed steak.

  13. Now this brings back memories. Seemed my mother also made this when we were growing up!

  14. My mouth is watering just looking at it! Love the thyme in the gravy. What a perfect dish for a cold and very rainy day.

  15. My mother did not make chicken fried steak and I've only eaten it out. If I'm having a craving for it, I will order for breakfast in a place that I know does a good job with it. Only happens every few years, but boy is it good. Have to admit I've never made it at home. I'm thinking instead of eating it out, it's time to make my own using your recipe Bonnie.

  16. Chicken fried steak was one of my grandmother's favorite dishes and she prepared it often. I don't remember that she ever served gravy with it, but it does sound delicious. This is what I call comfort food.

  17. Boy, talk about a flash from the past!! Oh, this dish is SOOOOO West Texas. Reminds me of many fine times. Thank you, Bonnie. blessings ~ tanna

  18. Your version is great and I want to try it soon. My mother didn't make it, but I had it plenty of times elsewhere and loved it. It's definitely not seen here, but was plentiful in Louisville years ago.

    I hope you're OK through all this rain. Driving is treacherous here with so many roads closed and so many other problems. I haven't seen anything like this due to rain in many years here...

  19. This is also a dish from my childhood. Retro is new again and stronger than ever. Delish.


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