Texas Chicken Fried Steak with Cream Gravy

You’ll find Texas Chicken Fried Steak with Cream Gravy on just about every restaurant menu in the Lone Star State! As a native Texan, I guarantee you there’s nothing better than a well-seasoned, pan fried chicken fried steak that’s made-from-scratch! Here, you’ll learn how to make this Southern staple like a pro!

Chicken fried steak with cream gravy and a side of green beans

This battered and fried cube-steak is a family favorite is usually served with cream gravy and a side of “I need a nap!”

Why you’ll love this recipe!

In Texas, you’ll often find Chicken Fried Steak referred to as “country-fried steak.” There’s been a debate for centuries about the difference between the two, but at the end of the day, I say it depends upon where in Texas you’re from. Texas is a huge state and the variations for this family favorite vary from East to West, as well as North to South.

  • Easy and fast – it doesn’t take long for the tenderized steak to fry…the total time for each steak is about about 5-minutes each!
  • Restaurant-quality-This recipe works every time if you follow the Tips outlined below…and the flavor is delicious!
  • Not as messy as you think-while the steaks are frying, you can load the dredging bowls into the dishwasher…pretty easy clean-up! And you don’t need a deep fryer.
  • Want chicken fingers? Just cut the cube steak into strips!

Here’s what you need for the steak and cream gravy

The ingredients for this Texas staple are pretty simple. As for the equipment, you’ll need a deep cast-iron skillet, a meat thermometer and a pair of tongs.

  • Cubed steak (also known as tenderized steak, tenderized top steak or tenderized sirloin steak)
  • Heat tolerant oil (vegetable, canola oil or peanut oil – but not olive oil)
  • Buttermilk (or milk)
  • Eggs-I use a large egg
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt, black pepper, and a dash of cayenne pepper
  • Milk- 2% or whole milk

In order to get a crispy fried chicken steak that’s tender on the inside, I recommend using a heavy skillet, (like a cast-iron skillet) and a reliable meat thermometer. 

How to make Texas Chicken Fried Steak

See the recipe card below for exact ingredient measurements.

First things first, you want to let the cube steak sit at room temperature for about 10-minutes. Why? If you try to coat cold steak, the batter is more likely to fall off when frying the steak.

Place the steaks in a 9 x 13 baking dish and drizzle buttermilk over them; coat well; allow to sit for about 10-minutes. (Buttermilk-soaked beef turns out more tender than just soaking it in plain milk because the acid from the buttermilk softens the sinewy parts of the beef.)

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl or flat pie plate, combine the lightly beaten large eggs and set aside. In a second bowl, combine the flour and dry seasonings (salt, pepper, cayenne)- some folks add a little garlic powder to the flour mixture…it’s up to you!

Two pie plates one with beaten eggs and one with flour

Heat a deep cast-iron skillet or a heavy skillet, on medium to medium-high heat with about 1 1/2 inches of heat tolerant oil.

Once the oil gets hot, remove the steak from the buttermilk and immediately dredge it in the egg mixture, then dredge it in the seasoned flour mixture. Use the back of a spoon and press the flour mixture into the crevices of the cube steak to ensure a nice crispy coating. (If dredging steak in flour isn’t your thing, you can put the seasoned flour mixture in a plastic bag, add the steaks and shake the steaks in the bag.)

Lightly shake off excess flour and place the coated beef in the hot oil.

Chicken fried steak cooking in cast iron skillet

Allow the steak to cook for 3 minutes on one side, then gently flip and cook the other side until golden brown.

Remove from pan and drain on a wire rack or paper towels. Repeat process with remaining steaks. Reserve the pan drippings for the cream gravy.

How to make white cream gravy

Cream gravy is a staple with this Southern chicken fried steak. You just need a little of the reserved oil from the fried steaks, some all-purpose flour and a little milk to make the gravy

How to reheat Texas Chicken Fried Steak and cream gravy

The best way to reheat it is in the oven. Place it on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet, uncovered, and bake at 325ºF for about 12-15 minutes, or until the center is warm.

Do not wrap the steaks in foil or the crust will be soggy.

As for the cream gravy store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to reheat, place it in a saucepan on medium heat; you’ll have to add a little water or milk as you reheat it because cream gravy thickens upon refrigeration.

Serving suggestions

If you’re wondering what to serve with Texas Southern Chicken Fried Steak, you’ll find a variety of sides! The most popular and common sides for this Texas staple are: mashed potatoes, cream gravy, green beans, fried okra, stewed okra and tomatoes, sweet creamed corn and purple hull peas.

Some folks like to serve it with steak fries, biscuits, collard greens or macaroni and cheese!

Mastering Texas Chicken Fried Steak with Cream Gravy is just about the only thing you need in order to be considered a true Texan!

More Southern recipes

If you’re craving more good Southern food, you might like:

♥ If you make this recipe, please scroll down leave a comment and rating! I love to hear from you!

Mashed potatoes, green beans and chicken fried steak with cream gravy on white plate

Texas Chicken Fried Steak with Cream Gravy Recipe

A classic Texas favorite, Chicken Fried Steak with Cream Gravy is made with tender cubed steak, pan-fried to a crispy golden brown and topped with white cream gravy.
5 from 24 votes
Print Text Recipe Rate
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American, Southern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 steaks
Author: Anecia Hero

Equipment

  • Cast iron skillet
  • Tongs
  • Meat thermometer
  • Paper towels

Ingredients 

Chicken Fried Steak Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. cubed steak
  • 1+ cups oil, vegetable or canola (not olive oil); you may need more oil, depending upon the size of your skillet (See Recipe Notes: Oil)
  • ¾ cup buttermilk (or plain milk)
  • 3 whole eggs lightly beaten
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (for flour)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika (for flour)
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne (for flour)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder (optional)
  • tablespoon ground black pepper (for flour)
  • salt and pepper (to season steaks)

Cream Gravy Ingredients:

  • ½ cup oil (reserved from fried steak)
  • ½ cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Remove steak from fridge and let rest on counter 10-15 minutes
    2 lbs. cubed steak
  • Set up dredging station with two bowls: One with lightly beaten egg ; the other with flour, salt, pepper and paprika
    3 whole eggs, 3 cups all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon cayenne, 1½ tablespoon ground black pepper
  • Lightly salt and pepper both sides of cube steak; (if you want to make Chicken Fried Steak Fingers, slice the steaks into equal strips)
  • Soak seasoned steak in buttermilk for 5-10 minutes then dredge the buttermilk soaked meat in the lightly beaten eggs; then dredge in the flour mixture; be sure to press flour into the crevices of the meat
    ¾ cup buttermilk
  • Heat heavy bottom (cast iron works best) skillet with oil; oil should be hot enough to sizzle, but not too hot or it will catch on fire
    1+ cups oil, vegetable or canola
  • Once meat has been coated in egg and flour, place steak into the hot oil; cook for 2-3 minutes; DO NOT MOVE THE STEAK; after about 2-3 minutes, turn the meat to the other side and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes. 
  • Use meat thermometer to check internal temperature; when the center reaches 160ºF, the steak is done
  • Place on paper towel; salt and pepper to taste; serve and enjoy!
    salt and pepper

Make the Gravy

  • Strain the cooking oil you used for the steaks; (you'll use the same skillet for the gravy that you used to cook the steaks in); pour ½ cup drained, reserved frying oil into the clean skillet; heat on medium
    ½ cup oil
  • Sprinkle in equal amount of flour; whisk (mixture will be clumpy)
    ½ cup flour
  • Add 1 cup of milk to flour mixture; continue to whisk; add another cup of milk; continue to whisk; turn heat to medium high for about 2-minutes, then reduce to medium heat
    3 cups milk
  • If gravy is too thick, add final cup of milk to mixture and whisk until smooth
  • Add salt and a generous amount of black pepper to your liking
    salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve over Chicken Fried Steak

Notes

Oil:
You need about 1″inch of oil in a cast-iron skillet. A 10″ inch skillet uses 1 ½ cups of oil. Add more if using a 12″ inch skillet.
Prepping the steaks:
Soak the steaks in buttermilk for about 5-10 minutes; when you  get ready to dredge the steaks in the egg, don’t wipe off any of the buttermilk – just go straight from the buttermilk to the egg and then to the flour
Frying the steak:
  • If you want “chicken fingers” slice the steak into strips first, then season the strips with a little salt and pepper. Dredge strips in egg mixture, then flour, and fry. These cook faster than whole steaks.
  • After you place the steak in the oil, let them cook for 2-3 minutes; DO NOT MOVE THE STEAK during those first 2-3 minutes. After, take a peek and see if the first side is golden brown; if so, flip and cook an additional 2-4 minutes. 
  • If the first side isn’t quite golden, let it cook a minute longer, then flip it.
  • If you’re making more than 4 chicken fried steaks, you might want to refresh the oil after the first 4…some of the breading will fall off and the oil gets darker, resulting in a darker coating
Cream Gravy:
  • This recipe yields about 2 cups of gravy. 
  • Use some of the oil from the fried steak to start the gravy; use the same skillet you cooked the steaks in
Here’s how to make buttermilk in case you don’t have any:
Add the juice of one lemon to one cup of milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes and thicken. Now, you have buttermilk!

Nutrition Estimate

Serving: 2lbs.Calories: 1720kcalCarbohydrates: 98gProtein: 66gFat: 118gSaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 189mgSodium: 2011mgPotassium: 1274mgFiber: 4gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 1753IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 339mgIron: 10mg
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