How to Make Hen Fried Steak

Crispy and included in gravy, chicken fried steak is a delectable and filling Southern delicacy. Primarily a skinny beef steak which is battered and fried, a piece of hen fried steak resembles a large fried chicken cutlet. In the South, hen fried steak is a beloved recipe, widespread at places to eat and dwelling kitchens.

Country Fried Steak vs. Chicken Fried Steak

Quite a few historians trace the origins of chicken fried steak to German immigrants in the 19th century. When these immigrant arrived to the South, they introduced with them Wienerschnitzel, a breaded pork or veal cutlet pan-fried in butter. The phrase “chicken fried steak” appeared as early as 1914 in ads for the Phelp’s Eating Place and Cafeteria in the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Whilst many cooks use the conditions interchangeably, some imagine there are stark dissimilarities involving the two. A typical consensus is that rooster fried steak is deep fried, when country fried steak is pan fried. An additional distinction is the gravy — country fried steak is served with a brown gravy, quite diverse than the peppery white gravy of rooster fried steak.

In Texas, there are also a few distinct versions of rooster fried steaks. In East Texas, the beef is dipped in egg clean before it’s coated in seasoned flour. In Central Texas, the flour is replaced by bread crumbs. Finally, in West Texas, the meat is cooked devoid of an egg wash (from time to time this is identified as pan-fried steak).

The Beef

Frequently, the most prevalent cuts employed for chicken fried steak is a lean slash, these as top rated spherical, eye round, sirloin tip or dice steak (essentially a best round that is sold pre-tenderized, hammered with meat tenderizer). Initially, rooster fried steak was designed as a way to benefit from cheaper cuts of beef. Although any lean reduce of beef is suited, sense totally free to use far more magnificent cuts like tenderloin or strip steak.

The Frying

The taste of battered and fried beef is quite distinct than grilled steak or broiled steak— developing a mix of soft meat and crispy coating. The crust of rooster fried steak will resemble Southern fried hen rather of Korean fried chicken or Japanese fried rooster. Use all-objective flour and a neutral frying oil for the finest effects.

Chicken Fried Steak with Cracked Pepper Gravy

(By Chef Shaun Garcia. From Soby’s New South Cuisine cookbook)

Born and lifted in the South, Chef Shaun Garcia has fond recollections of rooster fried steak. “It often normally takes me back again to the easy time in life. It tends to make me assume of my grandmother and her hands getting ready rooster fried steak. Periods have altered and our edition is a very little much more refined than in her days, but this is a dish I know you are going to take pleasure in as a lot as I have.”


For Rooster Fried Steak

  • 2 lbs beef tenderloin
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp new floor black pepper
  • Vegetable oil

For Cracked Pepper Gravy

  • 2 tbs oil, reserved from frying
  • 3 tbs flour, reserved from the steaks
  • 2 cups rooster broth
  • ¼ cup total milk
  • ¼ cup large cream
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Salt


  1. For the rooster fried steak: Preheat the oven to 250 levels Fahrenheit.
  2. Put the flour in a pie pan. Pour the milk and buttermilk into an additional pie pan.
  3. Minimize the tenderloin alongside the grain into six ½-inch thick slices. Year every piece on equally sides with the salt and pepper.
  4. Making use of a meat mallet or needling unit, tenderize the meat, right until just about every slice is ¼-inch thick.
  5. Dredge the meat in the flour, then in the buttermilk, and eventually in the flour all over again. Repeat for all the parts of meat. Established aside the remaining flour for the gravy.
  6. Incorporate adequate vegetable oil to include the base of a 12-inch forged-iron skillet 1 inch deep and established about medium-large heat.
  7. When the oil starts to simmer, incorporate the meat in batches, staying cautious not to overcrowd the pan. Prepare dinner every single piece on both equally sides until golden brown, about 4 minutes for every aspect.
  8. Location the cooked steaks on a wire rack established in a sheet pan and put in the oven. Depart until all of the meat is browned. Period yet again with salt and pepper.
  9. For the Cracked Pepper Gravy: When all the meat is cooked and keeping in a heat oven, drain all but 2 tbs of the oil from the skillet.
  10. Whisk in 3 tbsp of the flour from the dredging. Insert the hen broth to deglaze the pan. Simmer, whisking consistently until finally the gravy arrives to a boil and starts to thicken.
  11. Add the milk and cream. Simmer, whisking continually, until the gravy coats the back of a spoon, close to 5 to 10 minutes. Time to style with salt and pepper.
  12. Finish the Dish: Pour the gravy over steak as ideal. Dust with freshly floor black pepper as wished-for.

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