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a photo of The Secret to Perfect Chicken Fried Steak with sunlight shining on the gravy
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5 from 16 votes

The Secret to Perfect Chicken Fried Steak

This is the specific instructions for the secret to perfect chicken fried steak
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Fried Steak, Chicken Fried
Servings: 4
Calories: 317kcal
Author: Loaves and Dishes


For the Steaks

  • 1 - 2 lb package of cube steaks
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs - beaten
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbs corn meal
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbs dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (If using table salt, use 1/2 tsp)

For the Gravy

  • Drippings from the steaks
  • 2 Tbs all purpose flour
  • 3 Cups whole milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Instructions
  • Preheat the oven to warming setting or 175 if you do not have a warming setting on your oven. Place an oven safe dish (plate or cookie sheet) covered with a layer or two of paper towel to absorb any extra grease.
  • Put the steaks on a double layer of paper towels and using a second double layer of paper towels, dry the steaks well. Press down on the steaks to remove as much water as is possible to remove.
  • Sprinkle the steaks well with kosher salt and set aside.
  • Heat a heavy skillet on medium heat on the stove top with ¼ inch of vegetable oil in the bottom of the pan.
  • When the oil is glistening and pops and crackles vividly when water is sprinkled in the pan, then it is ready for the steaks. While the oil is heating, set up the 3 dish breading station as described in next step.
  • Set up three dishes for a breading station - make sure that the dishes are large enough to accommodate the pieces of steak plus the ingredients. For dish one, simply place ½ cup of all purpose flour. In the second dish, mix the 2 large eggs and the ½ cup of whole milk together well. For the third dish, mix ½ cup of all purpose flour, corn meal, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, parsley, chili powder, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp of black pepper.
  • When the oil is hot and ready, give the steaks a final pat with paper towels to remove and remaining water and then dip the first steak in the the first breading - plain flour only. Immediately dip into the egg and milk mix. Then transfer to the seasoned flour mix - pat the flour onto the steak well.
  • Gently place the floured steak into the oil and it should sizzle actively - it should not be smoking or have a burning smell - if so - then the oil is too hot. If it is not sizzling actively then the oil is too cold. It is IMPORTANT to have the oil at the right temp.
  • Generally, you can safely cook 2 steaks in a 9” pan together. Do not bread up more steaks than you can cook right now.
  • Add the steaks as you get them breaded - one at a time - not all at once. If you add them all at once - the cooking oil will change temp and it wont’ be the right temp for cooking your steaks.
  • Allow the steaks to cook about 3 minutes per side then move to the oven to your plate waiting with paper towel on it.

For the Gravy

  • Once all of your steaks are cooked and in the oven. Turn the oven temp to off while you create your delicious gravy! In the pan that you cooked the steaks in, pour the grease off. Allow all of the little bits of steak to remain in the pan - and a little grease too - maybe as much as a few tablespoons.
  • Add 2 tbs of flour to the grease left in the pan and cook on the stove top over medium high heat for 1- 2 minutes (the flour will start to look tan to brown in color).
  • Add the milk all at once - it will sizzle a little - don’t worry.
  • Constantly stir the milk using a wooden spoon and scrape the flavorful bits from the bottom of the pan as you do so.
  • As the gravy begins to boil - turn the heat down to medium or medium low. Keep stirring until thickened.
  • Taste and if it needs more flavor - add salt and pepper until it tastes just right.
  • Serve the chicken fried steak over mashed potatoes and top with the gravy.


  • Make sure the meat is very dry before starting the breading process.
  • Use the three stage breading process as described in the recipe.
  • Make sure the oil is the right temperature.
  • DO NOT crowd the steaks!
  • Turn the steaks only once.
  • Place the cooked steak in a warm oven to dry and do not stack them on top of each other. 


Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 714mg | Potassium: 394mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 850IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 258mg | Iron: 2.5mg