Chicken fried steak (also known as pan fried steak,
country fried steak or CFS) is a piece of steak (tenderized cube
steak) coated with seasoned flour and pan fried. It is associated with Southern
U.S. cuisine and hospitality.
Left: Chicken fried steak, served with country
gravy and baked beans.
Its name is likely due to chicken fried steak's similarity in
preparation to fried chicken, though the dish is also similar to the classic
Wiener Schnitzel (known in Latin American cuisine as
tenderized veal or beef cutlet, coated with flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs and
fried. It is generally
categorized as a comfort food.
The precise origins of the dish are unclear, but many sources
attribute its development to German and Austrian immigrants to Texas in the
nineteenth century who brought recipes for Wiener Schnitzel from Europe to the
Typically, in Texas and surrounding states, chicken fried
steak is deep fried in a pan and served with traditional peppered milk gravy.
Often there is a brown gravy, and occasionally the meat is either pan fried with
little oil, or simmered in the gravy.
Left: Chicken fried steak with
chipotle cream gravy.
Other meats may be used, with chicken fried chicken having appeared on many
menus substituting a boneless chicken breast for the steak. The dish known as
"chicken fried chicken" differs from the dish known as "fried chicken" because
the meat is removed from the bones, and cooked in the fashion of chicken fried
steak. Another term is steak fried chicken. Boneless pork chops, usually center
cut, are served in this manner, as well as beef cutlet (tenderized round steak),
buffalo, or boneless chicken breasts.