Chicken Fried Steak is the Texas version of schnitzel brought to Texas by German immigrants in the 19th century. There’s no denying that chicken-fried steak has become a culinary icon of Texas. The dish can be found in restaurants throughout the state where diners argue passionately over which of the many versions is best and its origins.
Contrary to popular lore, it is said chicken-fried steak actually didn’t originate in Texas at all. Instead, it was a product of early-20th-century commercial kitchens in Kansas and Colorado, where it was a popular restaurant dish 20 years before it ever showed up in Texas, where Texans have claimed it as their own.
- Large heavy-bottomed skillet
- Resealable plastic bag, meat mallet
- Baking pan with wire rack
- Instant read thermometer
- 2 pie plates and 1 plate
- 2 lb 4 long, thin sirloin tip steaks
- ¾ cup Cornstarch
- 2 large Eggs
- 1 cup Buttermilk, divided (can use whole milk instead)
- 2 cups All-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and ground pepper
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1½ tsp Onion powder
- 1½ tsp Garlic powder
- 1½ tsp Ground cumin
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- ½ tsp Cayenne pepper
- Oil for frying (canola or peanut oil)
- Prepare Steaks – Pat steaks dry. Working one at a time, place a steak in a large resealable plastic bag. Using a meat mallet, rolling pin, or a small skillet, pound steak to a uniform ¼-inch thickness, about twice its original size. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the other steaks. Heat oven to 200°F (93°C). Pour ½ to ¾-inch frying oil into a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat,
- Make Dip and Dredge – Put cornstarch in a shallow dish. In a separate pie plate, whisk together ⅔ cup buttermilk and eggs. In another pie plate, whisk together flour, 2 tsp salt, paprika, black pepper, cumin, onion and garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and baking powder. Drizzle remaining ⅓ cup of buttermilk into the seasoned flour and using your fingertips, rub it about until it becomes coarse like wet sand.
- Coat the Steaks – Working with 1 steak at a time, coat it well with cornstarch. Shaking off excess, lift steak and transfer to egg mixture to coat. Lift steak and let excess egg egg drain off. Then transfer to the seasoned flour and press down to ensure it is completely covered and the coating adheres to the steak. Lift steak, shake of any excess, and place on a wire rack over a baking pan. Repeat process with other 3 steaks. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Fry Chicken-Fried Steaks – When oil in the skillet reaches reaches 300°F (150°C) you're ready to cook. Slip 1 steak into the skillet and cook until bottom turns golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Place on a baking pan with a wire rack over paper towels. Lightly salt and slip baking tray into the warmed oven. When temperature is back to 300°F (150°C), repeat with another steak.. Serve with White Gravy, mashed potatoes, a vegetable and some Texas Pete's hot sauce on the side.