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Chicken fried steak is one of the most delicious, Southern-style dishes around. If you’ve ever wanted to cook perfect chicken fried steak at home, you might have been confused by the lack of chicken in the recipes you found online. The truth is that a delicious chicken steak is a thin, regular steak that has been breaded and fried in the style of fried chicken.

Everyone knows that chicken temperature matters when you’re cooking, but for most people, steak temperatures are a little more personalized. However, when you cook chicken fried steak, you should keep in mind that temperatures are critical if you want the dish to be the same level of “melt in your mouth” goodness that you’re used to.

This recipe is one of the many reasons that it’s a great idea to keep a professional food thermometer in your kitchen. Whether you have a wireless model like the ThermoPro TP-27, the precision that you can achieve with this one simple tool can take your dishes from good to excellent. Before we jump into the recipe, you should keep in mind that your steaks will almost always be medium-well or well-done by the time they’re finished. This is because the frying process tends to take longer than it would cook a medium-rare or medium steak. You should aim for an inner meat temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit or 63 degrees Celsius before removing the steaks from the pan.

Delicious Chicken Fried Steak

Here is the chicken fried steak recipe:

What You’ll Need to Cook Perfect Chicken Steak:

For the Chicken Steaks:

  • 4 thin-sliced round or sirloin steaks
  • 1.25 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

For the Chicken Fried Steak Gravy:

  • 3 tbsp. butter or bacon fat
  • 4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 4 oz. milk
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • Pinch of salt

How to cook delicious chicken fried steak:

  1. First, you’ll want to tenderize your steaks. If they’ve been tenderized by the butcher already, you can skip this step. Otherwise, pound the meat into one-quarter inch thickness with a meat mallet.
  2. Next, season both sides of your steak liberally with salt, and then coat them in a thin layer of flour. Set them aside.
  3. In a shallow dish, gently whisk the egg and 4 oz. of milk together.
  4. In a bowl, combine the remaining flour with the onion, garlic, paprika, peppers, and salt. Slowly stir in the remaining milk until just combined. Overmixing will yield an unusable dough. The mixture should be moist and lumpy.
  5. Dip each steak into the egg wash first and then into the seasoned flour mixture. Press each steak into the mixture well to ensure a good, even coating.
  6. Set steaks aside to rest, and preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, or 93 degrees Celsius.
  7. In a large, cast iron skillet or frying pan, heat the vegetable oil to precisely 375 degrees Fahrenheit, or 191 degrees Celsius. It’s best to use your instant-read food thermometer here to ensure the right temperature. I’d strongly recommend ThermoPro TP-18 digital instant-read thermometer, easy-to-use and accurate.
  8. When the oil is hot enough, carefully add a steak to the pan with long meat tongs to avoid any oil splashes, and cook until golden brown on each side. This should take about three minutes, but be sure to check the internal temperature with your thermometer’s probe before removing it from the pan.
  9. Place each steak on a rack or plate inside the preheated oven to keep them warm while you finish cooking and prepare the gravy.

Check Oil Temperature for Chicken Fried Steak

Tip: Be sure to check the cooking oil temperature before adding another steak. It will drop during the cooking process, so you should wait until it comes back up before cooking the next steak.

Preparing the Gravy:

  1. Melt the bacon fat or butter in a skillet on medium-high heat.
  2. Once melted, whisk in the flour until combined, and let it toast slightly.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk, stopping to check the consistency frequently. Remember that your gravy will thicken once removed from the heat, so be sure it’s slightly thinner in the pan than you want it to be when served.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can add a bit of extra cayenne if you want more kick to your dish.

To Serve:

Remove the steaks from the oven, and plate each with your desired side dishes. Ladle a generous portion of gravy onto each, and serve while hot. With a little bit of time and the help of your ThermoPro food thermometer, you’ll be able to make the chicken fried steak that everyone will love.

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