Chicken Fried Steak W/ Cream Gravy & Thank You Mr. Walmart Man

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Hi everyone!! I had every intention of getting this recipe posted yesterday, but as usual time got away from me. We’re still painting our kitchen cabinets, so that has been very time consuming. My kitchen looks like a tornado has passed through it, but it will be all worth it in the end. 

Today I want to share a recipe for Chicken Fried Steak or Country Fried Steak depending on where you live. Chicken Fried Steak is made using tenderized cubed steak that has been dredged in flour and egg, and then fried like fried chicken. Serve with a big smothering of cream gravy made from the pan drippings and mashed potatoes on the side.  

“Yum” it doesn’t get much better than that. Chicken Fried Steak is also one of my husband’s favorite meals, so anytime we go out for dinner that’s usually what he orders. During the meal he tells me the same thing every time……..”You need to make chicken fried steak at home”. 

And my answer every time is the same every time…. I know I do, but I can never seem to find a breading that sticks to the steak. Plus I don’t care for cube steak, because it can tend to be stringy when cooked. For that reasoning chicken fried steak is something I usually don’t prepare at home. Well I’m happy to say that I’ve solved both problems and we can now enjoy this classic dish at home.


Who do I have to thank for this? Well that’s simple…… myself and Mr. Walmart Man! I was in Walmart the other day and I always make a to stop by their meat department and look for specials. You see Tuesdays is the day at my local Walmart when meat is marked down, so I always stop and check it out.

We have a very nice gentlemen that works in our meat department, so I always stop to say hi and chat with him. I happened to see that he was marking down thin rib eye steaks, so I was all over that. We got to chatting as usual and he told me use those thin rib eye steaks and make the best chicken fried steak ever.

I told him making chicken fried steak has been a big dilemma for me. Mr. Wal-mart Man said trust me on this one thin rib eye steaks make the best chicken fried steak, and proceeded to hand me a couple packages of marked down steaks. He said try it and let me know how it goes. Well this is where I come in.  

I had the meat issue resolved, but I still had the problem of the breading not sticking to the meat. I kept thinking how could I get that breading to stay on those steaks and still fry up crispy? Then it dawned on me just use the same recipe that I use to make Chicken Fried Chicken

Of course!!!!!! and why didn’t I think of this sooner? Well that question can easily be answered by saying “sometimes I’m just slow like that” LOL. I used the same recipe, cut the ingredients by half and got started. I cut up the meat in serving size pieces, gathered my breading ingredients, and off I went.

I dredged, dipped, and fried up all those thin rib eye steaks. Then the waiting began…… I flipped them over and the breading stuck. Yay!!!!!!  They were also very crispy and golden brown. This happens to be my favorite chicken fried chicken breading so I was excited it all worked out. 

I think the added saltine crackers to the breading are the secret, because the steaks fry up so crispy. So now we are finally enjoying Chicken Fried Steak at home!!!!!! All I can say is “Thank You Mr. Walmart Man” and I promise the next time I see you I will ask you what your name is. 

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Here are the rib eye steaks and the great deal I got on them. Thin cut chuck eye steaks can also be used. Cut the steaks into smaller size portions. There is also no need to pound or to tenderize the steaks. Again Mr. Walmart man said there was no need for that.

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In a medium size bowl combine cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper, and ground red pepper (if using). In a second bowl,  whisk together the milk and eggs. 

Dredge the steak pieces in the cracker crumb mixture, and then dip in the milk mixture, and dredge in the cracker mixture again. I lay my steaks out on a baking rack until I have breaded all the steaks.

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Pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in a 12-inch skillet or cast iron skillet. Heat oil to 360°. Fry steaks in batches, about 10 minutes, adding oil as needed. Turn and fry a couple more minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack that has been place inside of a jellyroll pan. Place pan in a 225 degree oven to keep warm until you have fried all of the steaks.

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Yum these were so good and look at how great the breading stayed on the steaks. Perfection!


Serve with mashed potatoes and cream gravy (recipe below). 

Chicken Fried Steak

4 – large thin rib eye or chuck eye steak, cut into serving size pieces
1 – teaspoons salt, divided
1 – teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1 – sleeve un salted saltine crackers, crushed
1 1/2 – cups all-purpose flour
1/2 – teaspoon baking powder
1 – teaspoon ground red pepper, optional
1 1/2 – cups milk or buttermilk
2 – large eggs, beaten
peanut or canola oil for frying

In a medium size bowl combine cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper, and ground red pepper (if using). In a second bowl whisk together the milk and both eggs. 

Dredge the steak pieces in  the cracker crumb mixture; dip in milk mixture, and dredge back again  in cracker mixture. Set aside on a baking rack or plate. 

Pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in a 12-inch regular or cast iron skillet.. Heat oil to 360° (Make sure the oil does not smoke, because that’s too hot).

Fry steaks in batches, about 10 minutes, adding oil as needed. Turn and fry a couple more minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack that has been place inside of a jellyroll pan. 

Place pan in the oven to keep the steaks warm at 225° degrees. 

Carefully drain the hot drippings, reserving cooked bits and 2 -3 tablespoons of the drippings in skillet. 

Cream Gravy:
1/3 – cup flour
2 – 3 tablespoons pan drippings
1 1/2- cups milk 
1 1/2 – cups water (or use all milk)
salt & pepper to taste

Add 1/3 cup flour to the skillet with the drippings. Cook over medium high heat. Using a whisk mix the flour into the drippings until it starts to brown and become a roux (a darkened paste). 

If the roux looks too oily and runny you can add another tablespoon or so of flour and mix again. Whisk constantly until the paste becomes nice and brown.

Slowly add the milk and water mixture one cup at a time (to ensure a smooth gravy) whisking constantly and blending the liquid with the flour mixture until combined. Add the rest of the milk milk mixture as soon as is starts to thicken up and whisk again. 

Let the gravy come to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until the gravy thickens up. If the mixture thickens to much add more milk (as needed ) until the gravy is the consistency that you want. 

This could end up being more then the required 3 cups of liquid. Season generously with salt and pepper. Serve the cream gravy over over the chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes.

Cook’s Note: There has been a big debate that this is not a true chicken fried steak recipe. I had a reader mention that it was not fried in lard or in a cast iron skillet, so therefor it is not true chicken fried steak LOL. It is correct and a true chicken fried steak is fried in lard in a cast iron skillet, but it’s not too healthy using lard to fry foods. However I totally agree on using a cast iron skillet.

If using salted crackers decrease the salt to 1/2 teaspoon or omit from the recipe. This is also a great breading for deer steaks as well.

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