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Are Chicken Fried and Country Fried Steak the Same Thing?



I've always been curious to know myself — so you can imagine my delight when The New York Times and Southern food expert John T. Edge answered my own personal burning question. Find out what the answer is when you .

To many Americans, the terms "chicken fried steak" and "country fried steak" are used interchangeably to describe steak that's been pounded, coated and fried, and served with gravy. But there is a regional distinction, Edge maintains: Country-fried steak is a "pan-Southern" dish — a dish that sort of embodies the cuisine of the collective South — and is usually simmered in gravy. Chicken fried steak is a Texas variation that's fried and served alongside creamy gravy.

Other authorities contend that chicken fried steak, a favorite in Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, is deep-fried in the manner of fried chicken, as opposed to country fried steak — popular in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and the Carolinas — which is dredged and then pan-fried in gravy. And although the gravy in country fried steak may be brown or white, chicken fried steak is served with a white pepper gravy.

Were you aware of the distinction? Do you prefer country fried steak or chicken fried steak?

LysisAG LysisAG 2 years 33 weeks
The difference is in the crispness of the final product. Country fried steak spends the last part of the cooking process submerged in gravy so it won't have a crispy outer texture. Chicken fried steak can be either deep fried or pan fried but the gravy (usually white cream gravy) is not added to the plate until just before serving so the fried outside won't become soggy. Is it a southern dish, yes. Is it a German inspired dish, yes. Thousands of German immigrants flooded the hill country of central Texas in the mid-1800's. Frankly, I don't know anyone who thinks chicken fried steak is anything BUT southern food.
4 years 2 weeks
Interesting. Everyone I know considers country fried steak and chicken fried steak to be a northern dish. That's because CFS is essentially weinerschnitzel. If you live in northern areas where a lot of German immigrants settled you've probably had lots of CFS. I'm quite surprised that anyone would call it "southern". Good stuff though.
4 years 32 weeks
it seems hard for people to find the answer to what the difference is but it is simple.chicken fried steak is fried in deep enough grease to make it like fried chicken and country fried steak is fried in just enough grease to keep it from sticking to the pan.try it both ways and there is a difference but both are good.that way you can change it up.
wtf-kas wtf-kas 5 years 21 weeks
i'm from north carolina and down here, chicken fried steak with the white gravy is where it's at. we never do country style and now that i think about it, brown gravy in general really isn't that popular around here. and miznic, "chicken fried chicken" in my experience normally just means a huge, no one-should-ever-eat-the-whole-thing sized piece/portion of chicken! :)
Spectra Spectra 5 years 21 weeks
My grandma, who is from Alabama, always made country-fried steak with lots of brown pan gravy. It was SO yummy! I remember her serving it with homemade biscuits to sop up the gravy and yes, it was some dang good beef.
miznic miznic 5 years 22 weeks
I saw a restaurant here in town serving something called "chicken fried chicken"... and wondered how somebody actually DOES that...
karlorene karlorene 5 years 22 weeks
chicken fried
esk4 esk4 5 years 22 weeks
I now know what we are doing for sunday dinner... I love the white pepper gravy...
esk4 esk4 5 years 22 weeks
I now know what we are doing for sunday dinner... I love the white pepper gravy...
sfunkera sfunkera 5 years 22 weeks
Chicken fried is one of my favorites but I haven't had it in 2 years. Maybe it's about time...
doogirl doogirl 5 years 22 weeks
Wackdoodle, I think I love June-June!!! And she was right!
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 5 years 22 weeks
I loves me some chicken fried steak! I'm not so keen to have my steak drowning in gravy though. My favorite place puts the gravy down first so the steak stays crunchy on top. YUM!
aimeeb aimeeb 5 years 22 weeks
That secretly looks good to me.
suziryder suziryder 5 years 22 weeks
Wow, apparently I'm missing something.. I've never had either! I guess I should try it out sometime :)
wackdoodle wackdoodle 5 years 22 weeks
Ha ha no they're not the same thing. I remember asking my North Carolina born granny about Chicken Fried Steak after she made it for breakfast cuz she knew I loved it. I said "June-June (that was my grans nickname) is chicken fried steak - cow or chicken?" She said "Honey it's cow that's beat to hell and cooked like fried chicken. And it's damn good, right?" Right June-June damn good eats.
care0531 care0531 5 years 22 weeks
I have had both and the chicken fried steak seemed better to me. However I did just recently get the chicken fried steak from Boston Market and that is not a steak! It's chicken.
roxyb roxyb 5 years 22 weeks
Chicken fried steak...that plate of food looks so good that I just licked the screen - fat free Friday lunch cannot get here soon enough.
Frika Frika 5 years 22 weeks
mmm, chicken fried steak...I may need to go out for dinner tonight now for some! haha! I just have to convince my husband it's in the budget, though being a country boy himself, it shouldn't take too much persuading to get him to agree
Rancher'sGirl Rancher'sGirl 5 years 22 weeks
Oh, and chicken fried steak is often served with mashed potatoes with gravy on them. :drool:
Rancher'sGirl Rancher'sGirl 5 years 22 weeks
Yep, I knew the difference. :) I savor every bite of both but I do prefer white or cream gravy! Now I'm craving chicken-fried steak and gravy! :drool:
Smacks83 Smacks83 5 years 22 weeks
They both sound yummy, I may lean towards chicken fried because I like the crispy texture and I looooove the white pepper gravy!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 5 years 22 weeks
When I was searching for a recipe a couple months ago, there was no real distinction made in those that I found. It was pounded, dredged, and then pan-fried, with creamy gravy on the side. Whatever you want to call it though, it was delicious!