The Ultimate Texas Chicken Fried Steak

The Ultimate Texas Chicken Fried Steak Recipe


This “Ultimate Texas Chicken Fried Steak With West Texas Gravy”, beat Grady Spears—cowboy food legend, James Beard award-winner, and my great friend, at the Golden Chile Awards, to take its place as the definitive chicken fried steak recipe. 

The secret? Well, it’s two-fold.

Like many girls, I was blessed with a grandmother I adored. I grew up listening to her stories and eating her homemade chocolate chip cookies while I watched her fry up dinner in her ancient cast-iron skillet. When my grandmother passed away, the entire family descended on the house to take care of my grandfather and help ourselves to a memento from her life.

My grandmother on the farm!


My grandfather leaned over, placing his calloused, life-weathered hand on my knee, and pinned me with his still sparkling blue eyes, “What do you want of hers, Sarah?”

I swallowed back tears and said, “Her cast-iron skillet.”

The day I beat Grady, I was using her skillet.

I also used a secret ingredient my grandmother taught me during those lazy afternoons in her kitchen. The key to simply perfect country gravy is a couple cans of evaporated milk. It’s a flavor that takes me back to traveling Route 66 with my grandparents, stopping at the little roadside diners along the way, and tasting complete gravy paradise coating the end of my fork.

It’s sweeter, warmer, and, though it might sound crazy, it’s almost as good as being safely wrapped in your grandma’s warm embrace. 🙂

Here is the recipe for the Ultimate Texas Chicken Fried Steak!

If you make it, tag me on social media! I wanna see! 😛


The Ultimate Texas Chicken Fried Steak Recipe
Save RecipeSave Recipe


4 (1/2-inch-thick) steaks of eye of round

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon seasoning salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 eggs and a little milk for thinning

1 liter canola oil

West Texas Gravy

3–4 tablespoons oil, reserved from the pan you cooked the steaks in

3–4 tablespoons flour (grab some of the seasoned flour from breading the steaks)

2 cans evaporated whole milk

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Garnish: I don’t think there is anything better than fresh thyme!


Yield: 4

For the steaks:

Pound out your steaks with a tenderizing mallet to thin 1/4-inch slices. They will get bigger and wider as you go. The butcher paper they came home in is perfect for this, or you can use parchment or wax paper. I alternate between the spiky side and the flat side as I go. This is really therapeutic. Pound the crap out of them!

Combine the flour, seasoning salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and cornstarch in a bowl and whisk it well, then place it on a large platter. In a glass dish (big enough to dunk a whole steak) combine the three eggs and a little milk and whisk into a thin mixture to make an egg wash.

Dip each steak into flour, shake it off, then into egg wash, shake it off, then back into the flour. Place each steak on a nice big cookie sheet. Repeat with all the steaks, then transfer into the refrigerator for a half hour. Do not skip this step. This is giving the flour mixture time to bind and develop. Meanwhile, you can clean up, remembering to reserve 4 tablespoons of seasoned flour for the gravy.

To cook the steaks:

Fill your cast-iron skillet about halfway with canola oil. Heat the oil to 350°F on medium-high heat. (You can test the oil with the back of a wooden spoon. When it bubbles around the spoon, it’s hot enough. That happens at about 350°F.)

Using tongs, place a steak in the oil. It should immediately start to bubble and cook, but not explode with activity. If it does, you will want to turn the heat down a nudge. Depending on the size of your skillet, you can cook two or more at the same time. Especially if you preheated that cast-iron skillet. You may have to monitor the heat when adding new steaks. I think a good secret is to let the majority of the first steak get nice and well fried on one side before trying to add in another one.

Watch the edges of the steak for a golden-brown color. The edges will tell you what it looks like underneath!

As each steak is done, remove it from the pan and immediately salt it on each side. Hold on a cookie sheet in a preheated oven at about 225°F. This will keep them hot while you cook the other steaks, but they are best served quickly for maximum crispiness.

When all of the steaks are resting and toasting in the oven, pour all the grease out of the skillet except about 3–4 tablespoons and turn the heat down to low. Sprinkle in the reserved flour and whisk until a brown paste begins to form.

Slowly whisk in one can of milk and whisk until it is thoroughly combined. Turn the heat up to medium and whisk as the gravy begins to take form and thicken, which happens when the mixture starts to simmer. Little bubbles will begin to form. Keep the heat around medium.

I usually add another 1/2 can of milk as I decide how thin/thick I want my gravy . . . that’s just a preference thing. Feel free to do what you like. Add the lemon juice, onion and garlic powder, and salt. We crack freshly ground pepper in just before serving and sprinkle on fresh thyme from our herb garden.

Top the chicken-fried steaks with gravy and serve with your favorite sides.

The Ultimate Texas Chicken Fried Steak


About the Author:

My name is Sarah and I'm the Urban Cowgirl! I'm a pro chef and 7th gen Texan in Dallas. I love tacos, Tito's, true crime, and Tex Mex. I wrote a cookbook and you should check it out! It's called Urban Cowgirl, and it's available in all the usual places. :)


  1. Karly April 14, 2017 at 10:04 am
    Wow. This looks absolutely amazing! Kinda craving it with eggs and hash browns for breakfast, on a bun for lunch and with that baked potato for dinner. Totally acceptable, right?
    • The Urban Cowgirl April 19, 2017 at 9:10 am
      My grandparents do that! Like a chicken fried steak sandwich. They leave off the gravy and spread mayo on the bun. Top with lettuce and tomato! It's delicious! :)
  2. Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy June 30, 2017 at 5:16 pm
    Love the story....I miss my grandmother too. It was always so much fun spending time in the kitchen with her. Having that skillet would be a wonderful memory for sure.
  3. Marie July 1, 2017 at 5:46 am
    That s intriguing idea ! I ve never had a "steak" in a chciken fingers form! But makes total sense plus i love the southern flair!
  4. Tatiana July 2, 2017 at 5:36 pm
    West Texas gravy sound really delicious. I am sure my husband will really appreciate it when I will cook this dish next weekend!
  5. Nicole Shillings July 2, 2017 at 6:19 pm
    I haven't had chicken fried steak since I was a kid. My grandmother also made the best chicken fried steak. I'll have to make this in her memory.
  6. Andrea July 2, 2017 at 6:30 pm
    I remember a childhood friend her mom would always make this on the weekends and I remember when I would go to dinner at her house how delicious it was. Thank you for transporting me back in time.
  7. Constance Smith July 2, 2017 at 7:13 pm
    What a precious thing to have of your grandmother's. I also have a special cast iron skillet. It belonged to my grandfather, whom I called "Poppy." He was a carpenter by trade, but also love to hunt, trap & fish. I have the skillet that he used over a camp fire on all of those hunting trips. In regards to the gravy, yes, that evaporated milk simply does something to it. That's how my in-laws make their gravy, and it is so good!
  8. April July 3, 2017 at 6:34 am
    This sounds so delicious and looks great! My husband is a big fan of chicken fried steak. I haven't tried it in chicken finger form yet! I have to put this on my to-do list.
  9. Danielle Cushing July 3, 2017 at 8:13 am
    what a cute story! I would have asked for the cast iron skillet too. :)
  10. Derek | Dad With A Pan July 3, 2017 at 10:33 am
    Awesome story! You can't beat a good cast iron skillet especially when its passed down through generations!
  11. Lynn | The Road to Honey July 3, 2017 at 5:39 pm
    Such a lovely story and such wonderful memories associated with that cast iron skillet. And judging by this chicken fried steak. . .you sure would make grandma proud with the wizardy you can pull off with it.

Comments are closed.