Chicken Fried Steak


Picture this: it’s another regular day at the John Cooper School. After managing to fend through your morning classes, you’re relieved that it’s finally lunchtime. After making your way into the student center, you peer up at that screen to see what’s for lunch—chicken fried steak. For the next minute or so, you can’t help but contemplate the meaning behind the dish. Could it be better than a steak that’s cooked in a more conventional state? Or perhaps you’re better off going with the vegetarian option.  

Whether we’re at school or a restaurant, we’ve probably all had this moment. I mean, chicken and steak are two different things, so combining the two seems like a bold choice—though “questionable” is another word to describe it. Let’s dive into the truly compelling, eloquent history and origin of chicken fried steak.  

Chicken fried steak is a dish originating- unsurprisingly- from the Southern United States. The exact time frame for when this dish was created is not exactly known and still debated, though it most likely gained prominence in the early 1900s. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica database, its creation is accredited to Austrian and German immigrants. It was inspired by wiener schnitzel, one of the national dishes of Austria that is cooked in a similar way. Annual festivals are held to commemorate chicken fried steak in its birthplace, Lamesa, near Texas South Plains.  

So, how exactly is chicken fried steak made? You start by tenderizing a thin cut of steak-typically cube steak- and dipping it in egg batter or buttermilk. After that, the steak is excavated in flour, which is typically seasoned with salt and pepper. It is deep-fried and commonly served with a side of gravy. It’s called chicken fried steak because the steak is cooked in a similar manner to that of fried chicken, with the egg and flour battering.  

October 26th is declared as national chicken fried steak day. Fans of chicken fried steak consider it a comfort food—a sort of symbol of eccentric Southern popular culture and society. Although this dish may be appreciated in Texas, annual consumerism rates have dropped -9.95%.  

Regardless of everyone’s opinions on chicken fried steak, I recommend the next time you see it on the menu, give it a second chance!