Chicken Fried Steak with Jalapeno Bacon Gravy

Chicken Fried Steak is a classic comfort food!  Jalapeno Bacon Gravy takes this one to a whole new level of deliciousness!

Chicken Fried Steak is a classic comfort food!  Jalapeno Bacon Gravy takes this one to a whole new level of deliciousness!28…29…30!  Here I come, ready or not!”

*giggle* *giggle* *BOO!*

Last week, I decided to teach Robbie how to play Hide and Go Seek.  He’s always amped after I pick him up from preschool, and quite frankly I was tired of doing the same puzzle together for the 46th day in a row.  I needed to mix it up.  I taught him to cover his eyes and count to 30 while I went and hid somewhere in the house.  It took him a bit of time (and a short break to jump on the trampoline as he went by), but he did indeed find me.  Then it was his turn to hide.

Chicken Fried Steak is a classic comfort food!  Jalapeno Bacon Gravy takes this one to a whole new level of deliciousness!The entire time I was counting to 30, I heard little giggles coming from the bathroom.  Sure enough, as soon as I hit 30, I turned around and Robbie jumped out of the bathroom at me.  Hmmm.  Ok, so we might need a little more work on Hide and Go Seek.  Laura played with us when she got home, and her hiding place was in bed.  I’m pretty sure she got a 10-minute nap in there while we looked for her.  Sneaky, sneaky….or just pure genius!

Chicken Fried Steak is a classic comfort food!  Jalapeno Bacon Gravy takes this one to a whole new level of deliciousness!Chicken Fried Steak with Jalapeno Bacon Gravy

After several rounds of hiding and seeking, I split off to the kitchen to make dinner for everyone.  (By everyone, I mean me and Laura.  Robbie chose fish sticks dipped in mandarin orange juice.  Don’t ask.)  Last November, I visited the Texas Hill Country as part of a farm tour with the National Peanut Board.  This Chicken Fried Steak with Jalapeno Bacon Gravy was one of the lunch options on that trip.  The name alone made my mouth water.  They really do food the right way down in Texas!  After one bite, I knew I needed to recreate this back home.  The recipe experimenting got delayed by curling season (and a move into a new house), but I finally got around to it…and I’m glad I did!  This Chicken Fried Steak is legit.

Chicken Fried Steak is a classic comfort food!  Jalapeno Bacon Gravy takes this one to a whole new level of deliciousness!I served this Chicken Fried Steak with buttermilk biscuits and green beans.  After one bite, Laura proclaimed this to be the quintessential Southern comfort food.  While there are a lot of Southern comfort foods that compete for the top spot, she’s right that Chicken Fried Steak is up there pretty high on the list!  Laura also said she wanted this smothered in pasta sauce and served over spaghetti.  So you basically want chicken parm What can I say?  Her Italian roots run deep!

Chicken Fried Steak is a classic comfort food!  Jalapeno Bacon Gravy takes this one to a whole new level of deliciousness!So what is Chicken Fried Steak?  Is it chicken, or is it steak?

Chicken Fried Steak is pan-fried cube steak.  It doesn’t involve chicken at all, except for the fact that the cooking method is quite similar to that of fried chicken.  Chicken Fried Steak has its roots in Texas, and it likely came from German immigrants who settled in the area in the 1800’s.  If you think about it, chicken fried steak is quite similar to wiener schnitzel, a classic German dish.  The main difference is using beef instead of pork, but the cooking method is quite similar.  After all, Texas is the #1 beef producing state in the US, so the German settlers just adapted their recipes to local foods.

This recipe totally brought me back to my days growing up in the South.  It made for a tasty meal while I thought about my next hiding place for Hide and Go Seek.  Cheers!

Did you make this Chicken Fried Steak at home?  Leave a comment.  Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!

Looking for more classic Southern comfort food?  Check out these other favorite recipes, too:

Southern Meatloaf Sandwiches
Pimento Cheese Burger with Fried Pickles
Hushpuppies
Hoppin’ John
Southern Pecan Praline Cake

Chicken Fried Steak is a classic comfort food!  Jalapeno Bacon Gravy takes this one to a whole new level of deliciousness!

Chicken Fried Steak with Jalapeno Bacon Gravy

Chicken Fried Steak is a classic comfort food!  Jalapeno Bacon Gravy takes this one to a whole new level of deliciousness!
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 776kcal

Ingredients

For the Chicken Fried Steak

  • 4 6-oz. beef cube steaks (24 oz. total)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 cup panko-style bread crumbs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • ½ Tbsp hot sauce
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • vegetable or canola oil for frying

For the Gravy

  • 2 jalapenos ribs and seeds removed, diced
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon cut into ½” strips
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika

Instructions

For the Chicken Fried Steak

  • If necessary, pound the cube steaks to ¼” thickness. (Note: An easy way to do this is place the steaks between two pieces of plastic wrap and then use a kitchen mallet or rolling pin to pound steaks to ¼”.)
  • Pat steaks dry using paper towels; set steaks aside.
  • Using a plate or shallow bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and onion powder; whisk together until well combined.
  • Spread bread crumbs out onto a second plate.
  • Using a separate shallow bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, hot sauce and minced garlic.
  • Using a large skillet, add enough oil to fill pan ½”; place over medium-high heat until oil reaches 350°F. (Tip: To determine when oil is hot enough, drop a pinch of breadcrumbs into the oil. If it bubbles up immediately, then the oil is ready. If the oil begins to smoke at any point, immediately reduce heat.)
  • Working with one piece of steak at a time, dip both sides first into the flour, then into the buttermilk mixture and then finally into the breadcrumb mixture. Place the steak into the skillet. (Note: I typically do this in 2 batches of 2 steaks each so as not to overcrowd the skillet.)
  • Fry steaks for 3-4 minutes per side, or until both sides are golden brown. Remove steaks from skillet and place on a paper-towel lined plate.

For the Gravy

  • Once steaks have been fried, drain all but ¼ cup of the leftover oil from the skillet.
  • Place skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced jalapenos and bacon; sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until jalapenos have softened slightly and bacon is crispy.
  • Gradually whisk flour into skillet, scraping the bottom of the skillet with a flat-edged wooden spoon to release any solids into the gravy.
  • Add buttermilk, whipping cream, salt, pepper and paprika; stir until well combined. Bring gravy to a simmer, stirring often.
  • Continue cooking for 6-7 minutes, stirring often, or until gravy has thickened. (Note: If gravy becomes too thick, just add 1-2 Tbsp of cream or milk.)
  • Spoon gravy over steaks before serving.

Chicken Fried Steak is a classic comfort food!  Jalapeno Bacon Gravy takes this one to a whole new level of deliciousness!

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24 Comments

  1. That sure does look good. I remember the first time I tried chicken-fried steak was way back in the 1990s. In New York, actually, where a Texan friend brought me to the now long-gone Cottonwood Café in the Village. It was a revelation—that and putting a lime and a few drops of Tabasco sauce in my beer. I guess that’s a Texan thing…? Anyway, bacon and jalapeños sound like a great way to mix things up a bit.

    And, speaking of mixing things up, I actually think Robbie’s take on hide and go seek sounds more fun than the original. At least for him…

    1. Ah! I was surprised when I saw New York City as the first place for chicken-fried steak…but now I get it. A Texan introduced you. Must have been a good friend! 🙂

      Oh my gosh…Tabasco in beer! I had a friend who used to do that, and I had totally forgotten about it until now. Awesome! Now I need a beer to try that out. Thanks, Frank!

  2. 5 stars
    David, while I respect your traditional approach to Hide and Go Seek, I think Robbie has a nice twist on it, too. But certanly Laura’s hiding place is the winner. Probably you should count to 100…or 1000 to allow Laura to hide longer 🙂 And these fried chicken stakes look delicious – perfectly browned and delicious.

    1. Yes, I do appreciate Robbie’s take on Hide and Go Seek. It sure is easier for him! Also, I was annoyed that Laura just hid in bed. Really I was more annoyed that I didn’t think of that hiding place myself! Hope you had a great weekend, Ben!

  3. 5 stars
    Hey, at least Robbie understands the concept of hiding. My mother swears I was 5 before I realized that closing my eyes wasn’t a good way to hide because people could still see me even if I couldn’t see them. (I think I was more like 2 but whatever, haha!) I don’t eat chicken fried steak but I would definitely drink jalapeño gravy with a straw (is that gross?). . .I don’t care; I love jalapeños! Have a great Easter weekend!

    1. Haha! I totally support your method of Hide and Go Seek, Kelsie. If I can’t see you, then you can’t see me! 🙂 Hope you and Cookie had a great holiday weekend, my friend!

  4. Hi David! Oh that gravy, just give me a biscuit and that!!! Not that your chicken fried steak isn’t impressive. I don’t know about where you live, but here the price of cubed steak is very close to ribeye steaks! I haven’t bought any for quite a while because of that. In the past I would buy a thin round steak and tenderize it myself, but I haven’t found any of those either. 🙁
    I digress, great recipe my friend! Happy Easter to the Dials!

    1. Tell me about it, Dorothy! The biscuit was clutch here as it helped make sure there was absolutely no gravy left on the plate. Wow, I’m surprised to hear how expense cube steak is down there…or maybe that’s how cheap ribeyes are?? Either way, keep this one tucked away for when the price goes back down.

      I hope and the family had a very happy Easter weekend! Thanks so much for being a regular supporter and friend out here. 🙂

    1. Laura totally nailed it with her hiding spot! I’m annoyed that I didn’t think of that one myself. Haha!

      And I totally agree with you about jalapenos…they bring so much flavor to a dish! I often take the seeds/ribs out just to control the heat, but the actual flavor of jalapenos (minus the heat) is so tasty! Thanks, Alexandra!

  5. 5 stars
    Oh man, I’d play hid and seek with your Chicken Fried Steak with Jalapeno Bacon Gravy anytime. I’d be seeking and you’d have to be hiding this dish. This one is defiantly making me homesick for a good CFS. As you know, they’re a mainstay in Texas cuisine. But, that gravy, sounds wonderful. Just give me a bowl of the gravy and some of those biscuits and I’m in heaven.
    Shortly after moving here we had a CFS feed for some family members and it took some explaining to get them to understand why we call it chicken fried steak. I will be diving into this one once we get past lamb season.
    Glad Påsk (Happy Easter) to you and the family.

    1. Hahaha! Hilarious, Ron. I was actually thinking about you when I posted this one as I figured gravy (and CFS in general) isn’t too common over there. Chicken fried steak is definitely a confusing term…but it makes up for the confusion with taste! This dish is definitely not lacking in flavor!

      Hope you and the family had a very happy Easter (Glad Pask) as well! 🙂

    1. Oh man, this recipe is packed with all kinds of flavor. From the chicken-fried steak to the gravy to the biscuits (to make sure no gravy is left, of course), this was definitely a winner. 🙂 Thanks so much, Kathy!!

  6. 5 stars
    Yes please! This is my kind of comfort food, David!!

    Just love all the fun that you and Laura have with Robbie! Hope you have a wonderful Easter!

    1. We come up with the craziest games and things to do around here…it’s really hard to entertain a 3-year old! I swear I have to have at least 18 ideas just to make it through a full day. Haha! 🙂

      Hope you and the family had a great Easter, too, Marissa!

  7. 5 stars
    Love how you got the inspiration for this recipe when you were visting the Texas Hill Country last November. Like yourself I always get my recipe inspiration when I’m out on trips (as you know). Anyway, enjoy your Hide and Seek with Robbie, hopefully while you are hiding I can steal some of these delicious looking fried chicken steaks from your kitchen whilst you’re not looking!

    1. Now that’s a great idea, Neil! I should let Robbie go “hide” while I sneak off to the kitchen and grab bites of chicken-fried steak. That’s the kind of game I like to play! Thanks so much, my friend!

  8. 5 stars
    I never met a kid who didn’t love hide & go seek. 🙂 Fun! I’ve never had chicken fried steak (gasp!) — I must try it. The sauce sounds amazing!!

    1. Oh, Robbie is all in on Hide and Go Seek…even if his version is a little, uh, easier than the traditional version. Haha! And if you’ve never had chicken-fried steak, then you’re in for a treat, my friend! This is a classic dish in Texas…and for good reason. It’s packed with flavor for sure! Thanks, Valentina!

  9. 5 stars
    So sweet and so fun! I always find the name of this recipe funny because, like you said, it’s steak and not chicken. I’m sure it doesn’t matter whatever you call it because it looks and sounds absolutely delicious! And that gravy? Woah! That would be tempting to just enjoy all by itself, lol. Hope you guys had a lovely Easter weekend 🙂

    1. Man, chicken-fried steak really is a confusing name. But it definitely makes up for the name confusion in flavor. And this gravy? Woah! The biscuits are definitely a requirement so that you can sop up every last bit of gravy! Thanks so much, Dawn…I hope you and the family had a great holiday weekend, too! 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing a great recipe! Loved the coating on the chicken fried steak–lighter than the crushed saltines I usually use. Loved the jalapeno gravy.

    1. Hey Danni! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe…it’s a fun one. I love it! And I really appreciate you stopping back by to leave a comment, too. Cheers! 🙂

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