Why is it Called Chicken Fried Steak?

Dry-Aged vs. Wet-Aged Steaks

You’re looking through the menu of a restaurant. You have a lot of options. They have a few cuts of steak listed. Steak is usually delicious, but it has to be cooked just right. You could go for a burger, but will it really be fantastic? As you browse your options, your eyes eventually fall on the go-to meal you know you can trust. You see the chicken fried steak. No two people cook it the same, but it’s one of those staple dishes that you can count on to be tasty. Why is that? What is it about chicken fried steak that makes it reliable and tasty? Why do they even call it chicken fried steak? All of these important life questions are finally going to be answered.

The Namesake of Chicken Fried Steak

Are you ready for a quick history lesson? The original use of the term “chicken fried steak” is not a matter of historical record. That means that no one is entirely sure when the dish was first cooked or first named. The Oxford Dictionary tried to trace the phrase, and the earliest publication they found was a Colorado Springs newspaper advertisement in 1914. That said, the phrase was already established by then.

What is known about the history of chicken fried steak is that it was popular in Texas in the 1800s. Some say it was a fusion of German/Austrian and southern cooking. That seems plausible considering migration that happened around that time, but no one can say with certainty how the dish got its start. What is certain is that it is a delicious food.

As for the origin of the name, it is generally agreed that the term is referencing the style of cooking. A “chicken fried steak” is prepared similarly to traditional fried chicken. That is, you season flour, prep the meat with egg before battering it, and fry it in oil. This method is almost identical for fried chicken and chicken fried steak — which is also frequently called country fried steak.

What Makes the Dish Special?


Now that we know a little of the history and namesake, let’s explore what a chicken fried steak is really all about. What makes it such a special dish? In short, it’s a dish that aims to use low-cost ingredients to create high-quality flavor.

Chicken frying anything has the potential to be delicious. It’s why we’ve all sampled so many fried delicacies. Chicken fried steak is special for a few reasons. One of those reasons is the cut of the meat. The dish uses cubed steak. This is not an ultra-expensive cut of meat. It doesn’t have to be dry-aged for three months, and it isn’t exclusively farmed in Japan or an exotic location. It’s one of the most accessible cuts of beef that you can get. It’s a steak for everyone.

The preparation is also meant to be accessible and universally palatable. Every culture in history has used eggs and some variant of flour to fry foods. Combining that with the most accessible cut of beef you can get leads to a dish for everyone. It’s delicious when prepared right.

Chicken fried steak is also subject to creativity and variety. A lot of that boils down to the seasonings. You can choose from so many seasonings, and that leads to flavor combinations that can delight the senses. Mix in a unique gravy, and you get even more combinations to make a delicious dish. Combine those seasonings with the fantastic textures of a properly fried steak, and you have a wonderful dining experience. Chicken fried steak is a common dish turned masterpiece. That’s what gives it a reputation for being a trustworthy meal anywhere you might find it.

Cattlemen's Take on a Classic


There are a lot of chicken fried steaks in the world. How does Cattlemen’s hope to compete? Years of practice is the real answer. We know exactly how to fry a steak to perfection. We spared no effort in crafting our signature blend of spices. Best of all, our chicken fried steak is topped with the best cream gravy you can find. It’s not just a tasty meal. It’s an experience. Come by and give it a try. We promise it’ll be a chicken fried steak to remember. Contact us online or by phone at 405-236-0416.