Dinner For Two: Chicken Fried Steak

Welcome to the new Dinner For Two series here on Dessert For Two!  I receive frequent emails asking for dinner recipes scaled down to serve two people, and after mulling it over, I have decided to do it.  My current plans are to share dinner recipes once a month.  So, those of you that just come here for the butter-flour-sugar party won’t be too disturbed.

The dinner recipes will be my favorite Southern dinners.  There will be lots of buttermilk, cream and fried stuff.  Loosen that top button and get ready!

I want to begin the series with my all time favorite Southern meal:  Chicken fried steak with brown gravy and mashed potatoes.   If you’ve never had this delicious meal, pull up a chair and let me share it with you.

For two servings of chicken fried steak, I choose two cube steaks that weigh no more than 1/2 a pound total.  I sprinkle the steaks with seasoned salt (you may substitute regular salt) and pepper, then dredge them in a scaled-down batter and flour mixture, then fry.


After the steaks fry, I drain off most of the fat from the pan and make a small batch of brown gravy.

Behold:  bubbling brown gravy.  This is what Heaven tastes like.  I just know it.

Since you’re making a pan of gravy, I highly suggest you make mashed potatoes on the side.  I included a recipe for a small batch of perfect mashed potatoes for two.  Just one potato, a couple of tablespoons of butter and a splash of buttermilk and you’ve got yourself the perfect vehicle for homemade gravy.

Don’t forget the iced tea!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Dinner For Two: Chicken Fried Steak
Makes 2 servings of chicken fried steak, gravy & mashed potatoes.
For the chicken fried steaks:
  • 1 cup oil for frying (I use canola)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1¾ cups buttermilk (divided use)
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cube steaks (weighing about ½ pound total)
  • Seasoned salt to taste (or regular salt)
  • Pepper to taste
For the mashed potatoes:
  • 1 large potato (9-10 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or, to taste)
  • Pepper, to taste
  1. First, make the chicken fried steak. Add the canola oil to a heavy cast iron skillet and heat it over medium-high heat. In a shallow bowl, beat together the egg and ½ cup of buttermilk. In another bowl, add ½ cup of the flour. Season both sides of the cube steaks with seasoned salt (or regular salt) and pepper. Dip the steaks in the flour, shake off the excess, then dip them in the egg-buttermilk mixture. Dip them again in the flour mixture and press the flour into the steak to get a good coating. Check the temperature of the oil by sprinkling in a pinch of flour: you want it to sizzle and float. Once the oil is hot (about 325-350 degrees), gently add the steaks. Cook for 2-4 minutes on each side. When the steaks are golden brown and crispy, remove from oil and keep them warm in a low oven.
  2. Next, make your gravy: drain off all the fat from the skillet except 2 tablespoons. Return it to medium-low heat, sprinkle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. Whisk it to incorporate it into the fat and cook for about 1 minute. Slowly add the remaining 1¼ cup of buttermilk while whisking. Season the gravy with salt and pepper, then let it come to simmer while whisking frequently. Once it thickens, turn off the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, make your mashed potatoes: peel and dice your potato and boil it until tender. Drain it, then add it to a bowl with 2 tablespoons butter and ⅓ cup buttermilk. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. To serve, cover the steak and a scoop of mashed potatoes in lots of gravy. Enjoy!





  1. dani says

    my life is changed! i always wanted to know how to make chicken fried steak and an awesome gravy to go along. I never figure out how to scale mashed potatoes down…i always end up with 10 cups made, which, to me, isn’t really a problem :)

  2. says

    This is one of those southern meals I’ve never had but secretly desire when I see it on menus. I’m just too scared that I’m going to have a “bad” version of it since up North the only kind of places that have this are scary chain restaurants!

  3. says

    Ooh, I can’t wait to see what dinner recipes you’ll share! Of course, I’ll have to double them, but whatev. I’m good with that. :)

    And, I’ve never seen Chicken Fried Steak with brown gravy. Only white. I’m intrigued.

  4. says

    I love the idea of doing dinner for two! It’s amazing how much of a challenge it can be when you don’t have a whole family to feed. I find that Joe and I always have a bunch of leftovers in the fridge because I make too much. He would love this recipe.

  5. Patti says

    Thank you for doing this series. I can’t say once a month will be enough, but I look forward to your recipes. I am so excited to try this for dinner. Love your website.

  6. Ann says

    I’m SO excited to see you making dinners for two! I’m also happy to say that THIS will be tomorrow nights dinner! YaHoo!

  7. Nikki H says

    I am really excited you are doing this Dinner for Two, especially since we are empty nesters. Your CFS looks perfect–I should know, because I am an expert CFS consumer–and the gravy looks delish as well. Where I’m from (west Texas) we call your gravy “cream gravy” and the gravy that is made from roast beef drippings “brown gravy”. It’s interesting how things are differently things are called in different parts of the country. :) Have a great weekend!

  8. says

    well. i better not show this to nick before we go home or he’ll make me go by the store to get all this stuff for dinner tonight :)

  9. says

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a chicken fried steak and, to be honest, until I read this it had never appealed but now I really want to try it!

    • says

      Hi Gerry :)

      Good question! It’s called chicken because it’s FRIED like chicken. :) It’s called chicken-fried steak, or steak that’s been fried like chicken :)

      Thanks for writing in :)

  10. says

    This is the best idea ever!! I can’t wait to see what you feature next, love that you started with chicken fried steak. Perfect for date night,

  11. says

    This looks great! Southern recipes are the best – especially when there’s plenty of gravy to go around. We’d love for you to submit a similar recipe to The Search for the Ultimate Weeknight Meal, offering a grand-prize to one lucky blogger who will tape a segment to air on national TV! If you’re interested, check out our contest page for more details.

  12. Angela says

    This recipe was so good! I made it for dinner tonight :-D
    Do you think the batter on the steak would be good using self rising flour vs all purpose flour? I’m not sure how that would work out.

  13. Lene says

    What can I use if I’m Lactose Intolerant in the place of heavy cream? When stuff calls for milk I like to use Lactaid milk, but alas there isn’t anything for heavy cream.

    • says

      Hi Lene,

      Oh gosh. I’m not sure. I’m sorry. Could you add a little lemon juice to Lactaid to make it thicken a bit and use that? You’d probably have to cut down on the salt since the lemon juice would make it salty-tasting. Best of luck! Let me know how it goes :)

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