The Alternative Cooking Method For Even Chicken-Fried Steak

If you've ever been confused by the concept of "chicken frying," you shouldn't feel too embarrassed. The term can be a little misleading. Unlike sugarcoating, which actually calls for the use of sugar (when it comes to baking and not delivering bad news), chicken frying doesn't require any chicken. As Serious Eats explains, chicken-fried steak, for example, is just steak that has been cooked like that delicious, bucket-worthy chicken — battered and fried.

A dish very similar but debatably different from the chicken-fried steak recipe is country-fried steak. According to Southern Living, the terms refer to inexpensive steaks like round steak or cube steak that have been breaded and fried in a pan such as a cast-iron skillet. The outlet explains the differences between the two dishes may lie in what happens in the pan, with country-fried steaks spending some time cooking in (typically brown) gravy, while chicken-fried steaks retain their crispiness in the pan, and the (typically white) gravy isn't added until the steaks are plated.

If taking a big bite out of a crispy-skinned piece of chicken-fried steak covered in white gravy sounds tempting, one tip for making that happen may come in handy — and it doesn't even involve downloading an app.

Changing pans may help with evenly browning the batter

For those who live in Dallas or other parts of Texas, finding a chicken-fried steak probably isn't too much of a struggle. In fact, the Dallas Observer reports that Texas loves this dish so much it has an annual day to celebrate it, October 26. The publication also shared a slew of suggestions where one can find a good chicken-fried steak (or "CFS," as the cool kids like to call it). Another option, of course, would be to try making one at home.

Using a cast-iron skillet would be one way to go to cook up chicken-fried steaks, but as Serious Eats found out, the batter may brown unevenly as the surface of the steaks touching the skillet cook quicker than the rest. The outlet shared a cooking solution that produced a more even cooking experience: deep frying the steaks in a Dutch oven. Since, "Most people expect their CFS to be the size of a human head," as the Dallas Observer put it, the size of chicken-fried steaks can be difficult to navigate in the kitchen. Serious Eats went with a seven-quart Dutch oven, resulting in "steaks that were evenly golden, with every nook and cranny of their textured crust intact." Sounds like those chicken-fried steaks were just begging to be gravy-doused and eaten.