What Is Country Fried Steak?

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Q: What is the difference between country-fried steak and chicken-fried steak? Is it a question of regional names? Gina Cavaluzzo, Dennis, MA

A:
You're right, country fried steak and chicken fried steak are similar. Some food historians believe they're regional names for the same thing: a breaded, pan-fried steak served with gravy. The concept is thought to have been brought to the Southern United States by German immigrants in the mid-1800's, as it's pretty similar to wienerschnitzel, and a good way to make use of the tougher cuts of meat available in the South at the time. Though the name "country-fried steak" goes back at least that long, it's only been called "chicken-fried steak" since around the mid-20th century. The other distinction that sometimes comes up is that, where country-fried steak is flour-dusted and usually served with brown gravy and onions, chicken-fried steak is breaded with eggs and served with cream gravy.

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