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Feeling a little bit hungry for some southern home cookin’? Then this is the perfect day!

National Chicken Fried Steak Day offers a great opportunity to appreciate and enjoy this classic, hearty dish with a few different southern sides.

History of National Chicken Fried Steak Day

Chicken Fried Steak has been around in southern cooking for many decades. Several places seem to claim its origin, including the states of Texas and Oklahoma. Some think it came from German immigrants who settled in Texas and began cooking steak in a similar way that they had cooked pork or chicken – like a wiener schnitzel. Others believe the dish got its start further north, in some commercial kitchens of Kansas and Colorado.

No matter where it got its start, Chicken Fried Steak is a delicious dish that is associated with southern cooking. It has been officially embraced by both Texas and Oklahoma, but it can certainly be enjoyed anywhere in the US as well as around the world!

National Chicken Fried Steak Day was founded not many years ago. Campaigned for by a restauranteur, Jeffrey Yarbrough and his friend, singer Jimmy Baldwin, National Chicken Fried Steak Day was established in Texas to give this southern dish just a bit more respect. The two wholeheartedly believed that people would argue a little less often if they just had a plate of chicken fried steak to enjoy! 

By the year 2011, the 82nd Texas state legislature officially approved Chicken Fried Steak Day through a proclamation of House Resolution 1419. Of course, even though it might not be an official day in other states, Chicken Fried Steak Day can certainly be celebrated in places all around the world!

In an effort to make the day even more special, Jimmy Baldwin wrote a little song about this delicious food, and the song was officially endorsed by the state of Texas in 2017. The title is “Peace, Love, and Chicken Fried Steak.” and the chorus goes like this:

“Peace, love and chicken fried steak

That’s what the world needs now”

National Chicken Fried Steak Day Timeline

1830s

Germans populate large portions of Texas

It’s likely that the German tradition of making wiener schnitzel was a strong influence on the more recent invention of Chicken Fried Steak. [1]

1838

The Virginia Housewife is published

This cookbook, by Mary Randolph, contains one of the earliest recipes similar to Chicken Fried Steak, but it is made with veal cutlets.[2]

1942

Chicken Fried Steak ranks as one of America’s top meals

The National Restaurant Association compiles a list of the top 10 favorite American restaurant dishes and Chicken Fried Steak with country gravy ranks at #3.[3]

1988

Chicken Fried Steak is added to Oklahoma’s official state meal

Officially approved by the state legislature, Oklahoma’s state meal includes Chicken Fried Steak, black-eyed peas, fried okra, cornbread, pecan pie and several other items.[4]

2011

First National Chicken Fried Steak Day is celebrated

By proclamation of the Texas state legislature, Chicken Fried Steak is considered a food that reflects the history and diversity of the state. [5]

How to Celebrate National Chicken Fried Steak Day

Have fun and fill up that belly with delicious food in enjoyment and celebration of National Chicken Fried Steak Day! Choose a variety of different ways to pay heed to the day, including some of these ideas:

Enjoy Eating Chicken Fried Steak

Head out to a restaurant that specializes in southern or country cooking, and order up a plate filled with chicken fried steak, pile some white gravy to go on top and perhaps ask for some fried okra or a side of black eyed peas! 

If choosing a locally run southern cooking restaurant isn’t an option, some national chains that often have Chicken Fried Steak on the menu might include places like Cracker Barrel, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, or Church’s Chicken. And perhaps, in honor of National Chicken Fried Steak Day and in the interest of saving some money, these restaurants will be offering special discounts or deals on this delicious dish.

Try Making Chicken Fried Steak at Home

Making chicken fried steak in the kitchen at home isn’t terribly difficult. And it might be a fun activity to enjoy in celebration of National Chicken Fried Steak Day!

Grab a recipe from the myriad of country cooking recipes available on the internet, or choose one from a cookbook at home. One of the most important factors in making chicken fried steak is to make sure that the cut of beef is properly tenderized, meaning that it is beaten until it is very thin and will fry up easily.

One other pro tip is to bread the meat and then place it in the refrigerator, covered on a sheet pan, for about 30 minutes prior to frying. This will help the batter stick to the meat and prevent it from falling off while in the cooking process.

Serve chicken fried steak with a variety of classic side dishes, including creamy mashed potatoes, fried okra, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, green beans or many other options.

Learn the Chicken Fried Steak Day Song

When there’s a song that goes along with a day, it might be almost compulsory to learn it! Or at the very least it can be a lot of fun. This song by Jimmy Baldwin, one of the founders of the National Chicken Fried Steak Day, is worth learning and singing along with. A quick online search will bring up a YouTube video, just for fun or the lyrics are here:

A whole lotta hate going on 
A whole lotta hate 
We’ve gotta learn to love one another 
White, Black and Brown, 
We’re all just brothers 
Well, I’m no guru, but 
I know what it will take 
All it takes is some chicken fried steak. 
Peace, love and chicken fried steak 
Peace, love and chicken fried steak
That’s what the world needs now 

Take a Trip to Texas

Perhaps it is not the place where chicken fried steak originated (though many Texans will likely vehemently disagree), but it is definitely the place where National Chicken Fried Steak Day got its start. And Texas certainly was the first state (and only, so far) to pass legislation for Chicken Fried Steak Day!

So a little trip to the largest of the southern United States would be a great way to celebrate this day. Enjoy a plate full of chicken fried steak at a huge selection of restaurants in Dallas, Houston or some of the other main cities. In fact, it might be wise to eat at several different places on the trip, comparing to see which place offers the best chicken fried steak around.

While visiting Texas, it might be fun to do some other activities related to this state, like remembering to visit the Alamo in San Antonio, buying (and wearing) a ten-gallon cowboy hat, getting some science vibes at the Space Center in Houston, or enjoying everything related to the Texas State Capitol that’s located in Austin.

National Chicken Fried Steak Day FAQs

Why is it called Chicken Fried Steak?

The dish is named this way because it is made up of a piece of steak that is cooked in batter, in the manner of fried chicken. [1]

How do you make Chicken Fried Steak?

Using a tenderized cube steak or round steak, create a breading with flour, egg and breadcrumbs, then fry. [2]

Does Chicken Fried Steak have gluten?

Yes, traditional recipes for breading chicken fried steak are made with wheat flour, which contains gluten.

What does Chicken Fried Steak taste like?

Chicken fried steak tastes like a piece of steak, but with a thick and crispy breading wrapped around it. [3]

Can you bake Chicken Fried Steak?

Sure! Technically, it changes the recipe a bit, but it is possible to come up with a similar (and healthier) recipe that is baked instead of fried.

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