Chicken Fried Steak

By Don Ray Williams
December 11, 2006

Boy would I like to have a Chicken Fried Steak.
That is one thing that Panamanians don’t make.

Smother it all over with some good cream gravy,
Just thinkin bout it’s drivin my taste buds crazy.

For me add some French Fried potatoes all nice and crisp,
That’s a eatin experience that’s just plain bliss.

Now if you don’t know of what I speak,
Then you never eaten a Chicken Fried Steak.

I don’t know why I woke up thinking about Chicken Fried steak this morning, but I did. Besides good Mexican food, this is one other thing that I really miss. Growing up on a farm in Oklahoma, you learn that one of the staples of life is chicken fried steak. My dad used to say that is what you needed it you were going to have to go climb on the tractor and plow the back forty. He would say “That is a meal that will stick to your ribs.” My mom would cook up a big batch of chicken fried steak add a big bowl of mashed potatoes and top it off with a gravy boat filled with cream gravy. Boy does that bring back memories.

I remember when we would go out driving on short trips on a weekend. That was before the big interstates. When we would start getting hungry, my dad would start looking for a truck stop that had its lot full. He always said that was the best way to pick where to eat. He said if the truckers chose it, it had to be good. I have no idea how many pounds of chicken fried steaks I have eaten in truck stops in Texas and Oklahoma, but I bet the cattle herd is short several head.

These memories were enough for me to spend a little time in the Internet seeing if I could find some good recipes. I picked three that look like they are worth trying.

The first site looks like the steaks my mom used to cook. It also has some nice photos to let you know what you are in for.

If your mouth doesn’t start watering by the time you finish the second site, then it is time for you to schedule your annual physical to see if you are still alive.

This is the third site.

I am hungry!

21 thoughts on “Chicken Fried Steak

  1. My mouth is watering. Kathleen will never fix that. She is off to NY this week. Maybe, just maybe, I will get some energy and make myself a meal. I never had either Mexican food or Chicken Fried steak till I was in the Army and in New Mexico. A third of my life was deprived of these great meals. Yankees just don’t know.
    Merry Christmas, Dick

  2. Ah yes, ‘misty watercolored memmmmmrees of the way we were’ as Barbra Streisand belts it out.

    Don Ray, U just inspired me to introduce yet another item of traditional Texas food to my acquired tico family.

    Now, since the Texas chili that I fixed that day a few years ago has become a staple item with us, I’m hoping that the chicken fried steak smoothered w/cream gravy will be just as big a hit.

    ¡Thanks for the inspiration, bro.!

    Allen McDonald, El Galloviejo®

  3. Hi Allen. Always happy to help someone else add a few pounds along with me. No better way than a good chicken fried steak and cream gravy. Thanks for leaving a comment Allen.

  4. dear don,

    as with allen a fourth of my life was spent without

    mexican food and”white gravy and chicken fried steak”

    that and swiss steak are frank’s favorites white

    gravy will not happen without a cast iron skillet!

    thank you and keep up the great work ellen

  5. My sides would be mashed potatoes with milk gravy, fried okra, crowder peas, poke salad, porterhouse rolls with lots of butter, and finish with oven warm apple pie with a big spoonful of vanilla ice cream on top. And you gotta have lots of ice tea.

  6. Hi John. I can go for a little fried okra. Don’t think I ever had any crowder peas. I like the black eyed peas that are in the photo. Not sure about the poke salad, but love the porterhouse roles fresh from the oven. I also agree about needing lots of iced tea. I almost put that in my post.

    My dad used to like apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese on it.

  7. Hi Don,
    We have a local mom and pop place that fixes it covered with the same sausage gravy that they use on their SOS and it adds increadble flavor to their chicken fried steak. my mouth is watering right now just thinking about it. I can’t immagine how many calories and colesterol we are talking here.

  8. I keep coming back to this picture. I am afraid if I do it again I may short out my key board. We are what we eat. I have to visit Texas once more before it is too late. Have a good one.

  9. Hahahaha. I refuse to be accountable for your having to replace your keyboard. Maybe you should just print the photo and paste it on your refrigerator.

  10. Don— Why not teach Lilliam to make these things? Panamanian food leaves a lot to be desired. Having been in Mexico many times, I kind of thought the food would be somewhat similar. Wrong! If I were younger, I would definitely open a restaurant or a cooking school here. I live in San Vicente, just North of Concepcion. For a town this size, with many restaurants, I haven’t found any with good food and I’ve tried many. I’ve ordered shrimp, one of my favorite things and been served a dinner with shrimp the size of those found in shrimp cocktail. I have served many Panamanian friends some very simple things and they have been amazed at the different kinds of food available from local plants and animals. There are two Chinese restaurants on the highway, with the most terrible food imaginable. There is a new one near where the new mall will be that is passable, but the prices are a little high. There are two pizza places close together, on the highway that intersects with the Volcan highway. Both are not good. Someone told me that the mall will have a Dominoes. I hope this is true. If you make your own chicken fried steak, marinate it in crushed papaya for several hours or overnight. You will have steak you can cut with a fork.

  11. Lilliam knows how to make chicken fried steak and does an outstanding job. The problem is that El Rey’s tenderizer machine broke several years ago and they no longer see tenderized meat. Yes, I know you can get one of the tenderizing hammers and beat you own meat (did I really write that), but that is too much work.

  12. I had the same as John except we had warm blackberry cobbler direct from the oven. And, of course, ice cream on top, PS I am from north central Texas.

  13. Hi Don– I will be in PC from Wednesday,this week until Sunday or Monday fo ar religious convention in El Espino. After I gt back, I would be happy to host the two of you for Chicken fried steak. I have the tool to tenderize the meat further. I have had a restaurant of my own in Sacramento, and while i served some American food, it was not CFS, but mostly Arabian food, I worked in many restaurants that served CFS, I know the gravy and the food. My email you likely already have,My phone is 6751-5596. I would be happy to meet the two of you and to serve you whatever you desire. Dee

Leave a Reply