Sous Vide: Chuck Eye Chicken Fried Steak

This breaded cutlet improves a classic, rustic dish by eliminating the risk of occasional toughness that plagues the common diner version


Chuck steaks, 2 each, approximately 3 oz/60g. They should be no thicker than 1″/2.5 cm to facilitate the pounding.
S+P to taste
Flour, as needed
Eggs, 1 each
Breadcrumbs, as needed–at least two cups. There will be some left over.

Fresh parsley, a few sprigs, chopped.


Click these links to see how to make the two sauces utilized.

Bechamel/Veloute/Cream Sauce

Chicken Based Demi-glace*

*Espagnole is not so difficult to make as it is time consuming and labor intensive. If you just don’t have the time, click here

Potatoes goes with chicken fried steak! Mashed potatoes? HERE is the link to our sous vide recipe. A fancier treatment, Milles Feuilles are HERE.

Equipment requirements
Immersion circulator, portable or stationary.
Heat rated container, minimum of 2 gallons/8 liters.
Heat rated sous vide bags.
Flat bottomed skillet, approximately 12″/30 cm. and 3″/90 mm deep.
Wooden spoon.
Wire whisk.
Infrared or probe thermometer.


This is a hardworking muscle from the shoulder area of a steer/heifer. If you cannot find it readily, ask the butcher–he should be able to accommodate you.

Process the chuck eye steaks @
129 F/53 C X 4 hours

Shock cold in iced tap water until the packages achieve 70 F/21 C. Refrigerate at 40 F/4 C until day of use. If you plan to use the steaks right away, make sure they achieve 40 F/4 C before you attempt to pound them out.

Lay a sheet of plastic wrap below the steak, and put another sheet on top. This makes cleanup easier, prevents splatter and makes the meat less likely to tear as a result of the “tenderization” process. Starting the center and then working your way around, gently pound out the meat to as thin as possible without altering its structural integrity–no thicker 0.3″/1 cm.

This may take a little practice but is not really difficult. For you parents, pre-teen kids are usually good at it right away! I use the special mallet designed for this purpose, but honestly, a rubber hammer works quite well.

Remove the plastic and put the steak on parchment or butcher paper. Season both sides lightly with S+P, and then sprinkle both sides with flour as shown. Lay the steak in the beaten egg and make sure it is fully moistened.

Spread an ample amount of breadcrumbs on the parchment. Carefully lift the steak out of the egg, let it drain for a moment and lay it down on the crumbs. Sprinkle the top heavily with more crumbs, and pat it down with dry hands to secure the breading. In the picture above, I wrap the steak in the sheet of parchment. Let the cutlet rest in the refrigerator for one half hour–this also helps secure the breading.

Heat a skillet or cast iron frying pan to
375F /190C

Traditional recipes call for lard, which has its own flavor. Modern tastes have wandered towards vegetable oil–both are fine. Add enough oil to the skillet to achieve about 0.25″/8 mm in depth–usually about  2 oz/60 ml.. The oil will heat very quickly, so you can carefully lay the cutlet down almost right away. If you have more than one cutlet, do not crowd the pan. I usually cook one at a time, drain and strain the fat, wipe out the pan with a paper towel and repeat the process.

As the cutlet cooks, it will still start to curl up around the edge (see above slide). For best appearance, avoid flipping the steak more than once. This only takes about a minute or so. Flip the cutlet, but since it is already hot, only cook it on the second side for about thirty seconds. It will start to release a little water, which you will see and hear. This means it is “done.”

Remove and drain to a paper towel.

There is a lively debate about what kind of gravy should be served with chicken fried steak. My understanding, and as I remember is that in the American south they take a dim view of using the brown gravy. They almost always opt for a heavily seasoned cream sauce “about the thickness of wall paper paste.” I never met a chicken fried steak I didn’t like, and I don’t judge one way or the other.

Mashed potatoes is the standard accompaniment,

as well as things like corn or peas or carrots or all three.

Add some limas and you have succotash, if I remember correctly.

I hope you enjoyed and can take advantage of this recipe. This form of chicken fried steak is a crowd pleaser. I find this version far superior to the tenderized, semi-chopped, Jaccard needled disks offered in most markets, restaurants, and freezer sections. Instructions on packaging that say “Best if cooked from frozen” trouble me, but I daren’t defrost one of those pucks for fear of gleaning a little bit too much information.

I doubt that there is a legal definition of a chicken fried steak. This creates a lot of latitude for marketing strategy.



Chuck eye steaks are usually available in the butcher's counter, but there are many different names for them. This inexpensive cut has a "steak-like" appearance, and might be called Delmonico (a misnomer), a Denver steak (also a misnomer), or any number of other names that imply it is inherently tender. It is not.

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