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Oven Baked Chicken Fried Steak

Oven Baked Chicken Fried Steak: A Healthier Twist on a Classic

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Chicken Fried Steak is a beloved Southern classic known for its crispy, flavorful coating and tender, juicy meat. However, the traditional frying method can be quite heavy and calorie-laden. This oven-baked version offers a healthier alternative without sacrificing taste or texture. With a few simple steps, you can enjoy this comfort food favorite with less guilt. In this detailed guide, we’ll walk you through the ingredients, instructions, cooking tips, variations, and answer frequently asked questions about this delightful dish.

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Ingredients

  • 4 beef cube steaks
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Cooking spray

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Preparing the Steaks

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  2. Season the Steaks: Pat the cube steaks dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

2. Preparing the Coating Stations

  1. Flour Mixture: In a shallow dish, combine the all-purpose flour, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  2. Egg Mixture: In another shallow dish, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk until well combined.
  3. Breadcrumb Mixture: In a third shallow dish, mix the breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese.

3. Coating the Steaks

  1. Flour Coating: Dredge each cube steak in the flour mixture, ensuring it is fully coated. Shake off any excess flour.
  2. Egg Coating: Dip the floured steaks into the egg mixture, allowing any excess to drip off.
  3. Breadcrumb Coating: Finally, coat the steaks with the breadcrumb mixture, pressing lightly to ensure an even coating.

4. Baking the Steaks

  1. Arrange on Baking Sheet: Place the coated steaks on the prepared baking sheet, ensuring they are not touching each other.
  2. Cooking Spray: Lightly spray the tops of the steaks with cooking spray to help them crisp up in the oven.
  3. Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the coating is golden brown and the steaks are cooked through. Flip the steaks halfway through the baking time to ensure even cooking.

5. Serving

  1. Rest: Allow the steaks to rest for a few minutes before serving.
  2. Serve: Serve hot, paired with your favorite side dishes such as mashed potatoes, green beans, or a fresh salad.

Cooking Tips and Notes

  • Cube Steaks: Cube steaks are typically used for chicken fried steak due to their tenderness and the fact that they are pre-tenderized. If you can’t find cube steaks, you can use round steak or sirloin and tenderize it yourself using a meat mallet.
  • Buttermilk Substitute: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a substitute by adding 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to 1/2 cup of regular milk. Let it sit for a few minutes before using.
  • Crispier Coating: For an extra crispy coating, you can double-dip the steaks in the egg and breadcrumb mixtures.

Variations of Oven Baked Chicken Fried Steak

1. Spicy Oven Baked Chicken Fried Steak

  • Add Heat: Add 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the flour mixture and 1/2 teaspoon of hot sauce to the egg mixture for a spicy kick.

2. Gluten-Free Oven Baked Chicken Fried Steak

  • Gluten-Free Flour and Breadcrumbs: Use gluten-free all-purpose flour and gluten-free breadcrumbs in place of the regular versions.

3. Panko-Crusted Chicken Fried Steak

  • Panko Breadcrumbs: Substitute regular breadcrumbs with panko breadcrumbs for an extra crunchy texture.

Nutritional Insights

Here’s an estimate of the nutritional content per serving (based on 4 servings):

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  • Calories: 450
  • Protein: 34g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Sodium: 650mg

For a lighter version, consider using less Parmesan cheese or opting for low-fat buttermilk.

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FAQs About Oven Baked Chicken Fried Steak

Q: Can I use chicken instead of beef?

A: Yes, you can substitute chicken breasts or thighs for beef. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, as chicken may cook faster than beef.

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Q: What sides go well with Chicken Fried Steak?

A: Traditional sides include mashed potatoes, green beans, corn on the cob, and biscuits. A fresh salad or roasted vegetables also make great accompaniments.

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Q: How do I store leftovers?

A: Store leftover chicken fried steak in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through to maintain crispiness.

Q: Can I freeze Chicken Fried Steak?

A: Yes, you can freeze the cooked steaks. Place them on a baking sheet to freeze individually before transferring them to a freezer-safe container. Reheat in the oven for the best results.

Q: Can I use this method for other meats?

A: Absolutely! This oven-baked method works well with pork chops, chicken breasts, or even turkey cutlets.

Oven Baked Chicken Fried Steak offers a healthier and equally delicious alternative to the traditional fried version. With its crispy coating and tender, juicy meat, it’s a dish that’s sure to satisfy your comfort food cravings. Whether you’re serving it for a family dinner or a special occasion, this recipe is a surefire hit. Experiment with the variations and pair it with your favorite sides to make it your own. Enjoy the delicious taste of Southern comfort food with less guilt and more flavor.

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