National Chicken-Fried Steak Day Date in the current year: October 26, 2024

National Chicken-Fried Steak Day Fans of Southern cuisine observe National Chicken-Fried Steak Day on October 26. This food holiday was created to celebrate a breaded cutlet dish that isn’t actually made with chicken; the word “chicken” in the name refers to the cooking technique.

Chicken-fried steak, also known as country-fried steak or CFS, is an American dish that is commonly associated with Texan cuisine. Although its name contains the word “chicken”, the dish actually consists of a piece of beefsteak that is tenderized, coated with seasoned flour, and then pan-fried or deep-fried. The steak is called “chicken-fried” because a similar technique is used to make fried chicken, a common staple in the American South.

The origins of chicken-fried steak are unclear, but it resembles two dishes from European cuisine: Wiener schnitzel and veal alla Milanese. Wiener schnitzel is a traditional Austrian dish that consists of a thin veal cutlet that is breaded and pan-fried. Veal alla Milanese (cotoletta a la milanesa) is a breaded veal cutlet fried in butter.

It is generally thought that Austrian and German immigrants brought Wiener schnitzel to the United States in the early 19th century. The city of Lamesa, Texas claims to be the birthplace of chicken-fried steak and hosts its annual Chicken-Fried Steak Festival during the first weekend of April. The earliest use of the name “chicken-fried steak” is dated 1914, but recipes for the dish can be found in many cookbooks published in the second half of the 19th century.

To prepare a chicken-fried steak, a thin cut of beefsteak is tenderized by cubing, forking, or pounding. It is then immersed in batter and dredged in flour seasoned with salt, pepper, and other seasonings. In some recipes, batter is replaced with buttermilk. The variation of the dish called chicken-fried steak is usually deep-fried and topped with peppered cream gravy, while country-fried steak is pan-fried and topped with brown gravy with onions.

In Texas, chicken-fried steak is typically served for lunch or dinner with a side of mashed potatoes, vegetables, and Texas toast or biscuits. In the Midwestern United States, the dish can be served for breakfast, along with hash browns and toast.

A variation of chicken-fried steak called “finger steaks” or “steak fingers” is popular in Southern Idaho and neighboring states. To make it, the tenderized steak is cut into thin strips before being battered and deep-fried in oil. Finger steaks can be served with toast and eggs for breakfast or with cream gravy, French fries, and buttered Texas toast for dinner or lunch.

The history of National Chicken-Fried Steak Day is unclear, but don’t let this stop you from celebrating this amazing holiday and indulging in delicious steak. You can observe National Chicken-Fried Steak Day by going out to your favorite restaurant that serves the dish or cooking steak at home. Either way, don’t forget to share photos of your meal on social media with the hashtag #NationalChickenFriedSteakDay to spread the word about the holiday.

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National Chicken-Fried Steak Day, unofficial holidays, holidays in the US, food days, food holidays, Texan cuisine