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When served alongside some mashed potatoes, or even mac and cheese if that's how you roll, a crisp and tender chicken-fried steak can be a heavy and filling meal. But often when I need a chicken-fried fix, I forego the hefty sides altogether and instead opt for a cold beer because, sometimes, a beer is the only side dish you need for chicken-fried steak.
In such cases, though, I've found that cutting the meat into bite-sized pieces (prior to battering and frying) makes for an easy-to-eat, beer-friendly snack to share amongst friends, rather than a full-blown gut-busting meal. After dipping the meat in an egg and milk wash and then dredging in seasoned flour, the morsels are then fried in a bit of oil as per the usual chicken-fried steak treatment. And because the steak is cut into bite-sized pieces, it cooks faster, too—only 1-2 minutes per side.
As for the customary creamy gravy, I like to add a bit of beer (a Texas bock in this case, but any beer will do) and a glug of bourbon to add a bit more depth. And to complete the chicken nugget parallels, the gravy is best served on the side as a dipping sauce, rather than smothered atop the mini-steaks.
With these chicken-fried steak nuggets, you can still satisfy your chicken-fried cravings, but without all the fuss or worry of what you'll be eating alongside the battered steak. Instead, just crack open a beer and enjoy everything you love about chicken-fried steak (the crispy and tender meat, and the creamy gravy)—but in nugget form.
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