Was chicken-fried steak inspired by Weinerschnitzel?

This has occurred to me before, but I was thinking of it again yesterday as I ate a nice Weinerschnitzel cutlet for lunch at a local German restaurant.

The two dishes seem similar. Moreover, chicken-fried steak is a Texas dish, I believe, and it is particularly popular in the Texas Hill Country, where many German immigrants settled a century ago and where German culture continues to be a presence.

Any thoughts?

Did you get bill sperm with that?

Chicken-fried steak is an eponymous phrase. The steak, some tough, chewy cut was pounded thin to make it tender, dredged in seasoned flour and fried as you would chicken pieces. Steak fried as chicken, see? Easily cooked in fat in a cast iron skillet 'til done, then a milk/cream gravy made from the drippings. One of my particular favorites if done correctly.

I thought chicken-fried steak was taking flattened chicken breast pieces, frying them, then serving them as you would a steak. :confused:

Chicken-fried steak first seems to appear in newpapers in about the early 1920’s.

What makes you think that it was originally a Texas item? Not saying it wasn’t, just want to know.

Pretty good guess, aaslatten; that exact premise is the current theory (well, one of them, anyway) or the origin of chicken fried steak. German immigrants to Texas tried to emulate their traditional meals with ingredients found here. Their attempts at emualting weinerscnitzel with sauce bechamel or bordelaise eventually became the chicken fried steak with cream gravy we eat today. Here’s a good article from the [http://www.houstonpress.com/issues/2001-01-11/cafe.html]Houston Press by my favorite food critic, Robb Walsh, in response to an article by Geopge Alexander claiming that the idea that there was such a thing as a good chicken fried steak was a joke (the cad!).

Son of a …tried to preview and submitted. here’s the article: HoustonPress.

I just sent Robb an email telling him that he can now trace the term back to 1923.

I don’t doubt that it was related to the same thing that caused people to make Wienerschnitzel.

Sounds quite a bit like wienerschnitzel to me, if one is forced to start with a tough cut of meat.

No, that would be chicken-fried-steak chicken, if anything at all. The phrase “chicken-fried” means “fried in the manner of a piece of chicken”–breaded then fried. In Indiana, a similar thing is done with pork “loin”.

Actually, we here in Tennessee call that Chicken-fried chicken. Yes, I know. But that’s what we call it.

No, that would be “chicken fried chicken”.


Well, I am impressed, people. Not ONE person here thought that wienerschnitzel was a hot dog, the fast food restaurant notwithstanding! By the way, that dish is a schnitzel cooked in the Viennese style (the Austrian spelling of that city being “Wien”). I have also seen a “Pariserschnitzel” served in Vienna, among others.

/Yacko Smiroff voice/
Chicken fried steak has no chicken and buffalo wings has no buffalo. What a country?

I haven’t seen one of those in ages. When they were more popular I’d wonder how many home-sick Austrian or German tourists stopped at one hoping to find a bit of home, and disappointed to find nothing but hot dogs available there.


There’s a bunch of Weinerschnitzel stands out here in Southern California – two within a few miles of my place – and I admit I originally thought this OP was about the chain. Good thing I kept my yap shut, eh? :wink:

(And I like their chili dogs, so sue me)


You da man, Lud, you da man!!

Update: Barry Popik, the word sleuth, agrees that the dish probably comes from Texas.

Robb Walsh has a book on Tex-Mex cooking coming out soon. He was appreciative of my email and my finding a 1923 cite for “chicken fried steak.” Nice guy.

I’m personally NOT convinced that the term “chicken fried steak” and the term “country fried steak” are two separate items. I think that Southerners who fried chicken and made gravy in the very early 1900’s might also have cut slices of beef and breaded and fried them(with gravy) at the same time. They may not have had the access to the beef that the Texans did.

I can live with the idea that it came about in Texas first.