The first meal I ever learned to cook was chicken-fried steak. I was in my grandmother's kitchen with a hot skillet and a dream of getting the entire family to show up to supper on time. I was eight.

My first experiment went well, unlike my sister's first forray into hamburger steak, which somehow set the curtains on fire. Unfazed, my grandmother simply complimented her on the vast height of the flames.

No, for me, chicken-fried steak was just the ticket... plus I finally learned what it was.

Turns out, chicken-fried steak is exactly what it sounds like: Steak, but breaded and fried up in a skillet. We used cube steak, like in this favorite Southern Living recipe:

Chicken-fried Steak
Credit: Van Chaplin; Styling: Vanessa McNeil Rocchio

Chicken-fried SteakServed atop mashed potatoes with luscious cream gravy, this main dish is just about my dream come true. Bonus: It's super easy to make (5 ingredients!). Watch our quick how-to video to learn more.

Chicken-fried steak is similar to country-fried steak, except that traditional chicken-fried steak is cooked in oil that's already been used to fry chicken (Go green! Eat chicken-fried steak!) while country-fried steak can use any oil, within reason.

Fun fact? This bad boy makes up part of Oklahoma's official state meal.

What recipes do you want to learn about? Come back each Thursday as we revisit the classics in our recipe collection!

By Ashley Kappel and Ashley Kappel