I love chicken fried steak and since I am from Texas it has to be served with mashed potatoes and cream gravy.
I have read several different theories behind how chicken fried steak came about.
Being from Texas, I like this one:
Jimmy Don Perkins, a short-order cook in a cafe in Lamesa, Texas, invented the dish by accident in 1911. According to the legend, Jimmy Don mistook two separate orders, one for chicken and one for fried steak, for one strange request and chicken-fried steak was born.
The Virginia Housewife, published in 1838 by Mary Randolph, has a recipe for veal cutlets that is one of the earliest recipes for a food like chicken fried steak.
Wikipedia also explains how to cook it:
Chicken fried steak is prepared by taking a thin cut of beefsteak and tenderizing it by pounding, cubing, or forking. It is then immersed in egg batter and dredged in flour to which salt, pepper, and often other seasonings have been added (called breading). Chicken fried steak is typically deep-fried and served with a cream gravy, while country fried steak is typically fried in a skillet and served with a brown gravy.
When there are problems with the breading separating from the meat while cooking, it can be very useful to first dredge the meat in the flour mixture, then the egg, and then the flour mixture again, and then let it sit for a half hour or more before cooking.
I get it, you just want me to salivate all over the keyboard.
I always thought it came from good ole soul food cookin. twice cooked meat meat was breaded and pan fried and going goes to waste so far dripping made into gravy, then smothered over meat and don't forget the biscuits to sop up all that gravy.
I would bring bags of fresh caught turtle meat to an expert soul food cook and it was the most fantastic meal when she was done cooking.