What's the difference?! 

For the longest time I've thought "chicken fried" was just a southern's fancy-shmancy way of saying "fried chicken".

There's actually a difference!

Now to the main distinction: the one clear difference between the two dishes isssss...
the color of the gravy.

Country-fried steak is covered in brown gravy, while chicken-fried steak comes with peppery white gravy. ... Chicken-fried steak usually has a crispier coating too.

**The chicken-fried "peppery white gravy" is made with butter, milk, and flour that's whisked together with a little cayenne and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.**

Now my follow up question is: why is it called "chicken-fried" if there's no chicken in it?
(I'm quite literal)

Chicken-fried steak gets its name because it is prepared in the same manner as traditional fried chicken. To make matters more confusing, some restaurants serve a dish called “chicken fried chicken” which is a boneless filet of chicken prepared in the manner of chicken-fried steak.

Source: The Spruce

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