Smothered Chicken… Classic Soul Food that will warm up your body and soul. This is a comfort food that generations have grown up on.
Perfectly seasoned chicken gets a little bit of beautiful golden brown color first. Then it gets smothered till fall of the bone tender in the most delicious, luscious creamy and rich gravy. A gravy which is brimming with flavors.
Make this Southern classic tonight and see why it has become such an iconic dish over the years…
Question: Is there anything better than fried chicken?
Answer: Yes, Smothered Chicken…
Seriously, there is just nothing like smothered chicken with perfectly seasoned gravy. Plus, you will be surprised how something that delicious can be so simple and so so budget friendly.
No wonder families have eaten this every other week and have no complaints about it. Who can say no to anything that has creamy and rich flavors seep deep into your humble regular chicken.
What is Smothered Chicken?
Smothered Chicken is classic Soul Food, aka Southern Food. Soul food is an ethnic cuisine that originated in the Southern United States in African American communities.
The cuisine originated with the foods that were given to enslaved people by their white owners on Southern plantations during the Antebellum period. Soul food is strongly influenced by West African and Native American food preparation practices.
Smothered dishes are staples in Soul Food, Southern cuisine and Creole and Cajun traditions. Anything can be smothered, be it chicken, pork, beef or fish. One variation is the New Orleans classic Grillades.
Basically, meat is first dusted with some flour and seasonings and seared to golden brown, then smothered in gravy prepared by roux. Some aromatics are thrown in like just onion and garlic, or sometimes carrots and celery join the gravy too.
For the perfect tasting smothered dish, it has to have all those herbs and seasonings soul food is famous for, and with a generous hand. Soul food is definitely not your “salt and pepper” food.
With all those flavors added to any of their dishes, no wonder soul food has become one of the celebrated aspects of mainstream American food culture over the years.
Today we are doing smothered chicken, but you can use the same recipe to smother some nice pork chops too.
Ingredients for Smothered Chicken
- Chicken – We highly recommend smothering bone in, skin on chicken thighs, just very traditional. The end result of the juiciest tender chicken can’t be achieved with breast meat. Period. Saying that, if you are a fan of only chicken breasts, you still can make this dish. (Cooking time needs to be adjusted so as not to dry out and toughen the chicken breast.)
- Seasoning – Garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, Creole seasoning, chili powder, chili flakes, salt and pepper.
- Aromatics – Onion and garlic.
- Chicken Broth
How to Smother Chicken
Remember seasonings and herbs? It all starts with that. Mix in a bowl garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, Creole seasoning, chili powder, chili flakes, salt and pepper.
You can use store bought Creole seasoning, but it tends to have so much salt. Making your own creole seasoning is so much easier. Try my homemade Creole seasoning recipe.
Season the chicken thighs with half of the above seasoning. Rub it all over, making sure you run some under the skin.
Mix the remaining half of the seasoning with flour. Dredge the chicken on both sides with this seasoned flour and shake off any excess.
Heat oil in a skillet (I love cast iron skillets for smothered dishes) and place the chicken skin side down first and sear it 4-5 minutes, or until they have a beautiful golden brown color. Flip and fry for 3-4 more minutes. Plate them out.
In the same pan, add in sliced onions and sauté till they start turning brown. Add in garlic and stir it for a minute.
Time to add some more butter. Once it’s melted, add in flour and stir it for a couple of minutes till it starts to get a little brown. The colour of this roux will determine the color of your gravy. Some like it golden yellow, some like it darker.
From here, you will be building up the gravy by adding chicken broth. The technique to make luscious, rich gravy is to add a little bit of broth at one time, stirring in circles all the time.
Keep on stirring for a few minutes till the gravy is smooth. Add in cream to add the richness and creaminess. Cook till the gravy thickens up a bit.
Time to place the chicken thighs back into the gravy. Put them skin side up. Sprinkle some parsley.
From here you can continue to cook on the stove top, covered, till the meat is fall off the bone, say 35-45 minutes. But we really like to smother this in the oven.
Somehow the oven baked chicken comes out so much better and fall off the bone glistening with one great gravy. Cover and bake the chicken in a preheated oven at 400Df for an hour.
Uncover and bake it for another 5-6 minutes till you get the beautiful color on your chicken. Sprinkle some more fresh parsley and there you go.
Check out our collection of favorite Chicken Recipes!
What to serve with Smothered Chicken
- Traditionally, it’s devored over a bed of rice or mashed potatoes.
- We can see some creamy polenta would be great too.
- Mac and cheese often finds its place alongside smothered chicken too.
- Greens like collard greens or any other veggies like green beans or peas are great sides for smothered chicken.
- Add in carrots and celery along with onion in the beginning to get more flavors and veggie power in dish.
- We can see sauteing mushrooms along with the onion going great in smothered chicken.
- Start with bacon. Fry the bacon and plate it out, then fry the chicken in bacon grease. Use the bacon bits later in the dish.
- Make the same recipe with pork chops. So, so good.
Want a great hack for smothered chicken on busy days?
Crave some smothered chicken on hectic weeknights? Ditch frying the chicken at home. Buy some store bought fried chicken and smother it in gravy on the stove top. This should happen in less than 30 minutes, as the chicken is already cooked. Smart?
How long to store leftover Smothered Chicken?
It refrigerated great for 2-3 days. So go ahead and make a big batch and store leftovers in an airtight container. Simply reheat in a pan, or microwave when ready for another meal.
You can freeze this meal for up to a couple of months in an airtight container.
This is a great slow simmered meal, Southern comfort at its best. With tasty, tender chicken in all that gravy, it’s a sure shot way to please everyone in your family.
What are you waiting for? Get that chicken smothered and cozy up with a good old plateful of rice or mashed potatoes… all Good… all yum… all Soulful!!
Smothered Chicken, on my Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 6-7 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
- 2 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp Creole or Cajun seasoning
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp parsley, divided
- 2 Tbsp oil
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Mix garlic power, onion powder, paprika, oregano, Creole seasoning, chili powder, salt, pepper and chili flakes in a bowl.
- Use half of the above seasoning to season the chicken thighs all over, making sure to rub it under the skin.
- Mix the remaining seasoning with the flour. Dredge the chicken in flour shaking the excess off.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat, put the chicken skin side down and fry for 4-5 minutes, or till it gets a nice golden brown sear. Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Plate it out.
- In the same skillet, add onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in garlic and give a stir for a minute.
- Add in butter and let it melt. Stir 4 Tbsp of remaining seasoned flour and keep on stirring till it gets slight brown color, about 2 minutes.
- Add in chicken broth slowly, whisking all the time, creating a gravy. Season it with 1/4 tsp of chili flakes for color.
- Add in cream and cook till it starts to thicken up.
- Place chicken back in along with any juices, skin side up. Season it with fresh parsley.
- Bake it covered in preheated oven for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 5-6 minutes so the skin gets some color.
- Garnish it with fresh parsley and serve.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 502Total Fat 36gSaturated Fat 14gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 21gCholesterol 207mgSodium 1122mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 34g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
Never miss a recipe!
Join the GypsyPlate mailing list and get easy dinner recipes right in your mailbox. From homestyle comfort food to exotic dishes from around the world.