This Smothered Chicken recipe will give you the juiciest, most tender chicken with an incredibly flavorful gravy. Here’s some Soul Food at its best!
Southern-Style Smothered Chicken is probably one of the most delicious comfort foods there is. It’s a family favorite that has been around for centuries!
This recipe is authentic and will give you the best-Smothered Chicken you’ve ever had. It uses the special technique that makes smothered food what it is and trust me you’re going to keep wanting to make this every single night!
By making this recipe you’ll get perfectly seasoned chicken with a rich, smooth gravy that’s full of authentic Soul Food flavors.
Want to know how to make it tonight? Keep on reading!
What is Smothered Chicken?
Smothered Chicken is a classic Soul Food dish, that is Southern Food. Soul food is an ethnic cuisine that has traditionally been prepared by African Americans originating in Southern US.
This cuisine originated with the foods that enslaved black Americans were given by their white owners on Southern plantations during the Antebellum period. It’s strongly influenced by Western African and Native American practices.
This dish has been a family favorite for centuries, and for a good reason. It’s incredibly flavorful with juicy, tender chicken and perfect seasoning.
What Makes a Food Smothered?
‘Smothered’ means to brown the meat with some oil and then simmer it in a small amount of water to make a delicious, brown gravy. The key step is to brown the meat (chicken in our case!).
Smothered dishes are staples in Southern Cuisine, especially Soul Food and also Creole and Cajun traditions.
Any type of meat can be smothered, including chicken, beef, turkey, and even duck and rabbit. Vegetables such as potatoes, corn, and okra can also be smothered.
The basic technique for making Smothered food is the stove-top braising. It captures the power of both dry and wet heat, with a high heat sear that is then followed by cooking the meat in a flavorful, aromatic broth to make it into its gravy. And that’s basically what braising means.
Therefore, smothering a chicken basically means braising it by first dredging the meat in seasoned flour and then searing it.
The recipe you’ll find here for Smothered Chicken is authentic, delicious, and exactly what you’ve been looking for.
What Makes This Recipe So Special?
There are so many reasons why this recipe is absolutely perfect. But apart from Smothered Chicken being the best comfort food, there is, here are a few reasons why this recipe is so special:
Easy: It’s incredibly easy to make and doesn’t require any planning ahead of time!
Pantry-staple ingredients: This dish packs a punch when it comes to flavor but it only requires pantry-staple ingredients. I bet you have most, if not all, in your pantry already!
Juicy and tender: Many recipes I’ve tried over the years gave me dry chicken that just wasn’t what Smothered Chicken is supposed to be, but this recipe will give you juicy, tender chicken every single time.
Incredible flavors: Don’t underestimate the simple ingredients this recipe calls for because you’re going to get incredible flavors!
Customizable and versatile: This recipe is absolutely perfect on its own but if you’re looking to customize it, try adding some carrots and celery with the onions to get more flavors and vegetables into your dish. Read the comments down below for more ideas from my readers, who have added mushrooms and other ingredients to make it their own!
Family-friendly: This recipe has rich flavors but it’s perfect for particularly everyone! Kids and adults seem to love it, and it’s something everyone can enjoy during a weekday night.
How to Properly Clean and Prep Chicken for Smothered Chicken
One of the most important steps in making this dish is to properly clean the chicken, so I felt that it deserved its own section in the post.
Start by running the sharp side of the knife several times and lightly over the chicken skin.
Next, wash the chicken in cool water and rub with salt for a minute then rinse it again.
Pat the chicken dry and it’s ready to use in the recipe!
Remember that drying the chicken is an important step since you are going to be using oil to sear the chicken, and any drop of water will make the oil splatter (and no one wants that!).
What You Need to Make Smothered Chicken at Home
Making this recipe is incredibly easy to make and, as I mentioned earlier, it requires only pantry-staple ingredients! Here’s what you need to make Smothered Chicken at home tonight:
Chicken: I recommend going with a combination of chicken with bones in and boneless chicken thighs for the perfect flavor and moistness. Chicken breasts work great as well if those are what you have at hand, but they won’t be as juicy and moist as chicken thighs are.
Oil: We’ll be using olive oil to get the perfect sear on the chicken for an incredible texture and flavor.
Onion: Smothered chicken is incomplete without the perfect onion gravy, and that’s why we’ll be using onions in this recipe.
Chicken bouillon: You can go with chicken bouillon or low sodium chicken broth in this recipe. It’ll allow the dish to have a more robust chicken flavor without adding too many unnecessary ingredients.
Water: We’ll be using water to get the perfect consistency of the onion gravy sauce that goes perfectly well with the Smothered Chicken.
Flour: To coat the chicken perfectly for that Smothered Chicken effect, we’ll be using an all-purpose flour that’s mixed in with some classic seasonings.
Seasonings: We’ll be using a few seasonings and spices in this recipe, but don’t worry they’ll all be incredibly easy to find in your local grocery store and are a great asset to have in your pantry whenever you want to make this recipe again. We’ll be using onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, all-spice, cinnamon, ginger powder, and one teaspoon of pepper.
How to Make Smothered Chicken – Step by Step
Making this recipe at home is so easy, you’ll want to make it every single day! Here’s how to make Smothered Chicken at home step-by-step:
Start by mixing the flour and all the seasonings together. Take three tablespoons from this mix and set it aside.
Now dredge the washed chicken with the remaining flour mixture and tap off the excess flour.
In a pan or skillet, heat the oil on medium-high heat and add the chicken. When the bottom of the chicken turns golden flip to the other side and cook until it turns golden as well.
Remove the chicken from the oil when both sides are golden. At this point, the chicken is not completely cooked but we’ll complete the cooking process in our onion gravy so that the chicken can soak up all the flavor.
Next, keep around 4 tablespoons of oil in the pan, add the chopped onion and fry until they turn light brown in color.
Now add the three tablespoons of seasoned flour we separated earlier to the onion and stir for at least two minutes on medium heat.
Pour the cold water over the onion and flour mixture in one go and keep on stirring. Next, add the chicken bouillon and continue stirring.
Now add the milk and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low till it starts to simmer and add the chicken to the sauce.
Cover the pan and let the chicken cook for 20 – 25 minutes or until completely cooked. Stir occasionally in the middle.
Your Smothered Chicken with a perfect creamy gravy is ready to serve! Serve it alongside rice or mashed potato as a side dish for the perfect meal.
Garnish with some fresh parsley for extra flavor.
How to Store Leftovers
I’m pretty sure you won’t have any leftovers remaining by the time you’re done with it, but if you do here is how to store it.
This recipe can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge. When you want to serve it, reheat it in a skillet on medium heat till the chicken is warm all the way through.
Other Recipes You’ll Love
Southern Cornbread: Cornbread is a Southern favorite. Here's an easy recipe for cornbread that's better than any box mixes out there. Trust me, you want to give this one a go! Plus, it goes perfectly with this Smothered Chicken!
Southern Iced Tea: Who doesn’t love Iced Tea? I know I do! This Southern Sweet Tea recipe is incredibly easy and just what you need alongside your favorite Southern dish. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed.
Homemade Apple Cobbler Southern Style: Looking for the perfect dessert with this incredible Smothered Chicken? Then this Apple Cobbler recipe is perfect for you. This recipe has three layers, a layer of melted butter topped with a cake batter, then the cooked apples are evenly spread on the batter and are baked until golden in color. It’s an incredible dessert that’s sure to win your heart.
Smothered Chicken A Soul Food
- 3 chicken legs and 3 chicken thighs with skin
- ½ cup oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 chicken bouillon
- 2 ½ cup cold water
- ½ cup milk
- 3 tablespoon of the seasoned flour mentioned below
SEASONING THE FLOUR:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon all spice powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ teaspoon heaped ginger powder
- Mix all the flour seasoning together, take three tablespoon from this mix and keep aside.
- Wash the chicken and pat dry. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour and keep aside.
- In a pan, heat the oil and add the chicken. When the bottom of the chicken turns golden flip to the other side and cook until golden.
- Remove the chicken from the oil when both sides are golden. At this point, the chicken is not completely cooked.
- Keep around 4 tablespoon of oil in the pan, add the chopped onion and fry until light brown.
- Add three tablespoon seasoned flour to the onion and stir for at least two minutes on medium heat.
- Pour the cold water over the onion and flour mixture in one go and keep on stirring. Add the chicken bouillon and continue stirring.
- Now add the milk and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the chicken to the sauce.
- Cover the pan and let the chicken cook for 20 – 25 minutes or until completely cooked. Stir occasionally.
- Serve with rice or mashed potato.
- How to store smothered chicken mentioned in the post.
- you can go for chicken breast but do not overcook it.
- This post is updated with more information.