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Smothered Chicken

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This mouthwatering Southern-style Smothered Chicken is a classic comfort food for the whole family. Juicy chicken drumsticks and thighs are smothered in a creamy gravy to create a decadent dish with amazing flavor. Enjoy this irresistible indulgence with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables. It’s sure to become a crowd-pleaser and a family favorite.

overhead image of smothered chicken in a cast iron skillet next to a glass of water and tray of utensils and plate of rice

I don’t think this Smothered Chicken recipe can scream comfort food any louder. It is the epitome of Southern comfort food when I think of it.

Pan-fried juicy chicken smothered in an ultra-creamy gravy served along side some mashed potatoes and vegetables. This is one meal that your family will be begging you to add to the weekly dinner rotation.

What is Smothered Chicken?

Smothered chicken is a Souther-style chicken and gravy dish that consists of pan-frying chicken pieces and then, naturally, smothering them in a creamy, indulgent gravy.

smothered chicken in a cast iron skillet with fresh parsley sprinkled on top and next to the cast iron skillet

Why You’ll Love It

Savory satisfaction. The deliciously rich and thick gravy is perfectly seasoned alongside the juicy chicken. It is 100% satisfaction especially if you love saucy meals.

Comfort food central. Smothered chicken will leave you completely satisfied after a filling dish of chicken and gravy.

No-fuss ingredients. Most of the ingredients you already have in your pantry! Can you believe such a mouthwatering dish has basic pantry ingredients?

ingredients for smothered chicken: bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and legs, paprika, onion, flour, garlic powder, milk, salt, pepper, chicken broth, poultry seasoning, onion powder, chicken bouillon, and vegetable oil

Ingredients You’ll Need

For the seasoned chicken:

  • Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks – the pan-frying of the skin makes it so extra crispy and good!
  • Flour
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Poultry seasoning
  • Paprika

For the gravy:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Onions
  • Chicken bouillon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Chicken broth
  • Milk

How to Make Southern-Style Smothered Chicken

Whisk together the seasoned flour. In a small bowl, whisk together together flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and paprika. You’ll remove 3 tablespoons of this mixture to save for the gravy.

Coat the chicken. Coat each piece of chicken in the large bowl of flour mixture.

Pan-fry the chicken. Fry the chicken until it is browned on all sides. It does not need to be cooked all the way through at this point. It will continue cooking later.

Make the gravy. Add the onion to the pan and fry it until golden. Add the reserved 3 Tablespoons of seasoned flour to the pan then whisk together with the onions. Then whisk in the chicken bouillon, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chicken broth. Finally, whisk in the milk, again making sure there are no lumps. Bring this mixture to a boil.

Add the chicken back. Add the chicken back to the pan and make sure to coat it with the gravy. Cover and allow it to cook for 30 more minutes.

up close image of smothered chicken thigh on a bed of gravy next to other pieces of browned chicken

Tips for Success

Use dark meat. I can’t emphasize this enough. Dark meat is not bad for you! It tastes way better and retains moisture so much better. It’s just so tender and juicy, unlike white meat.

Don’t crowd the pan. To get that extra crispy skin on that chicken, you don’t want to crowd the pan. Either use a large enough pan or cook your chicken in two batches.

Cook the flour long enough. Sometimes I hear people complain about tasting flour in their gravies. This usually means you haven’t cooked the flour long enough. When you whisk in the flour, make sure to cook it at least 3-4 minutes so the raw flour taste is cooked out.

Storing and Reheating Instructions

Leftovers may be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, use the stovetop or microwave.

smothered chicken and gravy on a seafoam colored plate with rice and a spoon

Common Questions

What can I serve with Southern-style smothered chicken? It’s great with mashed potatoes (or potatoes of any kind, really) and vegetables or rice.

Can I make this with pork? Yes! This would be an excellent dish to make with pork chops (bone-in).

I don’t have any poultry seasoning – can I just leave that out? Yes, it is such a small amount that should be fine. Or, if you have them, you could use ½ teaspoon dried sage and ½ teaspoon dried thyme in place of the poultry seasoning.

smothered chicken in cast iron skillet next to a glass of ice water

More indulgent chicken recipes

smothered chicken in a cast iron skillet with fresh parsley sprinkled on top and next to the cast iron skillet

Smothered Chicken

This mouthwatering Smothered Chicken is a comfort food the whole family will enjoy! Juicy chicken smothered in a deliciously rich gravy that will satisfy all!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Author: Julie Chiou
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Ingredients 

For the chicken:

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs and/or drumsticks, above five pieces
  • 1 ⅓ cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

For the gravy:

  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon or 1 cube chicken bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk

Garnish:

  • Fresh, optional

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and paprika. Remove 3 Tablespoons of the seasoned flour from the bowl and reserve this for later.
  • Completely coat each piece of chicken in the large bowl of flour mixture.
  • Place the vegetable oil into a large deep pan. Turn the heat to medium. Add the coated pieces of chicken. (If your pan is too crowded, it is better to cook in batches.)
  • Fry the chicken until it is browned on all sides. (It does not need to be cooked through at this point because we will be cooking it again later.)
  • Once the chicken is brown, remove it from the pan but leave the oil in the pan.
  • Next, add the onion to the pan and fry it until golden (it should take about 5 minutes).
  • Add the reserved 3 Tablespoons of seasoned flour to the pan. Whisk it with the oil.
  • Then whisk in the chicken bouillon, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chicken broth. Let this cook for 2-3 minutes. Make sure there are no lumps.
  • Next, whisk in the milk, again making sure there are no lumps. Bring this mixture to a boil and allow it to cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add the chicken back to the pan. Make sure that it is coated with the gravy. Be sure the heat is medium. Cover the pan and allow it to cook for 30 minutes more, turning the chicken occasionally.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve!

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 646 kcal | Carbohydrates: 42 g | Protein: 39 g | Fat: 35 g | Saturated Fat: 10 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14 g | Trans Fat: 0.2 g | Cholesterol: 199 mg | Sodium: 1780 mg | Potassium: 656 mg | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 5 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: comfort food, easy chicken recipe, southern style
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