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Delicious Southern Smothered Chicken

May 20, 2024
Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea

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Treat yourself to our Delicious Southern Smothered Chicken! Succulent chicken, bursting with flavor, swimming in a rich, luscious gravy. It's Southern comfort on a plate!

Delicious Southern Smothered Chicken

Get set to dive into a Southern classic with our Delicious Southern Smothered Chicken recipe! This dish is pure Southern comfort, featuring succulent chicken bathed in a rich, flavorful gravy. It's the kind of meal that brings everyone to the table with smiles + empty plates. Gluten-free Option.

Up close shot of chicken and rice on a green plate with a fork.

This Delicious Southern Smothered Chicken recipe takes me right back to my childhood. It's one of those dishes that brings back memories of family dinners filled with cornbread, creamy potato salad, candied yams and a whole lot more! Smothered chicken is the epitome of Southern comfort food straight from the heart of the South.

Imagine tender pan-fried chicken simmering in the richest, creamiest gravy you've ever tasted. It's comfort on a plate, guaranteed to warm your soul with every bite. You won't believe how easy it is to whip up --- It's a total family favorite, perfectly seasoned from a good marinating. Trust me, you'll be coming back for seconds… and maybe even thirds!

For a taste of more Southern comfort food, dive into my Baked White Mac + Cheese with Bacon, crispy Southern Hot Honey Fried Chicken, Strawberry BBQ Chicken Tenders, Southern Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos, and wash it all down with a refreshing Southern Strawberry Iced Sweet Tea.

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Ingredients on a brown wood table.

What Is Smothered Chicken?

Smothered chicken is a classic Southern dish that involves cooking chicken in a flavorful gravy until it becomes tender and juicy. The chicken is typically seasoned, pan-fried until golden brown, and then simmered in a thick gravy made from a combination of onions, garlic, broth, and other seasonings.

This cooking method allows the chicken to soak up all the delicious flavors of the gravy, resulting in a dish that is rich, savory, and incredibly comforting. Smothered chicken is often served with rice, mashed potatoes, or biscuits!

Chopped veggies on a cutting board with a knife.

Why You Will Enjoy This Southern Smothered Chicken

  • Melt-in-your-mouth chicken enveloped in a luscious, velvety gravy.
  • A dish that's easy to make and perfect for sharing with loved ones
  • The ultimate comfort food that soothes the soul & warms the heart
  • Perfectly juicy, tender chicken EVERY TIME.
  • SO hearty + satisfying!
Seasoned chicken in a silver bowl being held.

How To Make Southern Smothered Chicken

For the best flavor, let your chicken soak up the marinade for at least 3 hours before cooking. If you can, leave it overnight for even more deliciousness! Then, just sear the chicken, whip up the sauce, and voila!

Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to whip up this mouthwatering Southern Smothered Chicken:

SMOTHERED CHICKEN:

  • Organic chicken. Skin removed (Drumsticks + Thigh pieces work great!)
  • Herbs + seasonings. Smoked paprika, seasoning salt, black pepper + garlic powder.
  • Organic all-purpose flour. This helps thicken the gravy. Opt for a gluten-free flour for a GF option.
  • Butter. I use unsalted to have more control of the flavor. 
  • Extra virgin olive oil. Feel free to use your favorite high-quality EVOO. My fave tried and trusted brand is California Olive Ranch.
  • Garlic cloves. Minced.
  • Onion. Chopped.
  • Fresh thyme sprigs. They add such a beautiful flavor. You could also use dried thyme if you don't have fresh on hand!
  • Organic chicken stock or bone broth. This helps to create a luscious creamy rich sauce.
  • Organic heavy cream. I recommend organic–always! I use Organic Valley.
Smothered chicken in a white pot with a wooden spoon.

SHOP MY FAVORITE TOOLS FOR COOKING, ESPECIALLY FOR THIS CHICKEN DISH!

Here, I've curated a list of cooking + baking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite baked goods or cooked meals, especially with this Southern Smothered Chicken recipe. Everything from my fave baking sheet, dutch ovens, immersion hand-blender, mixing bowls, and more. SEE THEM HERE!

Where Did Smothered Chicken Come From?

Smothered chicken comes from Louisiana, where it's a staple in both Cajun and Creole cuisine. This cooking method, which involves simmering meats like chicken, duck, and rabbit in a flavorful gravy, produces incredibly tender + tasty results. It's not just for meat either; you can "smother" veggies and shellfish too.

Chicken in a white pot on a brown wood table with a side of drink.

Tips For The Best Smothered Chicken EVERY TIME!

For the best-smothered chicken every time, follow my tips:

Let the chicken marinate for at least 3 hours, or overnight if possible, to infuse it with maximum flavor.

Give the chicken a good sear in the pan before simmering it in the gravy. This helps to lock in juices and develop a delicious crust.

Don't skimp on the seasonings! Use a combination of herbs, spices, and aromatics to create a robust flavor profile.

Simmer low and slow ---- Cook the chicken in the gravy over low heat for a longer period of time to ensure that it becomes tender and juicy.

Thicken the gravy ---- If the gravy is too thin, you can thicken it by simmering it uncovered for a bit longer or adding a slurry of flour + water.

Up close shot of chicken in a white pot.

What To Serve With Smothered Chicken

Serve up this Southern smothered chicken with your favorite veggie sides like collard greens, brussels sprouts + glazed carrots. The rich gravy pairs perfectly with mashed potatoes, rice, or any other starchy side.

It's so perfect for a family dinner or sharing with guests, especially when accompanied by a sweet dessert like Southern salted caramel cake or peach cobbler.

Don't forget to make some homemade biscuits to soak up every bit of that ULTRA delicious gravy. And of course, no Southern meal is complete without a tall glass of ice-cold sweet tea!

Chicken on a green plate with a fork, side of drink, and a pot.

Southern Smothered Chicken Q + A's

How to store + reheat leftovers?

Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, you can do this easily in the microwave or over the stovetop (adding ½ cup or so of chicken stock if needed) until warmed through and saucy.

Can i make gluten-free smothered chicken?

Yes! Ensure that all ingredients (especially flour, stock or broth, and heavy cream) are GF-certified. 

Can I make smothered chicken ahead of time?

Yes, you can definitely make smothered chicken ahead of time! In fact, some people believe it tastes even better the next day after the flavors have had time to meld together. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat gently before serving.

Can I make smothered chicken with boneless chicken breasts?

While traditional Southern smothered chicken recipes often use bone-in chicken pieces, you can certainly use boneless chicken breasts if you prefer. Just be mindful of the cooking time, as boneless breasts may cook more quickly than bone-in pieces.

How do I know when the smothered chicken is done?

The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Additionally, the chicken should be tender and easily pierced with a fork when it's done cooking.

How do I prevent the gravy from becoming too thin or too thick?

To control the thickness of the gravy, you can adjust the amount of liquid you add during cooking. If the gravy is too thin, you can simmer it uncovered to reduce and thicken it. If it's too thick, you can add a bit more broth or water to thin it out

More Of My Fave Southern Recipes

If you liked this Delicious Southern Smothered Chicken, then you’ll definitely want to try these delicious Southern-inspired recipes with your family next:

Chicken on a green plate with a fork.

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you tried this Delicious Southern Smothered Chicken recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. And don't forget to tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram  and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea! I love hearing from you!

Up close shot of chicken in a white pot.

Delicious Southern Smothered Chicken

May 20, 2024
5 from 1 vote
Get set to dive into a Southern classic with our Delicious Southern Smothered Chicken recipe! This dish is pure Southern comfort, featuring succulent chicken bathed in a rich, flavorful gravy. It's the kind of meal that brings everyone to the table with smiles + empty plates. Gluten-free Option.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients

SMOTHERED CHICKEN:

  • 3-4 lbs. organic chicken, skin removed (Drumsticks + Thigh pieces work great!)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tsps Lawry's seasoning salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup organic all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tbsps unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsps Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 cups organic chicken stock or bone broth
  • 1 cup organic heavy cream

Instructions

MARINATE THE CHICKEN:

  • In a large bowl, add your freshly cleaned + rinsed chicken along with 1 teaspoon Lawy's seasoning salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika, mixing everything together until chicken is fully coated. Add coated chicken to a securely sealed ziplock bag and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours (minimum). NOTE: Best if marinaded overnight. When ready to use, let chicken sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before cooking.

BROWN/SEAR THE CHICKEN:

  • In a deep skillet or pot over medium-high heat, add 2 Tbsps of olive oil. Once heated, now add in the marinated chicken and cook on each side until seared, about 3-4 minutes each side. Remove from heat and set aside on a plate. NOTE: This creates a beautiful "brown" color.

TO MAKE THE SAUCE:

  • In the same skillet or pot, add the butter and let it melt. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they become caramelized and are deeply golden brown in color, about 8-10 minutes. Add in the garlic and sauté for another minute or so.
  • Add the flour and allow it to fully dissolve with the onions and garlic. Pour in the stock or broth and stir frequently using a wooden spoon until the sauce becomes thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and reduce the heat to low and allow everything to simmer until the gravy is smooth and thickened. Add the thyme sprigs and remaining 1 teaspoon of Lawry's seasoning salt, stirring to combine. Continue to simmer.
  • Add the seared chicken pieces, stirring them in the sauce until coated. Continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until cooked through and the gravy becomes a deeper, richer color and thickened nicely. NOTE: If sauce isn't thick enough, you can add another 1-2 Tbsps of flour mixed with water to the sauce to aide in it's thickening.
  • Remove from heat and serve with your favorite side: Basmati rice, Brown rice, Mashed potatoes, Veggies, etc.
  • Bon Appétit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, you can do this easily in the microwave or over the stovetop (adding ½ cup or so of chicken stock if needed) until warmed through and saucy.
  • GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Ensure that all ingredients (especially flour, stock or broth, and heavy cream) are GF-certified. 

Nutrition

Calories: 804kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 76g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 335mg | Sodium: 282mg | Potassium: 925mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1675IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 4mg

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Tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea

Xx, Shanika in script writing

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