Smothered chicken

Smothered chicken is a comforting, savory dish that’s beloved in Southern cuisine. It features chicken that’s been seared, then slowly cooked in a rich, flavorful gravy until tender. This recipe is perfect for a hearty family dinner and pairs wonderfully with sides like mashed potatoes, rice, or green beans. Here’s how you can make it:


Smothered Chicken Recipe


For the Chicken:

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (you can use breasts or legs if you prefer)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the Gravy:

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper, to taste



Prepare the Chicken:

Season the chicken pieces on both sides with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.

Brown the Chicken:

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook until the skin is golden brown and crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Make the Gravy:

In the same skillet, add the sliced onions and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir until the flour is fully incorporated and the mixture turns golden brown, about 2 minutes.

Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, ensuring there are no lumps. Add the thyme and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly, until it thickens into a gravy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Smother the Chicken:

Return the chicken to the skillet, nestling the pieces into the gravy. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently, turning the chicken occasionally, until it is fully cooked through and tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) when checked with a meat thermometer.


Discard the bay leaf. Taste the gravy and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve the chicken smothered in the onion gravy. This dish goes well with mashed potatoes, rice, or your favorite vegetables.

Smothered chicken is all about comfort and flavor. The key to this dish is patience—allowing the chicken to cook slowly in the gravy not only ensures it’s tender and juicy but also allows the flavors to meld beautifully. Enjoy the rich, savory goodness that this classic dish brings to your table!

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