The most succulent chicken is braised in flavorful gravy until tender and just falls apart with the swipe of a fork. This smothered chicken recipe is the ultimate comfort food for a cozy weeknight or Sunday dinner.
Smothered chicken is a southern staple and best served over a plate of mashed potatoes or buttery white rice. It doesn’t hurt that this recipe makes plenty of extra gravy for drizzling all over your rice and potatoes.
What is Smothered Chicken?
Smothering is a classic southern technique. It starts by browning chicken in a skillet then deglazing it (usually with broth) to start the gravy. The you’ll add tons of good seasonings – arguably the most important part of the recipe), some cream, and then submerge the chicken into the gravy to slow cook until its so tender it almost falls apart.
For extra flavor, in this recipe I’m using bacon to impart more flavor and texture.
In this smothered chicken recipe, we’ll be using simple ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen.
Chicken – you can either choose chicken breasts and slice them in half or pound to an even thickness, or you can use chicken cutlets.
Flour Dredge – flour, breadcrumbs, blackened seasoning
Bacon – both the bacon and it’s drippings will be used.
Oil – we aren’t deep frying, but we will add about 1 cup of oil to the skillet to pan fry.
Butter – a staple ingredient for gravy.
Chicken stock – you can also use chicken broth but stock has much more flavor. Choose low sodium so you can control the salt.
Seasonings – poultry seasoning (listed in the recipe), red pepper flakes, and bouillon are used to impart tons of flavor into the gravy.
Half and Half – you can use cream as well if you have that on hand. I opted for half and half to keep this a tad lighter.
How to Make this Smothered Chicken Recipe:
Step 1: Start by getting the diced bacon cooked in a large skillet over low heat until crisp. While they’re cooking, prep and dredge the chicken. Remove the crispy bacon bits and keep the drippings in the pan (wiping out any black flecks).
Step 2: Add oil to the drippings and increase to medium heat. Add the chicken to the hot oil (working in batches to avoid overcrowding) and cook two minutes per side until it’s browned on both sides. Set chicken aside on a plate and strain out the oil, leaving behind the brown bits.
Step 3: Into the same pan over medium-low, add butter and stir until it melts through. Add flour and whisk for about 1 minute. Stir in the broth in increments to avoid the gravy splitting. Season up the sauce with the poultry seasoning, some bouillon and a splash of soy sauce in lieu of salt. Finally, pour in the half and half and bring to a low boil. Taste and adjust if needed.
Step 4: Nestle the chicken pieces back into the gravy and cover, let it simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is tender. Serve over mashed potatoes or white rice.
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I hope you enjoyed this recipe for smothered chicken and gravy! Be sure to comment below with any questions or feedback! If you make these or any other recipes, don’t forget to tag me on IG @BadBatchBaking to be featured on my story. Seeing your recreations makes my day!
Southern Smothered Chicken Recipe
- 6 strips bacon
- 4 chicken breast cutlets or two chicken breasts sliced in half horizontally
Flour Dredge for Chicken
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons blackened/cajun seasoning or all-purpose seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons butter (salted)
- 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 2.5 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (if needed)
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes onion powder works as a substitute
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried/rubbed sage
- 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- Start by getting the diced bacon cooked in a large skillet over low heat until crisp.
- In a shallow dish, combine the flour, breadcrumbs, and seasonings and stir. Dredge the chicken, working the flour mixture into all the crevices. Set aside for 10 minutes to remove the chill from the fridge.
- Remove the crispy bacon bits and set aside 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings for later use in the gravy. Wipe pan clean.
- Add oil to the pan increase to medium heat. Add the chicken to the hot oil (working in batches to avoid overcrowding) and cook two minutes per side until it's browned on both sides.
- Set chicken aside on a plate and strain out the oil, leaving behind the brown bits.
- Into the same pan over medium-low, add bacon drippings and butter and stir until it melts through. Add flour and whisk for about 1 minute. Stir in the broth in increments to avoid the gravy splitting.
- Season up the sauce with the poultry seasoning, and bouillon. Finally, pour in the half and half and bring to a low boil. Taste and adjust with salt/pepper if needed.
- Nestle the chicken pieces back into the gravy and cover with the lid. Let it simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is tender. Serve over mashed potatoes or white rice and sprinkle with the crispy bacon bits at the very end to keep them crispy.