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Smothered Chicken Recipe

Smothered chicken, a dish deeply rooted in the Southern United States, In this article, I’ll guide you through creating classic smothered chicken, focusing on achieving tender, juicy chicken beneath a flavorful gravy, a hallmark of this beloved dish.

chicken and gravy

Expect to learn about the essential ingredients and step-by-step methodologies, from preparing the chicken to making the iconic gravy and suggested serving options. By incorporating key strategies such as browning the chicken slowly to ensure a deeply flavored sauce and carefully assembling the dish with dark meat at the bottom and white meat on top, we aim to perfect the art of smothered chicken and gravy in your kitchen.

Table of Contents

Ingredients Overview

To embark on creating the classic smothered chicken, gathering the right ingredients is crucial. Here’s a comprehensive overview of what you’ll need:

  • Chicken: Opt for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, ensuring a lean and tender base for your dish.
  • Flour Mixture: Combine all-purpose flour with classic seasonings for coating the chicken. .
  • Liquids for Gravy: Use chicken bouillon or low-sodium chicken broth, water, and optionally, heavy cream to create a rich, flavorful gravy. The heavy cream adds richness and can temper the heat from the spices.
  • Fat for Cooking: Vegetable oil is recommended for frying the chicken, providing a healthier option without compromising on taste.

ADDITIONAL: For this recipe, you have the option to substitute chicken breasts with chicken thighs or pork chops. Take a look at the step-by-step images below to understand how it is prepared, and also refer to my advice for achieving the best results!

Before starting the cooking process, ensure all these ingredients are prepared and measured to streamline the preparation and cooking phases. This organization will not only save time but also prevent any potential mishaps during the cooking process.

Preparing the Chicken

To ensure our smothered chicken is flavorful and tender, proper preparation of the chicken is key. Here’s how to get your chicken ready for smothering:

  1. Prepping the Chicken:
no skin chicken breasts
  • Wash the chicken under cool water, then rub it thoroughly with salt for two minutes to cleanse and season it.
  • Rinse the chicken once more and pat it completely dry to ensure a good sear.

2. Seasoning and Coating:

  • Combine the flour, breadcrump with the seasonings. This mixture will be used to dredge the chicken, ensuring a flavorful crust.
  • For chicken breasts, slice them in half lengthwise to create thinner cutlets, making them easier to cook and more suitable for smothering.
  • Pound the sliced chicken breasts to about 3/4 inches thick under saran wrap using a meat tenderizer. This not only tenderizes the meat but also helps the flour mixture adhere better.
  • Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour mixture, ensuring every part is coated evenly. Tap off the excess flour to prevent clumping.

By following these steps, you’re laying the foundation for a delectable smothered chicken dish that’s sure to impress.

Cooking the Chicken

To achieve the perfect smothered chicken, the cooking process is as crucial as the preparation. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cooking your chicken to perfection:

frying chicken
  1. Frying the Chicken:
    • Heat Vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat..
    • Fry the chicken in batches, 2 at a time, for 4-5 minutes per side. The goal is to achieve a golden sear without cooking the chicken through.
    • Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain a consistent temperature. This prevents the oil from smoking and ensures even cooking.
  2. Final Cooking:
    • Cook until an instant-read meat thermometer indicates the chicken is done.
    • For smaller chicken breasts, extend the cooking time slightly to ensure they’re fully cooked.

Making the Gravy

To craft the perfect smothered chicken gravy, follow these detailed steps:

smothered chicken
  1. Building the Gravy:
    • Melt the butter in the pan, sprinkle all-purpose flour and stir, cooking for about 3 minutes to remove the raw flour taste. This step is crucial for thickening the gravy.
    • Gradually whisk in chicken broth and heavy cream, ensuring a smooth consistency. If using, add the chicken bouillon for extra flavor.
    • For an aromatic touch, incorporate onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, and ground sage, adjusting these seasonings to taste.
  2. Finishing Touches:
    • Adjust the gravy’s thickness by simmering until it reaches your desired consistency. Remember, the gravy should be smooth with some body, not too thick or runny.

By following these steps, you’ll create a rich, flavorful gravy that perfectly complements the tender, juicy smothered chicken.

By meticulously following these steps, you’ll ensure your smothered chicken is cooked evenly, retaining its moisture and flavor, ready to be smothered in gravy.

chicken and gravy

Serving Suggestions

When serving classic smothered chicken, the choice of sides can elevate the dish to new heights. Here’s a curated selection to complement the rich flavors of the chicken and gravy:

  • Starchy Sides:
    • Parmesan Mashed Potatoes or for a creamy texture that melds well with the gravy.
    • Jasmine Rice or White Rice, offering a fragrant and soft base that absorbs the sauce beautifully.
    • For a rustic touch, Roasted Red Potatoe provide a hearty accompaniment.
  • Vegetable Sides:
    • Green Beans or Easy Roasted Green Beans for a crisp texture and vibrant color.
    • Sautéed Spinach with Garlic or Grilled Asparagus, adding a fresh and earthy balance to the dish.
    • For something unique, Maple Roasted Beets and Carrots or Roasted Zucchini offer a sweet and satisfying contrast.
  • Breads and More:
    • Cornbread, Biscuits, or Herbed Dinner Rolls are perfect for sopping up the creamy sauce, adding a touch of Southern charm.
    • Collard Greens or Cabbage, traditional Southern sides, provide a nutritious complement to the meal.

This selection ensures a well-rounded meal, offering a variety of textures and flavors that pair perfectly with smothered chicken.

Smothered chicken recipe

Storage and Reheating Tips

Storing and reheating your smothered chicken properly is essential to enjoy its flavors even days after cooking. Here’s how to do it:

Storage Tips:

  • Refrigerator: Place smothered chicken in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Remember, foods are generally safe in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, but it’s best to consume or freeze them by then.
  • Freezer: For longer storage, smothered chicken can be frozen for 2-3 months. Use a freezer-safe container to prevent freezer burn. Always thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Reheating Tips:

  • Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C). Place the chicken in an oven-safe dish, cover it, and reheat for 15-20 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). For best results, you might consider reheating at a higher temperature of 425-475°F (218-246°C).
  • Stovetop: Transfer the chicken and gravy into a saucepan and reheat over medium-low heat until warmed through. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating.
  • Microwave: Although not recommended due to potential texture changes, you can reheat smothered chicken in the microwave. Cover it with a damp paper towel, heat on 80% power for 3 minutes, stir, and then continue heating on full power for 1-2 minutes if needed. Check the temperature and add additional time in 30-second intervals if necessary.

Conclusion

Through this article, we have journeyed together into the heart of Southern comfort food, guiding you step by step to create the classic smothered chicken, from preparing and seasoning the chicken to crafting a rich, flavorful gravy, and finally cooking it to perfection. This exploration not only served to detail a recipe but also to celebrate the cultural heritage and culinary techniques passed down through generations.

FAQs

Q: What is the origin of the name ‘smothered chicken’?
A: The term ‘smothered chicken’ derives from the traditional cooking method of slow cooking. Another term for this dish is ‘choked chicken,’ which refers to the old practice of wringing a chicken’s neck. ‘Smothered’ relates to the technique of cooking the bird slowly in a heavy-bottomed pot along with onions, celery, and bell pepper.

smothered chicken

Smothered Chicken Recipe

This recipe for smothered chicken features succulent fried chicken breasts smothered in a delicious gravy and topped with crispy bacon. It is a gourmet meal that can be easily made in the comfort of your own home.
5 from 1 vote
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 4 stripes thick-cut bacon
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying

Chicken Dredge:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Gravy:

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp all purpose flour
  • cups chicken broth
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp dried rosemary
  • ¼ tsp ground sage

Instructions
 

  • Combine the chicken dredge ingredients on a large plate, tossing them together until well mixed. Set the mixture aside. Before starting the cooking process, it's advisable to measure out the gravy ingredients in advance

Cook the bacon :

  • Fry the bacon over medium-low heat until it turns crispy. Remove it from the pan and set aside, reserving 2-4 tablespoons of clear bacon drippings.

Slice & Tenderize the Chicken:

  • Slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise to create two thinner slices, and then, using a fork, gently pound them to an even thickness. This method helps tenderize the meat.

Coat the Chicken:

  • Ensure the chicken is dry, then generously coat it with the flour mixture, making sure every part is covered.

Cook the Chicken:

  • Heat the reserved bacon drippings and vegetable oil in a clean pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and fry for 4-5 minutes on each side until it achieves a golden brown color. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate.

Prepare the grevy:

  • Melt the butter in the same pan over medium heat. Gradually whisk in the flour until a smooth paste forms.
  • Slowly pour in the chicken broth and half and half, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and becomes smooth.
  • Stir in the beef bouillon, soy sauce, and seasonings until well combined.
  • Place the chicken back into the pan along with any accumulated juices. Sprinkle the chopped bacon on top.
  • cover the pan and let the chicken simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and serve the smothered chicken with mashed potatoes or your preferred side dish. Enjoy your flavorful creation!

Notes

Here’s the approximate nutrition information per serving. Please note that these values are approximate and may vary based on factors such as the specific brands of ingredients used and any variations in preparation.

Nutrition

Calories: 813kcalFat: 66.25gProtein: 31gCarbohydrates: 23.75g
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