Want to make Authentic Southern Smothered Chicken? This is the recipe!! Fried chicken breasts smothered in a traditional and delicious brown gravy made from a roux with onions create the perfect classic southern chicken dish.
There are many dishes that remind me of my childhood, and this smothered chicken recipe is certainly one of them.
As I think about it now, my imagination takes me back to the many times I saw my mother standing in the kitchen over a skillet of freshly fried chicken is added to a homemade gravy she whipped up in a flash.
To this day it remains one of my favorite chicken recipes for dinner and it’s one my whole family loves too!
Why You Will Love This Chicken Recipe
- It’s a hearty, satisfying, and comforting meal.
- Made with just seven easy ingredients!
- Perfectly juicy, tender chicken each and every time.
- Perfect to serve for weeknight dinners but also great to serve for special occasions or guests.
What is Southern Smothered Chicken?
Smothered chicken starts with a lightly breaded chicken that is quickly fried for browning and additional flavor.
Once the chicken is fried it needs to be smothered next. This basically means that it is cooked slowly in a deeply delicious gravy which continues to tenderize the chicken making it fall apart in the best way.
The chicken drowns in the thick and rich velvety gravy which works great to serve with rice, noodles, or even even mashed potatoes which soaks up the gravy so enjoy every single bit!
If you are tired of the same ole chicken dishes, it’s time to spice things up with this easy chicken recipe. I’m sure you will serve it over and over again for your own family just like my mother did for ours.
This easy chicken recipe is made with simple ingredients that you might already have on hand or can pick on a quick trip to the grocery store.
The key ingredients for my chicken and gravy recipe include:
- Flour: Used to create the roux for the gravy and to add a nice crispy crust to the chicken.
- Chicken: I usually use chicken breasts but you can also make southern smothered chicken thighs as well. Whether you use breasts or thighs, I highly recommend using boneless, skinless chicken.
- Aromatics: Added to the gravy for flavor but also creates a nice texture in the gravy as well.
- Chicken stock: My mother used to create her gravy with water but I find adding chicken stock along with the water adds a bit more flavor.
- Worcestershire Sauce: This ingredient really intensifies the dish even more. It is similar to the gravy I make for my Salisbury Steak Meatballs recipe.
How to Make Smothered Chicken and Rice
I have only made a few slight changes over the years but all in all, this is pretty much the exact same recipe I had growing up. Here are the highlights of the main steps involved in making this chicken recipe for dinner.
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and then dip each piece of chicken in flour, coating both sides.
- Place the chicken in a heated skillet with oil and brown the pieces on both sides. Remove them when ready and set aside.
- Scrape the bottom of the pan getting up all of the browned bits and add the onion slices to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are browned and tender. Then add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet and then sprinkle on the remaining flour.
- Cook to allow the flour to brown and then add the chicken stock and water to the skillet and stir with a whisk. Bring the gravy to a boil over high heat and season with salt and pepper.
- Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce and then turn the heat down to medium. Add the chicken back to the pan and cover with a pan. Allow the sauce to thicken until it coats the back of a spoon and the chicken is nice and tender.
- Serve up your Southern smothered chicken dinner over rice and garnish with parsley.
How to Store
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to three months.
If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then heat in a skillet with a lid over medium heat. Make sure the gravy covers the chicken and add more broth to thin out the gravy and to keep the chicken from drying out.
What to Serve with Smothered Chicken
No Southern meal is complete without an ice-cold glass of sweet tea!
- Make sure you really allow the gravy to thicken. Take the time to let it simmer until it coats the back of a spoon. It will also continue to thicken once the heat is turned off if it is resting.
- Use skinless and boneless chicken for the best results.
- Add mushrooms with the onions for a slight variation on the gravy to smother the chicken.
- Make sure the oil is hot before you start cooking the chicken. That way it comes out nice and crisp.
Since it has a gravy it works especially great with mashed potatoes, rice, and pasta which all soak up the sauce from the chicken. Also, bread such as cornbread, biscuits, and dinner rolls make an excellent addition to the meal to make sure you can sop up all the gravy from your plate.
It gets its name from the rich, thick sauce which covers (or smothers) the chicken as it cooks.
More Easy Dinner Recipes with sauces
- Brown Stew Chicken
- Chicken Marsala
- Turkey Chops
- Chicken and Gravy
- Smothered Pork Chops
- Baked Turkey Wings
- Rice and Gravy
- Smothered Steak
- Wine Braised Garlic Chicken
- Chicken Francese
- Lemon Chicken Piccata
Southern Smothered Chicken
- 5 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil separated
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons separated
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 3 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup water
- 1-2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- Rice for serving
- Garnish: parsley
- Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in large pan over medium heat.
- Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste.
- Dredge chicken breasts lightly in 1/2 cup of flour then brown in skillet on both sides.
- Once browned, remove chicken from skillet and drain on paper towel. Set aside.
- Next scrap the bottom of the pan getting up all of the browned bits.
- Add the onion slices to the pan and saute’ for about 5 minutes until a bit browned and tender.
- Add minced garlic and saute’ for 1 minute.
- Next add 1 additional tablespoon of oil to skillet then sprinkle on remaining flour.
- Allow the flour to brown then pour in chicken stock and water and whisk together.
- Turn heat to high to bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper.
- Whisk in worcestershire sauce then turn heat down to medium.
- Add back in chicken and put lid on pan. Allow the sauce to thicken until it coats the back of a spoon and chicken is nice and tender.
- Serve over rice and garnish with parsley if you desire.
This post was originally published October 2015. It has been updated with new content and images.