Smothered Chicken Recipe: Tender, Flavorful, and Comforting

Smothered chicken is a classic Southern dish that features tender chicken pieces braised in a rich, creamy gravy with caramelized onions and garlic. This comforting meal is perfect for family dinners or special occasions, and it’s surprisingly easy to make at home. In this article, we’ll guide you through the ingredients, preparation techniques, and cooking instructions to create a delicious smothered chicken dish that will have your taste buds singing.

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Ingredients

To make smothered chicken, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Chicken pieces: You can use a mix of thighs, drumsticks, and breasts, depending on your preference. For best results, use bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces.
  • Seasoned flour dredge: Combine all-purpose flour with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper to create a flavorful coating for the chicken.
  • Frying oil: Use vegetable oil or bacon drippings for frying the chicken and sautéing the onions.
  • Onions and garlic: Sliced onions and minced garlic add depth and richness to the gravy.
  • Chicken broth or stock: This forms the base of the gravy and helps to keep the chicken moist during braising.
  • Heavy cream: A splash of heavy cream adds a luxurious texture and flavor to the gravy.
  • Worcestershire sauce: This savory condiment enhances the overall flavor profile of the dish.
  • Butter: A pat of butter added at the end of cooking gives the gravy a glossy finish and a silky mouthfeel.
  • Optional ingredients: You can add crispy bacon or sautéed mushrooms for extra flavor and texture.

Preparation Techniques

To ensure your smothered chicken turns out perfectly, follow these key preparation techniques:

  1. Dredging: Coat the chicken pieces evenly in the seasoned flour mixture. This creates a crispy crust and helps to thicken the gravy later on.
  2. Pan-frying: Brown the dredged chicken in hot oil until golden and crispy on both sides. This step seals in the juices and adds flavor to the dish.
  3. Sautéing: Cook the sliced onions and garlic in the rendered fat until they are soft, translucent, and lightly caramelized. This builds a flavorful base for the gravy.
  4. Roux: Sprinkle flour into the pan with the sautéed onions and cook until lightly browned. This creates a roux that will thicken the gravy and add a nutty flavor.
  5. Braising: Slowly simmer the chicken in the flavorful liquid until it is tender and fully cooked. This low-and-slow cooking method ensures that the chicken remains moist and absorbs all the delicious flavors of the gravy.

Cooking Instructions

Now that you have your ingredients and understand the key preparation techniques, let’s dive into the step-by-step cooking instructions:

  1. Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper, then dredge them in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
  2. Heat the oil or bacon drippings in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the dredged chicken pieces and fry until golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 6-8 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  1. In the same skillet, add the sliced onions and sauté until they are soft and lightly caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the sautéed onions and garlic, stirring constantly to create a roux. Cook the roux for 2-3 minutes until it is lightly browned and smells nutty.
  3. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, heavy cream, and Worcestershire sauce, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until it thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
  1. Return the browned chicken pieces to the skillet, nestling them into the gravy. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and let the chicken braise in the gravy for 30-40 minutes, or until it is fully cooked and tender.
  2. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in a pat of butter until melted and incorporated into the gravy. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.

Serve your smothered chicken hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley or green onions, alongside your favorite side dishes such as rice, mashed potatoes, or green beans.

IngredientAmount
Chicken pieces3-4 lbs
All-purpose flour1 cup
Garlic powder1 tsp
Onion powder1 tsp
Paprika1 tsp
Cayenne pepper1/4 tsp
Salt1 tsp
Black pepper1/2 tsp
Vegetable oil or bacon drippings1/4 cup
Onions, sliced2 large
Garlic, minced4 cloves
Chicken broth or stock2 cups
Heavy cream1/2 cup
Worcestershire sauce1 tbsp
Butter2 tbsp

By following these ingredients, preparation techniques, and cooking instructions, you’ll be able to create a mouthwatering smothered chicken dish that will become a family favorite. The combination of crispy, tender chicken, caramelized onions, and rich, creamy gravy is simply irresistible. Don’t be surprised if your loved ones ask for seconds – or even thirds!

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