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Southern Smothered Chicken Recipe

Southern Smothered Chicken is a recipe you’ve got to make! When you need the ultimate comfort food, this chicken recipe is the soul food you need!

What is smothered chicken? It’s one of the many traditional southern recipes that simmers browned chicken in a delicious gravy.

In southern cuisine, all kinds of things are “smothered.” Beef, chicken, pork chops, even potatoes, and other vegetables.

How to Make Southern Smothered Chicken

First, let’s gather the ingredients you’ll need:

Chicken Breast – I prefer to use boneless, skinless chicken, but feel free to use cut-up chicken pieces from a “Fryer Chicken.”

Flour – we’re dredging the chicken so you’ll need all-purpose flour.

Seasonings – we want this dish to be filled with flavor!

  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Poultry Seasoning
  • Other seasonings you could add creole seasoning, cayenne pepper, chili powder, etc.

Onion Gravy – Head over to this recipe (linked in the recipe card below!) to read about how to make Southern Onion Gravy.

Next, let’s gather the kitchen equipment you’ll need:

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Large Skillet (or Dutch Oven!) – you want something with a heavy bottom, like a cast iron skillet. It will hold heat well!

Shallow Dish – since we’re dredging the chicken, these bowls are my favorite to use.

You’ll also need a good pair of tongs, a whisk, and a wooden spoon.

smothered chicken in gravy recipe

Seasoning Your Chicken for this Southern Favorite

Season your chicken with the spices before you dredge your chicken in egg and flour. Every step of the dredging process needs to have seasoning! It’s what makes a recipe into a great recipe! While you sprinkle the seasoning over the chicken, you’ll want to season your flour too.

Dip your chicken into the beaten eggs and coat on both sides.

Using the other hand, dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour, then shake the excess flour off each of the skinless chicken breasts. Save the remaining flour mixture to use with your onion gravy!

Set these aside while you heat up a skillet of oil. We are shallow frying the chicken, so you don’t need a ton of oil. Just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.

Traditionally, this recipe has you fry chicken pieces like you would for fried chicken. You can even use leftover fried chicken (or store-bought fried chicken!) if you have any.

chicken smothered in gravy

Cooking Your Chicken

Place chicken in the skillet with hot oil and shallow fry on each side for a few minutes. You don’t have to cook the chicken all the way through since you’re going to simmer the chicken for an hour. It will finish cooking the homemade gravy.

When the chicken is browned on both sides, remove from the pan and set it to the side while you make your gravy.

Making Gravy for this Southern Smothered Chicken Recipe

Remove any excess oil from your pan, but leave a couple of tablespoons. You also want to leave the brown bits on the bottom of the pan! That’s where the depth of flavor lives.

For this recipe, I make Southern Onion Gravy, which starts by browning and caramelizing onions in the pot. Follow the instructions from that recipe!

Overall for any gravy for southern food, you need to follow the 3-2-1 ratio!

3 tablespoons of flour + 2 tablespoons of fat (oil, butter, etc) + 1 cup of liquid.

For the most flavorful gravy, your liquid should be chicken broth, chicken stock, or some kind of flavor-filled liquid. If you’re making a beef gravy use beef. Feel free to use vegetable broth, too!

When you taste your gravy and it doesn’t knock your socks off, I have some tricks for you to try!

southern onion gravy

Homemade Gravy Tricks

After you’ve made your gravy, you taste it, and it’s not the best. Try adding a few dashes of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce to the creamy gravy. A fresh sprinkle of salt can help too. Gravy should never be bland! You can also use Gravy Master which has very high salt content, so use it sparingly. It adds a deep, rich brown color to your gravy recipe too!

As your gravy simmers it will thicken, so if it’s too thick at the beginning add half a cup of liquid at a time.

Once your gravy is amazing, and you want to dip your shoe in it, add the chicken back to the pot. Cover and simmer on low heat for 1 hour.

Fried Chicken with Gravy

Serving Smothered Chicken

Once you have incredibly tender chicken serve this amazing meal over mashed potatoes or my favorite, Brown Butter Rice. Be sure to have plenty of other southern supper recipe ideas like Collard Greens, Macaroni and Cheese, Cornbread, and Green Beans.

southern side dish recipes on a table

If you have any chicken leftover store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

In conclusion, this Southern Smothered Chicken Recipe is a complete meal the whole family will love! Serve this at your next family gathering, and enjoy a comfort food favorite!

Save this to your favorite Chicken Board on Pinterest!

Southern Smothered Chicken Recipe
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Southern Smothered Chicken Recipe

  • Author: Sweetpea
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: southern


Southern Smothered Chicken is a recipe you’ve got to make! When you need the ultimate comfort food, this chicken recipe is the soul food you need!



Seasoning Blend for Chicken + Flour

  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Poultry Seasoning


  • 46 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/23/4 cup Oil, for frying (A neutral oil like canola or vegetable is preferred. If you are using Olive Oil, make sure it is for frying.)


  • 2 TBS oil (from frying)
  • 1 large Vidalia Onion or Sweet Onion, sliced
  • 2 cups Beef Broth (divided)
  • 2 TBS Butter
  • 2 TBS Flour (this is from  the seasoned flour you dredged your chicken in)
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce




  1. Mix all the ingredients together, and set to the side. Reserve 1 1/2 teaspoon of the seasoning blend for the flour. The rest goes on the chicken.


  1. Season your chicken with the seasoning blend. Add it to a big bowl, and add 3/4 cup of milk + 2 beaten eggs. Let this sit while you season your flour, and get the oil on your stove.
  2. Mix the 1.5 teaspoons of the seasoning blend into the flour, whisking well to evenly distribute.
  3. Take each chicken breast and dip it into the flour, flipping it onto either side. Lift the chicken out of the flour, and gently shake to remove any excess flour. If your oil is hot and ready, gently lay the chicken breast into the oil to fry. Otherwise, you can set it to the side on a separate plate while you dredge the other chicken pieces.


  1. Gently lay each piece of chicken into the hot oil, laying it away from you so nothing splatters onto you! Don’t crowd the pan, fry the pieces in batches.
  2. Allow the chicken to fry until golden brown on each side, about 3 minutes per side.
  3. Remove the chicken and set it off to the side, while you finish frying the other pieces.
  4. Once your chicken is all fried up, remove excess oil, while reserving 2 tablespoons in the pan to make your gravy.

ONION GRAVY – You can click HERE for the full recipe post

  1. Add in your sliced sweet onion to the reserved 2 tablespoons of oil and saute until soft and slightly caramelized.
  2. Pour one cup of beef broth, and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Remove the onions and beef broth to a small bowl, and set aside.
  3. To the pan, add 2 tablespoons of butter.
  4. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over the top, and create a roux by whisking together and cooking for 2 minutes.
  5. To the roux, pour in the remaining one cup of beef broth, and whisk until thick and creamy.
  6. Add the cooked onions and extra broth back into the gravy.
  7. Sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce.
  8. Whisk it all together, then add the chicken back to the creamy gravy.
  9. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour.
  10. Serve this impossibly tender chicken with rice, mashed potatoes, or any other southern favorites!

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