Smothered Chicken is made by frying juicy chicken breasts coated in seasoned flour, then coating it in a delicious homemade gravy. Top it all off with crispy bacon pieces for the finishing touch. It’s truly some of the best comfort food you’ll ever make! Try serving this easy chicken and gravy with some homemade mashed potatoes for the ultimate meal.
This smothered chicken is straight up delicious comfort food. The gravy is thick, creamy, and totally flavor packed. There are hints of rosemary and thyme that perfectly complement the garlic and onions. You could seriously eat it by the spoonful.
You won’t be able to get enough of that delicious creamy brown gravy paired with the juicy chicken that has a light and delicious coating. Then it’s all topped off with crispy bacon, which brings it to a whole new level.
Shane literally licked his plate when I served this! He loved the gravy so much that he even ate all the mashed potatoes because they were smothered in the gravy. This recipe is definitely a winner.
If you love creamy gravies as much as I do, be sure to check out our super popular White Country Gravy recipe – it has tons of 5 star reviews!
Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken breasts are the perfect cut of meat for this recipe. They’re easy to butterfly so that they’re nice and thin, and I think the chicken breast meat takes on the flavor of the gravy better than chicken thighs do.
I recommend using air chilled chicken if you can. It will release less liquid when it cooks, so the finished dish will have juicier chicken.
Bacon: Bacon adds so much flavor to this recipe. You can taste a bit of it in the gravy since we’re using the same skillet for the entire recipe. The crispy bacon pieces on top add a lovely pop of salty flavor that balances the rich gravy really nicely.
Flour: We’re using flour in a couple of places in this recipe. The first is to coat the chicken, which gives it a lovely golden brown coating when you sear it. The second place is in the gravy, when it’s added to the melted butter to create a roux that thickens the sauce.
Oil: Vegetable oil is the perfect oil for frying the chicken in. It has a neutral flavor and a relatively high smoke point, so it’s my favorite oil to use in this recipe.
Butter: Butter is the fat that we’re using to make the base of the gravy. I prefer gravies made with butter because they’re so incredibly flavorful, you can’t get the same kind of flavor in a gravy made with oil.
Spices: Italian seasoning is my favorite seasoning to add to the flour to flavor the chicken. Seasoning salt is a really popular alternative though, so feel free to use that instead if you’d prefer. Dried thyme, paprika, dried rosemary, and ground black pepper are the perfect spices to mix into this gravy. They add tons of flavor and are really the perfect blend.
Aromatics: A combination of fresh onion and fresh garlic adds so much flavor to the gravy. You can’t get quite the same flavor with dried onion and garlic, so I definitely think it’s worth the extra few minutes to dice the fresh ingredients.
Soy Sauce: Adding a little bit of soy sauce is a delicious way to salt the gravy while adding some depth of flavor and some really tasty hints of umami. If you’ve never tried adding soy sauce to a gravy before, you’re in for a treat!
Since different brands of soy sauce vary wildly in how salty they taste, I really recommend using low sodium soy sauce. It might taste OK with some brands of regular soy sauce, but others will make the gravy too salty.
Chicken Broth: Using chicken broth is really key to flavoring the gravy. It’s so much more flavorful than the gravy would be if you just used water as the liquid. It really wouldn’t be a true gravy without broth or stock!
Half and Half: Using some half and half as part of the liquid for the gravy makes this a creamy gravy, which really elevates the flavor. If you don’t like creamy gravies, you could replace the half and half with additional chicken broth.
How To Make Smothered Chicken
Start by slicing up the bacon strips, and then saute them in a skillet until they’re crispy. Set the cooked bacon aside, and drain the excess grease. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
In a shallow bowl, mix together flour and Italian seasoning.
Butterfly the chicken breasts into even fillets, then dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour (making sure to get every nook and cranny of the chicken coated).
Add vegetable oil to the skillet, then sear the chicken on both sides until the chicken is golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and drain the excess oil.
Melt the butter in the skillet, then add in the onions and saute until they’re starting to turn translucent.
Add in the garlic and saute until it’s aromatic. Then add in the flour and whisk to create a roux.
Stir in the spices and soy sauce, then slowly add in the chicken broth and half and half while whisking constantly (be careful not to add the liquid in too quickly so that the roux doesn’t break). Bring the sauce to a gentle boil, then lower it to a simmer.
Continue to simmer until the gravy has thickened, then place the chicken in the gravy.
Top the chicken with the bacon, then partially cover the skillet with a lid and let the sauce continue to simmer until it has fully thickened and the chicken is cooked through. The chicken should read an internal temperature of 165 F on an instant read meat thermometer. Garnish with parsley, and serve. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.
What Does Smothered Mean In Cooking?
Smothered meat is a popular type of cooking in Louisiana. It means that the meat is seared to brown it in oil, then a gravy is made in the pan, and then the meat finishes cooking by being simmered in the gravy.
What’s The Difference Between Stewed And Smothered Chicken?
Stewed chicken is boiled in liquid, whereas smothered chicken is seared first and then braised in liquid (normally a gravy).
What Sides Go With Smothered Chicken?
It’s common to serve smothered chicken with mashed potatoes – there’s really no better way to enjoy the extra gravy! Some other carbs that taste great with the homestyle gravy are rice, biscuits, or egg noodles. If you want to lighten things up a bit, try serving it with some vegetable side dishes, like buttery peas, braised celery, or slow cooker green beans.
Keep In Touch
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our chicken recipes! Some reader favorites are:
- Baked Panko Chicken
- Ritz Cracker Chicken
- Bisquick Chicken Fingers
- Southern Chicken and Rice
- Melt In Your Mouth Chicken
- Chicken Pot Pie with Bisquick
- 6 strips bacon (cut into 1/4 inch slices)
- Freshly chopped parsley (optional)
Chicken and Dredge:
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 chicken breasts)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup butter (56 grams)
- 1 medium yellow onion (finely diced, about 1cup)
- 3 medium cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Heat a large lidded skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the bacon slices and cook until they are crispy (about 6-8 minutes). Remove the cooked bacon from the pan and discard the grease.
- While the bacon is cooking, prepare the chicken.
- In a shallow bowl, mix 1/2 cup flour and Italian seasoning to make the chicken dredge.
- Butterfly the chicken all the way through so that you have four even fillets. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Coat the chicken fillets in the seasoned flour mixture (making sure that it's fully coated).
- Return the skillet to the stove, and turn the heat down to between medium and medium-high. Add the vegetable oil, and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the coated chicken fillets to the pan and cook for about 3-5 minutes per side (or until the chicken is golden brown). Once the chicken is finished cooking, remove it from the pan and set it aside on a plate. Drain away the oil.
- Return the pan to the stove over medium heat and add in the butter. Once it has melted, add the diced onion and cook for about 4 minutes (or until it’s starting to turn translucent). Add the minced garlic and cook until aromatic (about 1 minute).
- Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour over the onions and butter and whisk, creating a roux. Then slowly pour in the chicken broth and half and half while whisking constantly until smooth. (It’s important to add the liquid slowly, a little at a time. If you add it too quickly, the roux will break.)
- Once smooth, whisk in the soy sauce, thyme, paprika, rosemary, and black pepper.
- Turn the heat up to bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for about 4 minutes (while whisking constantly to prevent the sauce from burning to the bottom of the pan).
- Once the sauce has started thickening, return the chicken back to the pan, sprinkle the bacon pieces on top *(see notes), and partially cover the skillet with a lid. Let it simmer for about 8-10 minutes (or until the sauce has fully thickened and the chicken has reheated). The chicken should read an internal temperature of 165 F on an instant read meat thermometer.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with your desired side dish (such as mashed potatoes or rice).
*If you prefer crispy bacon, wait to top the chicken with the bacon until the chicken and gravy is finished cooking. If you add the bacon while the chicken is cooking in the gravy, it will absorb some of the liquid and it won't be as crispy.
This makes enough gravy for 4 chicken fillets and the accompanying mashed potatoes or rice that are commonly served as a side dish. If you want to serve more people, you could use 3 chicken breasts to make 6 chicken fillets and there will still be enough gravy and flour dredging for all the chicken (just not enough gravy for a side dish of potatoes or rice).
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 524Total Fat: 32.5gCarbohydrates: 20.5gFiber: 1.6gSugar: 4.4gProtein: 36.3g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate. Since the majority of the vegetable oil is left behind in the skillet, this was calculated with 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil.
If you’re looking for restaurant quality comfort food you can easily make at home, you’ll love this Southern smothered chicken made with staple ingredients! The onion gravy in this chicken and gravy is truly some of the best food for the soul!