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Smothered Chicken Recipe – How to Make it in 12 Simple Steps

A freshly-cooked batch of Southern-style smothered chicken.

While many people love fried chicken, the actual process of making it in your own kitchen can feel a little intimidating. And, when you consider that poultry must be fully cooked, or you risk food poisoning like salmonella, it is understandable that you might not want to venture into the world of fried chicken. Additionally, the idea that chicken with bones in it takes a long time to get completely cooked makes many people never try to make fried chicken on their own. They may feel that fried chicken is something that you buy at a restaurant in a big red and white bucket.

However, this recipe for Smothered Chicken breaks down the process of making fried chicken into something that anyone with a little cooking experience can do. First, rather than using bone-in chicken pieces, we use either boneless skinless chicken breasts or some chicken tenders. To make it easier to ensure that the chicken is cooked all the way through, we slice chicken breasts in half and pound them into a consistent thickness. 

Smothered Chicken Recipe

April Freeman
Fried chicken and gravy sounds like a dinner that your grandma might serve for a chilly winter Sunday dinner with the whole family gathered around the table. This recipe for Smothered Chicken breaks down the process of making fried chicken into steps that anyone can handle. Create this meal for a comfort food feast that everyone will crave.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings


  • Shallow Bowl
  • Fork
  • Meat Mallet
  • Skillet
  • Tongs
  • Spatula
  • Thermometer
  • Wire whisk


Chicken Ingredients

  • cup Real Bacon Bits
  • 6 pcs Boneless Skinless Chicken Tenders or 2 chicken breasts
  • ½ cup Cooking Oil
  • ½ cup Flour
  • ¼ cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ¾ teaspoon Black Pepper

Gravy Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • ½ cup Flour
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon Dried Rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon Dried Sage


  • In a shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and the all-purpose flour. Add the salt and black pepper and stir with a fork to combine the mixture. 
  • If you are using chicken breasts, slice them in half horizontally into two thinner chicken pieces. This will help them cook more evenly and quickly. Pound the chicken breasts or chicken tenders with a meat mallet to form the meat into pieces that are of uniform thickness. Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel.
  • Roll the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, coating them all over.
  • Pour the oil into the skillet into a layer that is ¼ inch deep. Heat the pan over medium high heat. It should start to shimmer and get more runny as it gets hot. If it sizzles when you flick a drop of water into the oil, it is hot enough. Do not add the chicken until the oil is hot enough or the breading will stick to the pan and get soggy. When the oil is hot, add the chicken to it, spreading the chicken so that there is at least an inch between each piece. Crowding the pan will lead to soggy chicken pieces. If your pan is too small, work in batches. 
  • Cook the chicken. If the chicken starts getting overly brown or popping excessively, turn the heat down a bit and pull the pan from the heat until the heat of the oil lowers a bit. When the chicken is golden brown on the bottom, use a pair of tongs or a spatula to flip the chicken and cook the backside. When the chicken is completely brown all over, use an instant read thermometer to check the interior temperature of the meat. When it registers 165 degrees, it is fully cooked. Remove the chicken to a plate lined with paper towels. 
  • Drain the oil from the pan, and add the butter, melting it over medium heat. Slowly, add the flour, using a spatula to mix it into the melted butter.
    Butter is then added into the chicken oil for the gravy.
  • Continue cooking the butter and flour together, stirring frequently until a paste is formed. The flour paste will slowly darken to a brownish color.
    This is a thick gravy made from the chicken oil.
  • When the paste is a golden brown color, use a whisk to add the chicken broth and milk a little at a time to the pan. Whisk until no lumps remain. Don’t just suddenly pour the liquids into the pan, or it will be hard to smooth out the lumps. Just slowly splash the liquids into the pan, whisk it into the flour mixture and then add another splash, whisking again. Repeat this process until you’ve poured in all the liquids. 
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, rosemary, and sage, stirring these herbs and seasonings into the pan until they are fully combined. Whisk to incorporate the seasonings and stir, cooking it over medium heat, until the gravy is thickened.
  • Add the chicken and any accumulated juices back to the pan, gently setting each piece into the gravy. Sprinkle the bacon bits over the chicken pieces. 
  • Cover the pan with a lid and cook the chicken over low heat for about 15 minutes. 
  • Sprinkle with parsley if you desire a garnish. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice for a tasty main dish for your dinner. 
    A piece of smothered chicken with gravy on rice.


We also have a surefire recipe for a delicious gravy. If you work carefully, your gravy will be free from any lumps or globs that can make gravy unappealing. The seasonings perfectly flavor the gravy to add delicious taste to a topping for rice or baked potatoes. 
Keyword Dinner Recipe, Recipe, Smothered Chicken

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