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A cast-iron skillet resting on a tea towel. Five pieces of bone-in chicken in gravy are in the skillet.
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5 from 6 votes

Southern Smothered Chicken

Savory fried chicken pieces are cooked to fall-apart perfection in a creamy gravy. This classic skillet comfort food is well-seasoned and perfect for cold weather.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken dinner ideas, chicken recipe with gravy, southern comfort food
Servings: 4
Calories: 968kcal
Author: Jill


For the Chicken

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs and/or drumsticks above five pieces
  • 1 ⅓ cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

For the Gravy

  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon or one cube
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • Parsley optional, for garnish


  • Directions:
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and paprika. Remove 3 Tablespoons of this seasoned flour from the bowl and reserve this for later.
  • Completely coat each piece of chicken in the large bowl of flour mixture.
  • Place the vegetable oil into a large deep pan. Turn the heat to medium. Add the coated pieces of chicken. (If your pan is too crowded, it is better to cook in batches.)
  • Fry the chicken until it is browned on all sides. (It does not need to be cooked through at this point because we will be cooking it again later.)
  • Once the chicken is brown, remove it from the pan but leave the oil in the pan.
  • Next, add the onion to the pan and fry it until golden (it should take about 5 minutes).
  • Add the reserved 3 Tablespoons of seasoned flour to the pan. Whisk it with the oil.
  • Then whisk in the chicken bouillon, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chicken broth. Let this cook for 2-3 minutes. Make sure there are no lumps- except the onions..
  • Next, whisk in the milk, again making sure there are no lumps. Bring this mixture to a boil and allow it to cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add the chicken back to the pan. Make sure that it is coated with the gravy. Be sure the heat is medium. Cover the pan and allow it to cook for 30 minutes more. (Turn the chicken occasionally.)
  • Garnish with parsley and serve


Calories: 968kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 71g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 28g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 195mg | Sodium: 1778mg | Potassium: 727mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 517IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 4mg