This smothered chicken recipe is made in one skillet and loaded with juicy parmesan crusted chicken breasts and a delicious gravy. It is a restaurant-worthy meal right at your home!
Today, we’re preparing tender, juicy, fried chicken breasts in a delicious gravy with a generous dose of crispy bacon. This is ultimate comfort food that feels straight out of a high-class bistro, and you’ll be amazed how fun, and easy, it is to put together.
Smothered Chicken Recipe
Chicken, gravy, and mashed potatoes is exactly the kind of classic, home-style comfort food that just about everybody loves. It’s warm, nourishing, and fills the belly like nothing else. With this recipe, we’re preparing the chicken and gravy in a single skillet. While they’re cooking, you can boil up your potatoes and get ready to mash them into creamy, fluffy perfection.
You will need simple ingredients to make this amazing chicken dinner.
Although this recipe calls for chicken breast, you can try using pork chops or chicken thighs instead. These cuts have a higher fat content than chicken breast, and therefore more flavor, which can help with making the gravy.
How To Make Smothered Chicken
- First of all, you’re going to fry up your bacon until it gets crispy. Set it aside, and reserve some bacon drippings. If you need to, wipe any black residue from the pan.
- Next, you’re going to slice each of your chicken breasts lengthways. Pound it with a meat hammer or rolling pin to about ¾ of an inch thick, season and dredge in flour mixture, and tap away any excess.
- Now you’re going to add vegetable oil to the pan. Heat this over a medium-high heat, and when the oil begins to glisten,throw your chicken in the pan. We encourage you to fry two pieces at a time, taking about five minutes to cook each side. After this, each piece of chicken should have an attractive, golden-brown sear. Set your chicken aside on a plate to stand.
- For the next step, we’ll be removing the oil from the pan, using a paper towel to remove any black spots that have appeared. Leave any of the brown remnants, however. This is concentrated, pure gravy flavor. The brown bits, incidentally, are called “fond”, and are important for flavoring.
- Next we’re going to make the roux. Add butter and smashed garlic to the pan. Melt butter over medium heat, using a silicon or soft rubber spatula to scrape up the bottom of the pan in a “cleaning” motion. Gradually sprinkle in your flour, whisking all the while. This should form a paste.
- Next, add your broth and half-and-half. Add these liquids in small increments, whisking them in as you go. The mix will thicken up with each splash of liquid, and as you become more familiar with the process, you’ll be able to eyeball how much you need. Adding all the broth or half and half at once will overwhelm the roux, breaking it, and prevent the mixture from properly combining.
- For the next step, add your seasonings. If you want a darker color for your gravy, you can add a couple of drops of Kitchen Bouquet.
- Bring this mixture to a gentle boil then let it settle into a simmer by reducing heat. Add the baby spinach and allow to wilt.
- Add your chicken back to the pan, being sure to include any juice left on the chicken plate. Chop up your bacon (if you haven’t already) and place it on top of the chicken in the gravy.
- Cook this mix for 5 minutes. Garnish it with parsley and sage leaves and serve with some creamy mashed potatoes.
Smothered Chicken Tips
- When making gravy, controlling its consistency is key. Slow inclusion of broth and half-and-half, in small increments, is the best way to do this. Your patience here will be rewarded with a thick, beautiful gravy.
- For thicker gravy, simmer your sauce uncovered. For thinner gravy, add an extra splash of half-and-half, milk, or both.
- To ensure that the breading on your chicken stays on, make sure your oil is hot enough before you add the chicken to the pan. This will get a nice sear on your chicken breast.
- You can add texture on the surface of the chicken with a meat tenderizer. This gives the breading more surface area to cling to, makes the chicken look a little fancier, and will actually increase the flavor of your chicken.
- Chicken thighs and pork chops make great substitutes for this recipe. If you’re using thicker pork chops, we recommend adjusting the timing of this recipe to ensure that they are fully cooked. Alternatively, you can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the pork chops, guaranteeing a perfectly cooked chop every time.
- If you’re looking to reduce the sodium content of this dish, unsalted butter and reduced sodium broth will work great. You could also leave the bacon out, but we love the taste and crunch of crispy bacon.
What To Serve With Smothered Chicken
Our go-to recommendation for this recipe is mashed potatoes. If you want to branch out, some roasted veggies like Air Fryer Green Beans, carrots, or Roasted Asparagus are a great option, or you could try a Cauliflower Mash. Buttermilk biscuits are a staple side of the American heartland that will soak up this gravy very nicely.
Storing Smothered Chicken
You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Alternatively, it will keep in the freezer for up to three months. We recommend that if you do freeze your leftovers, you separate the pieces of chicken from the sauce.
If you want to serve this dish after it’s been frozen, simply allow it to thaw gently overnight by removing it from the freezer and placing the container in the fridge. Reheating the sauce slowly in a pan over low heat is the way to go as this won’t “shock” the sauce. Once the sauce has returned to a low-viscosity liquid state (and it’s still lukewarm), you can add your frozen chicken and allow it to gently reheat in the sauce.
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