This smothered chicken recipe is absolutely delicious and takes less than 1 hour to make! It's classic comfort food at its finest that's made with a savory creamy sauce and tender chicken breasts...
For more soul food recipes check our collection where you will find the best Sunday soul food dinner ideas to enjoy with your family.
🌟 Why this recipe is the best
This smothered chicken recipe is full of flavor and so easy to make! The chicken breasts are coated in a flavorful flour mixture, then pan-fried until golden brown. They're simmered in a creamy sauce that's made with chicken broth, onions, spices, and Worcestershire sauce.
The result is juicy chicken breasts smothered in a delicious gravy-like sauce that everyone will love. It's the perfect dinner to serve with rice, mashed potatoes, or pasta.
I love recipes that only require few pantry staples and one skillet. With just a few minutes of prep - this dish comes together quickly and easily, making it perfect for busy weeknights.
Smothered chicken is such a comforting and satisfying dish to enjoy when winter comes around. The warm, savory spiced chicken is perfectly seasoned, and the creamy onion sauce tops it all off!
It's also an inexpensive recipe for home cooks on a budget to make for their families.
🍽 Key Ingredients
You'll be pleasantly surprised at how few ingredients this recipe requires from your pantry to make it. And with a single skillet too, it's perfect for home cooks.
Chicken breasts - Use skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. If you have extra try my fried chicken tenders.
Flour - The flour is used to thicken the sauce and to coat the chicken with the seasonings to give them a nice crispy exterior.
Seasonings - A simple mixture of garlic powder, onion powder, standard or smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper is added to the flour to provide a savory flavor with a bit of heat.
Butter - You'll need a small amount of butter to caramelize the onions.
Onion - Sliced onions are also a key ingredient in smothered recipes. They're sweet, and when cooked in a creamy sauce, they're delicious!
Chicken broth - A key ingredient in the sauce that also adds flavor. You can use low-sodium chicken broth if you prefer.
Heavy cream - This is what makes the sauce nice and creamy.
Worcestershire sauce - This is another key ingredient in the sauce that provides a savory depth of flavor.
Oil - Olive oil or vegetable oil to cook the chicken breasts in the skillet.
You can substitute the chicken breasts for boneless skinless chicken thighs or other meats like turkey steaks or pork loin.
If you don't have heavy cream on hand, you can use whole milk or half and half.
You can use soy sauce or tamari sauce as a good substitution for Worcestershire sauce.
🔪 How to make Smothered Chicken
Southern Smothered chicken is such an easy recipe to make at home using basic ingredients. Just follow the step-by-step instructions below, and you'll have this delicious Southern chicken recipe on the table in less than 1 hour!
- Cut each chicken breast in half lengthways.
- Slice the onion in half and then make thin half-moon slices.
Season each chicken cutlet with salt & pepper on both sides.
Make the flour mixture by mixing the flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons of the mixture to a separate bowl to thicken the sauce.
Coat the chicken pieces with the seasoned flour and add them to the hot skillet.
Set a skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Cook for 5 minutes on either side until they're golden brown but still slightly pink in the middle, and transfer to a plate.
Turn the heat down to medium-low and add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet. Once the butter has melted, add the sliced onions and cook for about 15 minutes until they're soft and have a brown caramelized color. Stir them frequently to prevent them from burning.
Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of reserved seasoned flour into the skillet and continue to cook for about a minute, stirring constantly.
Pour in the chicken broth and Worcestershire sauce and stir until the flour has dissolved, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
Stir in the cream, add the chicken back into the skillet, and let the chicken cook completely for another 5 to 7 minutes over medium-high heat.
Once the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened to your liking, add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately with mashed potatoes, greens, or other favorite sides.
💭 Cooking tips
If your sauce is too thick, just add more chicken broth to make it thinner.
Cutting the chicken
Make sure to cut the chicken cutlets to the same thickness to cook evenly.
📖 Recipe Variations
Smothered chicken is a Southern classic recipe that is always a hit at dinner time, and the recipe can be tailored to suit everyone's taste buds. Try some of these tasty variations.
Breaded smothered chicken
Give your chicken an extra layer of crunch with panko breadcrumbs. A quick addition could be my homemade crispy onions.
Make an egg wash mixture and pour 200 grams of breadcrumbs into a bowl, then dip the chicken cutlets into the seasoned flour, egg wash, and the breadcrumbs. Cook in the hot skillet until lovely and golden, then follow the cooking instructions.
Smothered chicken with mushrooms
Slice 1 cup of mushrooms into quarters and add them to the skillet while cooking the onions for a delicious recipe that adds an earthy flavor to the dish and enhances the sauce flavor. Add the seasoned flour to the skillet once the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.
Spicy smothered chicken
If you like your food spicy, add 1 or 2 diced chipotle chilies and a tablespoon of their juices from the jar to the skillet with the onions to make it extra spicy.
Also I have compiled a set of chicken tenderloin recipes that can provide you with additional delectable options.
🥗 What to serve with
Chicken recipes like smothered chicken are great for serving with comforting side dishes like mashed potatoes, greens, roasted potatoes, or other household favorite side dishes.
Twice baked potatoes
This recipe for stuffed twice-baked potatoes is the perfect companion for your smothered chicken cutlets. They're first baked to make the potato soft, then mixed with sour cream, spices, and cheddar cheese, and baked again until they're crispy and delicious.
Southern fried cabbage
The combination of fried cabbage with crispy bacon and smothered chicken is Southern soul food. This recipe takes roughly the same amount of time as the chicken and is great for using leftover cabbage.
Prosciutto wrapped asparagus
Another favorite recipe that goes with any chicken recipe and only takes 20 minutes to make. Prosciutto wrapped asparagus is made with 3 ingredients of cream cheese, prosciutto strips, and asparagus stalks.
It's as easy as spreading the cream cheese over the prosciutto, wrapping them around the asparagus, and baking them.
🙋 Frequently asked questions
Why is my chicken not crispy after frying?
If your chicken isn't crispy and golden in color, it might be because the oil wasn't hot enough to start. Floured chicken should be cooked in hot oil to make it instantly crispy and golden. Another way is to pat the chicken dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
Why is my chicken dry?
One of the main reasons for dry chicken is overcooking it before making the onion cream sauce. As the chicken needs to cook again in the sauce to absorb the flavors, it is important to not cook it thoroughly at first so that it can finish cooking in the sauce and become tender and juicy.
🧊 Storing and ♨️ reheating
Delicious recipes like smothered chicken are perfect for midweek dinners, and leftovers can be easily stored and used for packed lunches the next day.
Fridge - You can store any leftover smothered chicken in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap in a bowl. It will last for up to 3 days refrigerated.
Freezer - Transfer the leftover chicken and gravy to a freezer container or freezer bag and place it in the freezer for 4 months.
Reheating - The best way to reheat smothered is in a skillet over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, and the quickest way to reheat it is in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.
🍳 Related Southern Comfort Food Recipes
If you like this collection of hearty Southern smothered chicken recipe then you should try one of my classics comforting foods.
Looking for more southern dishes? Try my mouthwatering southern meatloaf recipe that is perfect for any occasion!
👪 Serving size
This easy smothered chicken recipe yields 4 servings. Although, the recipe can easily be scaled to make more if desired.
Whether you use chicken breasts or boneless chicken thighs, this recipe is guaranteed to be a hit with your friends and family. Smothered chicken is easy to make, delicious, and puts the comfort in comfort food!
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
Try one of my comfort dinner recipes for your next family meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!
Best Smothered Chicken
- 2 Large chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise
- Salt & pepper to taste
- ½ cup Flour
- 1 tablespoon Garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Onion powder
- ½ tablespoon Paprika
- ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 1 medium-to-large Onion sliced
- 1 cup Chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup Heavy/whipping cream
- Cut each chicken breast in half lengthways.
- Slice the onion in half and then make thin half-moon slices.
- Season each chicken cutlet with salt & pepper on both sides.
- Make the flour mixture by mixing the flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons of the mixture to a separate bowl to thicken the sauce.
- Coat the chicken pieces with the seasoned flour and add them to the hot skillet.
- Set a skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Cook for 5 minutes on either side until they're golden brown but still slightly pink in the middle, and transfer to a plate.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet. Once the butter has melted, add the sliced onions and cook for about 15 minutes until they're soft and have a brown caramelized color. Stir them frequently to prevent them from burning.
- Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of reserved seasoned flour into the skillet and continue to cook for about a minute, stirring constantly.
- Pour in the chicken broth and Worcestershire sauce and stir until the flour has dissolved, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in the cream, add the chicken back into the skillet, and let the chicken cook completely for another 5 to 7 minutes over medium-high heat.
- Once the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened to your liking, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately with mashed potatoes, greens, or other favorite sides.