This Southern smothered chicken recipe includes tender fried chicken thighs and drumsticks smothered in homemade onion and garlic gravy made with Zoup! Chicken Bone Broth.
Zoup! Good, Really Good® provided me with product for the purpose of this post, as well as compensation for my time. As always, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Did you know smothered chicken is pure , originating in Louisiana? Smothering all kinds of meat like duck, rabbit, and chicken is common in both Cajun and Creole cooking. I don’t know about you, but Southern smothered chicken was a regular supper in my household growing up and now I make it for my own family.
It includes chicken thighs and drumsticks coated in a spiced flour mixture, briefly fried, then baked in the most flavorful onion and garlic gravy. This results in the most tender chicken imaginable, which is smothered in gravy when served.
Now, the ingredients list for this particular does look long. But don’t be scared! We start with chicken thighs and drumsticks and then need a few spices to make a sensational seasoning, like onion powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper. Next, you need to get your hands on sweet onion, garlic, fresh thyme, bay leaf, and Zoup! Chicken Bone Broth to make that homemade gravy. The final ingredient is green onion for a garnish. See, that’s not so bad!
I’ve included a few serving suggestions below for these Southern-style smothered chicken thighs, but you can’t go wrong with a side of rice or mashed potatoes, which are the most popular options. Okay, I bet you want me to stop talking now so you can start cooking, right? Let’s get to it!
Zoup! Chicken Bone Broth = good enough to drink
Thanks so much to Zoup! for providing us with their delicious chicken bone broth to make this easy Southern smothered chicken recipe. Have you tried it before? Zoup! Really Good Zoup! Chicken Bone Broth is kettle cooked in small batches using the freshest and finest ingredients. With a complex yet balanced flavor and homemade taste, when they say it’s good enough to drink, they mean it. It also ticks all those health boxes: it’s low in calories, paleo-friendly, and completely free of artificial ingredients, preservatives, gluten, GMOs, fat, trans fat, and saturated fat. What more could you want?
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And now let’s get going with some Southern cookin’!
- Skin-on and bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks
- All-purpose flour
- Onion powder
- Smoked paprika
- Cayenne pepper (as much as you like)
- Salt (as much or as little as you like)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pure olive oil
- Sweet onions
- Minced garlic cloves
- Zoup! Good, Really Good® Chicken Bone Broth
- Fresh thyme
- Bay leaf
- Green onion
How to Make Southern Smothered Chicken
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Add flour, onion powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to a dish.
Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet on medium-high heat.
Pat the chicken thighs and drumsticks dry using a paper towel.
Put the chicken thighs and drumsticks in the seasoned flour mixture to coat on both sides.
Keep the rest of the flour spice mix for the gravy.
Add the coated chicken to the pan without room in between each piece (you may need to make a couple of batches).
Cook on each side for 1-2 minutes until golden brown.
Set browned chicken to the side on a plate.
Add the onions to the skillet and decrease the heat to medium.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are golden brown (about 5 minutes).
Add garlic and cook until you can smell its aroma (30 secs to a minute).
Then add the remaining seasoned flour mixture to the onions and stir to coat and combine.
Add the Zoup! Chicken Bone Broth to the skillet next and stir.
Increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a boil, then decrease the heat to low.
Add chicken pieces with any accumulated juices, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf to the skillet.
Place the chicken into the onions and turn to coat all sides in the gravy.
Transfer the skillet to the oven, uncovered, and cook until the internal chicken temperature reads 165°F when inserted with an instant-read thermometer.
This takes 20-25 minutes but times may vary depending on your oven.
If the gravy seems too thick, remove the chicken thighs to a serving plate and add chicken stock a little at a time (the sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon).
Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately with green onion garnish.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheat either in the microwave or on the stovetop. You may need to add a little water to the gravy if it’s too dry. I typically remove the chicken from the bones if I have leftovers, but you don’t have to.
- You can also freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating as above.
- Now, I do say the cooking time should be about 25 minutes. But this is one of those dishes where it’s best to measure the cooking time by checking the internal temperature as the size of the chicken will make a difference. For example, my chicken took a bit longer.
- For creamy gravy, add 1 cup of whole milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream about 2 minutes after you add the chicken broth to the skillet.
- I’m using a combination of chicken thighs and chicken drumsticks, but you can also use just thighs or just drumsticks if you like. You can also use chicken breasts and pork chops, but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time depending on the size.
- Do you have some bacon grease? Use it instead of oil to add more flavor to this dish. You can also add diced cooked bacon bits as a garnish.
- If you want to add even more seasoning and flavor to the chicken, opt for 2 teaspoons of garlic powder and 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning.
- Instead of green onion, garnish your smothered chicken with chopped fresh parsley.
- Feel free to also use regular paprika instead of smoked paprika if that’s all you’ve got.
What’s the difference between stewed chicken and smothered chicken?
The main difference is that stewed chicken is boiled and smothered chicken is fried.
What do you serve with Southern smothered chicken?
Here are some serving suggestions to pair with smothered chicken:
- Mashed potato
- Zucchini fries
- Zucchini and squash
- Broccoli salad
- Biscuits (I mean, biscuits and gravy is always a winning combo).
- Collard greens
- Oven-baked mac and cheese
- Homemade dinner rolls
Here are more Southern chicken recipes:
Our Family’s Southern Chicken Stew Recipe
Fried Chicken Cordon Bleu, Southern-Style
Southern Fried Chicken Recipe (Fuss-Free)
Barbecue Chicken Pizza, Southern-Style
- 6 skin-on and bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks I did 3 of each
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp pure olive oil may need more if using a cast-iron skillet
- 2 large sweet onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup Zoup! Chicken Bone Broth see link in notes
- fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 thinly sliced green onion for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- On a large plate, combine the flour, onion powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.2 tbsp all-purpose flour, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste), 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet on medium-high heat.1 tbsp pure olive oil
- Pat the chicken thighs dry using a paper towel. Put the chicken thighs and drumsticks in the spiced flour mixture to coat on both sides. Keep the rest of the flour spice mix for the gravy.6 skin-on and bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks
- Add the coated chicken to the pan with room in between each piece (you may need to make a couple of batches). Cook on each side for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Set cooked chicken to the side on a plate.
- Add the onions to the skillet and decrease the heat to medium. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are golden brown (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and cook until you can smell its aroma (30 secs to a minute).2 large sweet onions, chopped, 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Add the remaining flour mixture to the onions and stir to coat and combine. Add the Zoup! Chicken Bone Broth to the onion flour mixture and stir that up.1 cup Zoup! Chicken Bone Broth
- Increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a boil, then decrease the heat to low. Add chicken thighs and drumsticks with the juices, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf to the skillet. Place the chicken into the onions and turn to coat all sides in the gravy.fresh thyme, 1 bay leaf
- Transfer the skillet to the oven, uncovered, and cook until the internal chicken temperature reads 165°F when inserted with an instant-read thermometer. This takes 20-25 minutes but times may vary depending on your oven.
- If the gravy seems too thick, remove the chicken thighs to a serving plate and add the Zoup! Chicken Bone Broth a little at a time (the sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon).
- Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with green onion garnish.1 thinly sliced green onion for garnish
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