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Smothered Chicken Thighs

These Smothered Chicken Thighs are a tasty comfort dish featuring golden-brown chicken thighs in a flavorful onion and garlic gravy. The crispy, seasoned chicken and rich, velvety gravy make it a satisfying meal. 

Perfect for family dinners or casual gatherings, this dish has classic flavors. Its simplicity makes it perfect for any night of the week.

Smothered Chicken Thighs with gravy in a cast iron skillet.
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My family loves this amazing Smothered Chicken. The golden brown chicken thighs are crispy and full of flavor and then they get topped with that gravy that is delicious! 

You can use this recipe with any cut of chicken, but I love to use chicken thighs to add a little extra richness. Make sure your chicken is all generally the same thickness so it cooks evenly. 

I think this smothered chicken recipe is just made for a cast iron skillet, but any skillet you have will do. The bits that gets left behind in the pan after you fry the chicken will make the gravy even better, so be sure to leave it there until you add the milk and broth! 

When your smothered chicken thighs are done, sprinkle some fresh parsley on top to make it all fancy. Serve it over mashed potatoes, rice, or even some buttery noodles. And these homemade dinner rolls are perfect for soaking up the gravy.

Ingredient Notes

See the printable recipe card below for all ingredients, specific measurements, and complete instructions.

Ingredients to make Smothered Chicken Thighs set out on the counter.
  • Chicken Thighs: The main star of the show!
  • Flour: Coats the chicken, creating a crispy texture and thickening the gravy.
  • Spices including onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper will make the chicken breading and the gravy full of flavor. 
  • Oil: Used for frying the chicken.
  • Onion: Diced onions form the base for the flavorful gravy.
  • Garlic: Minced garlic infuses even more flavor in the creamy gravy.
  • Chicken Broth: Provides a savory liquid base for the gravy.
  • Milk: Adds creaminess to the gravy.
  • Parsley: Garnish that adds a fresh, herby touch.

How To Make Smothered Chicken Thighs

Flour onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
Chicken is coated in flour mixture in a bowl.
A plate with chicken coated with flour mixture.

First, grab a medium bowl and mix up the flour with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. 

Now, take those chicken thighs and coat them real good with that seasoned flour mixture.

Chicken thighs are frying in a cast iron skillet.
Chicken thighs browned in a cast iron skillet.
Browned chicken thighs on a plate.

Get that skillet heated up with oil on medium heat, and add in the chicken. Cook it until it's that perfect golden brown on both sides. Don't stress about it being completely cooked through; we'll finish that later. Once the chicken is golden brown, set it aside

Diced onions fried in a skillet with flour added.
Seasonings and garlic are added to the diced onion flour mixture in the skillet.
Browned chicken thighs are added to gravy in the skillet.

Now, in the same skillet, throw in diced onions and let them sizzle until they start turning golden. That's the base for our amazing gravy.

Whisk in the reserved flour, minced garlic, and seasonings. Let it mingle for a couple of minutes. Now, pour in the chicken broth and milk. Keep whisking until it starts thickening up. That's our velvety gravy coming to life!

Add the chicken back into the pan, cover it up, and let it simmer on medium-low heat for a good 25-30 minutes.

Smothered Chicken Thighs served on a plate with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Sprinkle some parsley on top for that finishing touch. And there you have it – Smothered Chicken that is perfect served over mashed potatoes, rice, or whatever you fancy.

Recipe Variations

  • Add mushrooms. Sautee sliced mushrooms along with the onions for an earthy flavor. 
  • Make it Cajun. Add Cajun seasoning to the flour mixture and the gravy for a Cajun kick. 
  • Add lemon and herbs. Add lemon zest to the flour mixture for a citrusy touch. Add fresh thyme or rosemary to the gravy.

How To Store Leftover Chicken

Store: To store leftover Smothered Chicken, allow it to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freeze: For freezing, consider dividing the dish into individual portions for convenience. Place the cooled Smothered Chicken in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Properly stored, it can be frozen for up to 2 months.

When ready to enjoy, thaw the frozen portions in the refrigerator overnight and reheat as needed, ensuring thorough heating throughout.

Recipe Tips

  • When preparing the gravy, whisk the ingredients gradually. This prevents lumps from forming in the mixture.
  • The key to perfectly fried chicken is to make sure it is all generally the same thickness. If part of your chicken is thicker than the rest, put it in a plastic bag and give the thick part a little pounding to thin it out. 
  • Taste the gravy before covering and simmering. Adjust salt and pepper if needed to suit your preferences.
  • To ensure the chicken is thoroughly cooked, use a meat thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the chicken; it should register at least 165°F for safe consumption.

Recipe FAQs

What kind of oil do I use for frying chicken?

You can use vegetable oil, canola oil, or any other neutral oil with a high smoke point.

Can I add more vegetables to the gravy?

Certainly! Consider adding carrots, bell peppers, or celery for added flavor and texture. Sauté them along with the onions.

Can I use boneless chicken thighs?

Yes, you can. But if you use boneless chicken thighs, they will likely be thinner and take less time to cook.

Smothered Chicken Thigh on a plate with mashed potatoes and gravy.

If you need more easy chicken recipes here are a few of our favorites!

I'm sure you will love this Smothered Chicken recipe because it's a delicious combo of crispy chicken with a rich, flavorful gravy. It's total comfort food that's easy to make and completely satisfying!

Smothered Chicken Thighs with gravy in a cast iron skillet.

Smothered Chicken Thighs Recipe

Author: Judy Wilson
These Smothered Chicken Thighs are a tasty comfort dish featuring golden-brown chicken thighs in a flavorful onion and garlic gravy.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 620 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup oil

Gravy Ingredients

  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl, combine flour, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Remove ¼ cup of flour mixture and set aside for the gravy.
  • Coat chicken on all sides with flour mixture.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • When oil is hot enough to sizzle, add the chicken and cook until golden brown.
  • Then, flip and brown the other side.
  • Once the chicken is golden brown, remove it from the skillet and set aside. (The chicken will finish cooking in the gravy.)
  • Add chopped onion to the skillet, and fry until onion has begun to brown.
  • Then, whisk the reserved flour mixture, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic. Cook, whisking frequently for 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in chicken broth and milk. Cook, whisking for an additional 2-3 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken.
  • Add the chicken back to the pan, cover it, and simmer it over medium-low heat for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Notes

The safe internal temperature for chicken is 165 degrees F.

Nutrition

Calories: 620kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 30gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 151mgSodium: 1339mgPotassium: 539mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 755IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 116mgIron: 3mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and should only be used as a general guideline. It is an estimate that will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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