Smothered chicken and gravy is perfect Sunday supper comfort food featuring tender chicken simmered in a luxurious gravy with carrots, onion, and celery.
This comforting dish harkins back to the days when crafting an involved 'Sunday supper' wasn't an event, but rather the norm. It is hard not to picture grandma wearing her white apron while tending to a large cast-iron skillet as this tantalizing meal slowly takes form. Revive those days of old by gathering your loved ones around the table for a proper family dinner and some quality conversation with this smothered chicken and gravy recipe.
Smothered Chicken and Gravy
If you are looking for stick-to-your-ribs comfort food perfect for enjoying with your family at the end of an eventful weekend, this is it. Chicken pieces are slowly simmered to tender perfection in a thick and creamy gravy seasoned with soy, Worchestershire sauce, and thyme. The addition of carrots, onion, and celery turns this comforting entree into a one-pot entree & side dish combination!
Best Chicken for This Recipe
My smothered chicken recipe calls for using a four-pound fryer chicken, however, I debated long and hard about using strictly chicken thighs in this recipe instead. I like chicken thighs because their uniform size makes for even cooking, plus dark meat can be overcooked without getting as dry as chicken breasts. Chicken thighs also require less prep work, because you do not have to cut up a whole chicken, which can be intimidating for a novice cook.
The reason I felt using a whole fryer chicken was best is because it gives you more serving options, so those who like white meat can have a breast, and those who enjoy dark meat can have a leg. However, the choice is ultimately yours. Feel free to substitute six chicken thighs instead.
Troubleshooting Smothered Chicken and Gravy
What if my chicken is undercooked? 35 minutes of simmering in the gravy should be plenty of time to cook through a meaty chicken breast, but if your digital meat thermometer (affiliate link) is still showing the chicken hasn't reached 165 degrees, simply let it simmer longer.
My gravy is too thin! As the gravy simmers water will evaporate and it will continue to thicken. Simmer your gravy longer if you are looking for a thicker consistency. If your chicken is cooked through and your gravy is too thin, the chicken can be removed from the gravy while you finished thickening it, to prevent the chicken from overcooking.
My gravy is too thick! If you simmer the gravy for too long, it will lose too much liquid and get too thick. This is easy to correct by adding a couple of dribbles of water or chicken broth back into the gravy. Start small, you typically don't need to add that much to thin it back out to the proper consistency.
What to Serve with Smothered Chicken and Gravy
I hope you already know the answer to this one. There is never anything better to serve with gravy than fluffy mashed potatoes, right? I recommend sticking to classic mashed potatoes as your side dish for this meal, however, if you are looking for ways to reinvent your mash potatoes for other meals, check out my French Onion Mashed Potatoes or Bacon Ranch Mashed Potatoes recipes.
Chicken Dinner Recipes
If you enjoy my smothered chicken and gravy recipe, there are other similar recipes you will love as well. Check these out!
- Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
- Chicken and Dumplings
- Pan-Seared Chicken Breast with Garlic Thyme Cream Sauce
- Indian Butter Chicken
Smothered Chicken and Gravy
- 4 pound fryer chicken (or substitute six skin-on chicken thighs)
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil (or as needed)
- ½ cup flour
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 3 carrots (peeled and chopped)
- 2 ribs celery (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper to taste
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Salt to taste
- Cut up chicken into breasts, thighs, and leg pieces, leaving the skin on. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
- Place ½ cup flour in a large bowl or bag, add the chicken pieces and toss to coat.
- Add 1 tablespoon cooking oil to a wide-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch Oven, or 12" skillet set over medium heat. Brown the chicken pieces on each side, working in batches if needed. Once browned, remove and set aside (chicken will still be raw). Any leftover burnt flour in the pot can be poured out and removed, but be careful as the oil is hot.
- Add an additional tablespoon of cooking oil to the pot along with chopped carrots. Saute for 3 minutes, then add onion and celery and continue to saute for an additional 8 minutes, then add garlic and saute for 2 more minutes. Remove vegetables from pot and set aside.
- Set the pot on medium low heat and add butter. Once melted, sprinkle in flour and continue to whisk to prevent burning. Cook the flour/butter mixture until it begins to turn nutty in color, while continuing to whisk.
- Add half and half a few splashes at a time, while whisking to combine. Then add chicken broth in the same manner. Finally add soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme.
- Return vegetables to the pot with the gravy and add chicken pieces in a single layer. Let gently simmer on low for 35 minutes, or until all pieces reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees and gravy has thickened.
- Serve on chicken on plates with a ladle of vegetables and gravy poured over the top.