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Soul Food Smothered Chicken Thighs

Easy, One Pan Southern Smothered Chicken is a quick Southern recipe featuring seared and baked chicken thighs drizzled in brown gravy. This healthy dish is made with onions and spices all in a cast iron skillet.

smothered pork chop thighs in a cast iron skillet with gravy
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I love a good comfort food dish, yall! This recipe will show you how to cook smothered chicken, Cajun or Creole style, The most common way to eat it is with rice, but I love to pair it with vegetables, too.

If you’re asking yourself, “What’s a good Southern soul food meal….perfect for Sunday dinner?” I got you! This meal is perfect.

butter, heavy cream, chicken broth, onions, and seasoning for smothered pork chops recipe

What is Smothered Chicken?

Smothered chicken is a classic, Southern recipe. We often smother pork chops, too. You make the chicken first on the stove and then pop it in the oven to bake and finish cooking.

Many recipes call for either a whole cut up chicken or chicken thighs. The chicken is then smothered in brown gravy and typically with onions.

raw bone in chicken thighs in packaging

What Kind Of Chicken to Use. Bone-in vs Boneless Thighs

You can use any chicken you want. Traditionally, bone-in chicken thighs are used. You can use skinless chicken if you prefer.

Bone-in chicken thighs are a lot juicer, thanks to the bone. They also require a longer cook-time than boneless. I find it only adds about an additional 5 minutes.

Boneless chicken thighs are typically cheaper and will cook faster. They are not as moist as bone-in thighs.

collage photo of 4 photos of raw seasoned chicken thighs, chicken thighs seared in a cast iron skillet, and butter melted in a cast iron skillet

What Can I Season the Chicken With?

I season the chicken with Creole Seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. You can substitute the Creole Seasoning with your favorite seasoning and you can also use smoked paprika if you wish.

collage photo showing the process of sauteeing onions in a cast iron skillet

How to Make Smothered Chicken Thighs

  1. Ensure the chicken thighs are dry and season both sides of the chicken.
  2. Add the chicken to a heated cast iron skillet with olive oil. Sear both sides of the chicken.
  3. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  4. Add butter and onions to the skillet.
  5. Next add in broth and cream.
  6. Return the chicken to the pan and bake.
smothered pork chop thighs in a cast iron skillet with gravy
Seared chicken prior to baking.

How to Substitute Chicken Breasts or Legs

Chicken breasts will require 15-20 minutes to bake at the same temperature. Always use a meat thermometer to check the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Chicken legs will require 20-25 minutes to bake at the same temperature.

smothered pork chop thighs in a cast iron skillet with gravy
close up photo with smothered pork chop thighs in a cast iron skillet with gravy

What Goes Well/Side Dish Pairings

Fried Cabbage
Keto Low-Carb Cornbread
Southern Soul Food Homemade Cornbread
Instant Pot Collard Greens

Southern Soul Food Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Southern Green Beans

Keto Low Carb Orange Chicken
Roasted Ranch Potatoes
Chicken and Avocado Salsa
Southern Collard Greens
Southern Mustard Greens
Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes

Seafood Mac and Cheese
Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken

smothered pork chop thighs in a cast iron skillet with gravy with one chicken thigh serving on a white plate

More Southern Recipes

Red Beans and Rice
Louisiana Gumbo
Shrimp Étouffée
Baked Turkey Wings
Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
Air Fryer Lamb Chops
Air Fryer Scallops
Southern Chicken Spaghetti
Air Fryer Turkey Legs
Southern Smothered Pork Chops

You will love my Smothered Pork Chops, Smothered Steak, Smothered Chicken Wings, Smothered Potatoes and Onions, and Smothered Turkey Wings recipes, too! Check out our list of the Best Authentic Soul Food Recipes here.

smothered pork chop thighs in a cast iron skillet with gravy
Print Pin
5 from 17 votes

Soul Food Smothered Chicken Thighs

Easy, One Pan Southern Smothered Chicken is a quick Southern recipe featuring baked chicken thighs drizzled in brown gravy. This healthy dish is made with onions and spices all in a cast iron skillet.
Save this recipe here.
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword smothered chicken, smothered chicken and gravy, smothered chicken thighs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 466kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Ensure the chicken thighs are dry and season the chicken thighs with the Creole seasoning, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
  • When hot, add the seasoned chicken thighs. Sear both sides of the chicken, about 2 minutes on each side. The chicken does not have to fully cook through as it will be baked later.
  • Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
  • Add the butter to the pan. Use a silicone spoon or wooden spoon to deglaze the pan. Scoop up the brown bits from the pan. It's loaded with flavor
  • Add the onions and cook the onions until they are translucent and fragrant.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low and add in the chicken broth and heavy cream. Stir to combine for 2-3 minutes. Do not allow the sauce to boil.
  • Return the chicken to the pan. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Use a meat thermometer and ensure the chicken has reached an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees before removing it from the oven.
  • Cool before serving.

Video

Notes

  • A pan that retains heat well, works best for this recipe a cast iron or stainless steel pan. If you use something else, results will vary.
  • If you don’t want to use Creole Seasoning, substitute it with whatever you prefer. The use of Cajun Seasoning is also popular.
  • You can use skin-on thighs or remove the skin/purchase the chicken skinless. This is a matter of preference.
  • Boneless chicken thighs will require 15-20 minutes of cook time.
  • Chicken breasts will require 15-20 minutes to bake at the same temperature. Always use a meat thermometer to check the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Chicken legs will require 20-25 minutes to bake at the same temperature.
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Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 1chicken thigh | Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 37g
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Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
Recipe Rating




Keantaye

Monday 12th of December 2022

This is real smothered chicken but I add a little more vegetables on top right before adding it to the oven with the gravy. Yummy 😋

staysnatched

Wednesday 14th of December 2022

Love that idea!

Heather

Thursday 6th of October 2022

Was craving this for lunch, but only had boneless skinless chicken breast on hand (followed the recipe otherwise). Seared each side and baked 20 minutes and it turned out great. Tasty, filling. and comforting…paired perfectly with your southern fried cabbage. Thanks!

Rose

Tuesday 27th of September 2022

This recipe has become a staple since you posted it. I love all of your recipes. Delicious healthy meals.

I did see someone copy (almost word for word) and publish your recipe as their own. I didn’t think that was cool and wanted you to be aware.

staysnatched

Tuesday 27th of September 2022

haha! Thanks for the heads up. Who knows. I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe!

Bri

Tuesday 28th of June 2022

I made this recipe as stated- it’s so flavorful and easy to make. Whole family liked it!

staysnatched

Saturday 2nd of July 2022

I'm glad the family enjoyed it.

Sarah

Monday 28th of February 2022

So good. Quick, easy and low mess!

staysnatched

Tuesday 1st of March 2022

Low mess is always a win!