Crispy and Juicy Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

This recipe for smothered southern fried chicken is a classic example of soul food, something that reminds us of the rich culinary heritage of the American South. The dish is all about comfort – juicy, tender chicken coated with a crispy outer layer of flour and spices, and smothered in a creamy gravy that’s bursting with flavor. If you’re looking for something delicious to cook up for your next big family meal or gathering, this recipe won’t disappoint.

As a chef who grew up in the South, I can attest to the fact that there’s nothing quite like the taste of a good southern-style meal. There’s just something about the combination of spices and ingredients that makes this type of cooking so unique and satisfying. And when it comes to smothered chicken, it’s one of those dishes that has become a true staple for anyone who appreciates good southern cuisine.

So, whether you’re preparing this dish as part of an elaborate feast or just making it for a weeknight dinner at home, I hope you’ll enjoy every single bite of this smothered southern fried chicken recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Smothered Southern Fried Chicken
Smothered Southern Fried Chicken

This smothered southern fried chicken recipe is the ultimate comfort food that will take you straight to the heart of the South. I guarantee you won’t be able to resist the juicy, flavorful chicken smothered in a rich gravy sauce that’s perfect for drizzling over mashed potatoes or rice.

One bite of this soul food classic and you’ll immediately understand why it has such a special place in Southern cooking. The crispy and golden exterior combined with tender, juicy meat is a flavor explosion like no other.

This recipe is easy and simple to follow, meaning anyone can create it even if they lack prior culinary expertise. The ingredients are pantry staples, and everything comes together easily in one pan. Whether you’re serving up Sunday dinner or want to impress your guests at a dinner party, this recipe suits all occasions.

One of the reasons people love this recipe is because it’s versatile; you can pair it with anything from buttery cornbread to crisp green beans. Whether you want something creamy or tangy, this dish pairs perfectly with a variety of sides, making it an ideal choice.

In addition, the recipe calls for using boneless chicken breasts or thighs, so there’s absolutely no fussing around with bones while consuming your masterpiece. You can choose whichever type of chicken you prefer or have on hand.

So come on and give this southern smothered fried chicken a try! It’s sure to become one of your favorite go-to recipes that’s simple enough for a weekday meal but impressive enough for special occasions. Trust me – your taste buds will thank you!

Ingredient List

 The perfect Southern-style chicken for any dinner occasion
The perfect Southern-style chicken for any dinner occasion

To make this southern fried chicken dish, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. of chicken pieces (bone-in chicken thighs, wings, breasts or boneless chicken)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • Vegetable oil or lard for frying

Note: Feel free to adjust the seasoning to your taste. For spicier chicken, add cayenne pepper or paprika to the seasoned flour mix.

The Recipe How-To

 Mouthwatering fried chicken that will have you coming back for seconds
Mouthwatering fried chicken that will have you coming back for seconds

Now, the real fun begins, time to fry the chicken! This recipe is not for the faint of heart but if you are down for some real Southern comfort food, let’s get started!

– 6 chicken pieces (legs, wings, breasts or thighs)
– 2 cups of flour
– 3 tbsp onion powder
– 2 tbsp garlic powder
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp pepper
– ½ tsp paprika
– 3 eggs
– ¼ cup of milk
– Oil (for frying)

  1. In a shallow bowl beat the eggs and milk.

  2. In another shallow bowl, combine flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and paprika.

  3. Dip chicken pieces in the egg mixture then coat them fully with seasoned flour. Let coated chicken rest for few minutes on wire rack until the flour is moistened and adheres well to the chicken.

  4. Heat a medium pot filled with oil between 350°F to 375°F.

  5. Add coated chicken parts to hot oil and cook for about 20 -25 minutes, turning once or twice until the crusts are golden brown all around and cooked through inside.

  6. Once chicken is done cooking, remove from pot and set aside on wire rack to cool for few minutes.

  7. Use a cast iron skillet or frying pan to prepare the creamy chicken gravy sauce:

  8. After frying chicken part(s), allow some oil to remain in skillet.

  9. Whisk together flour and remaining seasoned flour into the remaining oil. It will create a roux that serves as an ingredient in sauce-making.
  10. Once roux reaches desired color (brown) and consistency (paste), slowly pour in water while whisking constantly to avoid lumps forming.
  11. Add in chicken broth, salt, pepper and thin sliced onion. Keep stirring until you get a smooth sauce.
  12. Reduce heat to low and let the sauce cook for few minutes to all flavors to meld together.

  13. In a large southern food dish, place the smothered fried chicken and pour creamy gravy smothered chicken on top of it.

This recipe may require some practice, but it’s definitely worth the extra effort. Grab a plate of mashed potatoes and green beans to side with it and make this classic soul food dream come true!

Substitutions and Variations

 The ultimate comfort food with a twist of Southern flavor
The ultimate comfort food with a twist of Southern flavor

If you’re looking to put your own spin on this Southern classic, there are plenty of substitutions and variations you can try.

One way to change up the recipe is to use boneless chicken breasts instead of chicken pieces. This will give you a leaner, healthier option that’s perfect for those counting calories. You can also try using boneless chicken thighs for a richer flavor.

If you’re looking for a gluten-free version, you can substitute regular flour with almond flour or gluten-free flour. Just make sure to adjust the amount of liquid accordingly. You can also omit the flour altogether and use buttermilk or an egg wash to coat the chicken before frying.

For those who want a creamier gravy, try adding heavy cream or sour cream to the chicken gravy recipe. This will give your smothered fried chicken a delicious creamy texture and taste.

If you want to spice things up, try adding chili powder or cayenne pepper to your seasoned flour mixture. This will give your smothered chicken a bit of heat and kick up the flavor.

Finally, if you want to make this recipe even easier, try using a slow cooker instead of frying the chicken. Simply brown the seasoned chicken in a skillet first then transfer it to the slow cooker, pour in your chicken gravy mixture and let it cook on low heat for 4-5 hours.

So don’t be afraid to get creative with your smothered Southern fried chicken recipe! With all these substitutions and variations, you can make this classic soul food dish truly your own.

Serving and Pairing

 You won't want to share this smothered fried chicken with anyone
You won’t want to share this smothered fried chicken with anyone

Once you’ve finished cooking your delicious smothered southern fried chicken, it’s time to think about the perfect way to serve and pair it. This classic soul food dish can be paired with a variety of different sides, from creamy mashed potatoes to crisp green beans.

For the ultimate southern meal, I recommend serving your smothered chicken alongside some mashed potatoes and gravy. The creamy texture of the potatoes pairs perfectly with the rich, savory sauce that coats the chicken. Add some crisp green beans or collard greens for a bit of freshness and color on the plate.

If you’re looking for something a little more carb-heavy to accompany your chicken, try serving it with some buttery cornbread or fluffy biscuits. These traditional southern sides are the perfect complement to the rich flavors of the smothered chicken.

For an even heartier meal, you could opt for a side of rice and gravy. Simply pour some of that delicious chicken gravy over a bed of rice for a filling and satisfying meal.

No matter what side dishes you choose, make sure to garnish your chicken with some freshly chopped herbs like parsley or chives. This added touch will give your dish a pop of color and flavor. And don’t forget extra gravy on the side for those who can never have enough!

Overall, this smothered southern fried chicken recipe is versatile enough to pair with a variety of different sides. So get creative in the kitchen and find your perfect pairing!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Perfectly crispy fried chicken smothered in a savory gravy
Perfectly crispy fried chicken smothered in a savory gravy

Once you’ve tasted this mouthwatering smothered southern fried chicken recipe, it will be hard not to make a double batch to save some for later. Luckily, this recipe is perfect for making ahead of time and storing for future meals.

When making a large batch that won’t be consumed immediately, it’s best to let the cooked chicken cool down before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will help maintain its moisture and flavor.

To reheat smothered southern fried chicken without compromising its crispiness, the oven is your best bet. Preheat your oven to 350°F and place the chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the chicken with foil and bake it for about 15-20 minutes or until heated thoroughly.

If you’re short on oven space or time, you can also reheat chicken in the microwave by placing it on a microwave-safe dish, covering it with a damp paper towel, and heating it on high for 30 seconds increments until heated all through.

For those who want to enjoy the soulful flavors of this classic southern dish at work or school, you can pack your leftover chicken in an insulated lunchbox with other sides like mashed potatoes and green beans to create a satisfying meal kit.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget about the gravy! It’s what makes smothered southern fried chicken truly special. Reheat gravy separately in a saucepan over low heat while stirring frequently until hot and creamy again.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Look at that golden brown and crispy crust
Look at that golden brown and crispy crust

Making smothered southern fried chicken is all about paying attention to the details. Here are some tips to ensure that you get the perfect results every time:

1. Soak the Chicken in Milk: This step may seem unusual, but soaking the chicken in milk overnight helps to tenderize the meat and make it moist. It also helps the seasoned flour stick to the chicken.

2. Season Your Flour Mixture Well: The seasoned flour is a crucial component of this recipe, so be sure to season it well with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. This will add flavor to both the chicken and the gravy.

3. Use a Cast Iron Skillet: A cast iron skillet is ideal for frying chicken since it retains heat well and distributes it evenly. Using a deep fryer or non-stick pan may affect the texture of the chicken.

4. Don’t Crowd the Pan: When frying the chicken, make sure not to overcrowd the skillet as it can cause the oil temperature to drop and result in soggy chicken. Fry in batches if necessary.

5. Monitor Oil Temperature: Keep an eye on the oil temperature when frying. If it’s too hot, it will burn the coating before cooking through, while if it’s not hot enough, it will result in greasy chicken. The ideal temperature for frying is around 350-375°F.

6. Drain on Paper Towels: Once cooked, place fried chicken on paper towels to remove excess oil and maintain its crispiness.

7. Make Gravy Separately: To avoid greasiness or overcooking of the chicken during gravy making procedure, prepare gravy in a separate pan using drippings from skillet after removing fried chicken pieces from it.

By following these tips carefully you can have perfect smothered southern fried chicken every time you make it!


As you embark on your journey of creating this mouth-watering smothered southern fried chicken recipe, you may run into questions along the way. Fret not, because this FAQ section is here to give you all the answers you need for a successful culinary experience. Let’s dive into some common queries and clear up any confusion so that you can confidently cook up a storm in the kitchen.

What is smothered chicken made of?

Are you ready to impress your dinner guests with a delicious, southern-style favorite? This recipe for smothered chicken features succulent fried chicken breasts, smothered in a rich, flavorful gravy with bits of crispy bacon. This recipe is sure to leave your taste buds singing with delight! Serve it up with some creamy mashed potatoes, warm and buttery biscuits, and hearty roasted green beans for the ultimate comfort food feast.

How to make Paula Deen’s fried chicken?

As a skilled southern cuisine chef, I’ve got just the recipe for you! Let me guide you through the steps to create delicious and crispy fried chicken – a southern classic. First, mix together your favorite seasoning blend and store it in an airtight container for future use.

Now, in a medium-sized bowl, beat two eggs and add water for a smoother, lighter batter. In another bowl, combine some all-purpose flour with a dash of pepper. This mixture will give the chicken a crunchy exterior once it’s fried.

Take your chicken and dip it in the egg mixture, making sure to coat it evenly. Follow up by coating it with the flour mixture – this is the key to the perfect crunch on your chicken. It’s important to ensure that each piece of chicken is well-coated for maximum flavor and texture.

Heat some oil in a deep pot until it reaches a temperature of around 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the pot is deep enough to avoid any splatters as you fry the chicken. Once the oil is hot enough, gently place chicken into the pot and fry until golden brown and crispy. This should take around 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken.

And there you have it! Perfectly crispy southern fried chicken. Serve it up hot and enjoy the comfort and deliciousness of this classic dish.

Why do you soak chicken before frying?

To prevent the common issue of dry and tough fried chicken, brining is a helpful technique that preserves the meat’s succulent juices. By soaking the chicken in a brine solution beforehand, the meat is tenderized and less likely to become dry and overcooked during the frying process.

Can you soak chicken in milk before frying?

When it comes to southern-style cuisine, fried chicken is an all-time classic. To prepare it, I recommend cutting your chicken into frying pieces. Next, grab a shallow bowl and beat some eggs in it. Stir in some milk, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Soak each piece of chicken in the milk mixture for 5 to 10 minutes. Finally, roll the chicken in some flour to ensure each piece is fully coated.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this smothered Southern fried chicken recipe is a classic soul food dish that is sure to win over your family and friends. With its crunchy exterior and juicy, tender meat smothered in creamy gravy, one bite will take you straight to the heart of the South.

By using simple ingredients such as flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, you can create a flavorful seasoned flour perfect for coating the chicken before frying. And the addition of milk and eggs to soak the chicken before frying ensures that it’s moist and flavorful.

Whether you prefer boneless chicken breasts or juicy chicken thighs, this versatile dish can be customized to your liking. Pair it with mashed potatoes and green beans for a classic Southern meal that will leave you satisfied and bring comfort to your soul.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try – I guarantee that once you taste this crispy and juicy smothered fried chicken smothered in rich onion gravy, it will become a regular addition to your dinner rotation. You won’t be disappointed by this mouth-watering recipe that is sure to become a family favorite!

Smothered Southern Fried Chicken

Smothered Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

This is a wonderful recipe from the "Old South" that I got from an old woman in Alabama many years ago.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Southern US
Calories 682 kcal



  • 2 1/2-3 lbs fryer (cut up)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • cooking oil (at least 6-8 tablespoons for frying)


  • 8 tablespoons flour
  • 8 tablespoons oil, the oil the chicken was fried in
  • 6 -8 cups water (or a little more)
  • salt and pepper


  • Wash the chicken pieces and pat it dry with paper towel.
  • Heat the oil to 365 degrees for frying the chicken. Salt and pepper the chicken.
  • Mix the flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder together.
  • When the oil is hot, roll the chicken pieces in the flour and place into the skillet. Cook 3 to 4 pieces at a time on both sides until golden brown and almost done. Drain the chicken on paper towel and place into a baking dish and set aside until the rest of the chicken is done.
  • To prepare the gravy, on medium heat, preferably in the same skillet, & if necessary, spoon out some of the oil, leaving 8 tablespoons of the oil in the skillet. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the water and stir until boiling. Salt and pepper to taste. The gravy will be kind of thin, but it will thicken.
  • Return the chicken to the skillet of gravy. Cover with a splatter screen and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until gravy is thickened and the chicken is smothered and fork tender.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 476gCalories: 682kcalCarbohydrates: 24.1gProtein: 38.5gFat: 46.9gSaturated Fat: 10.6gCholesterol: 141.9mgSodium: 331.7mgFiber: 0.9gSugar: 0.1g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Chicken, Meat, Poultry
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