Smothered Chicken and Rice

Smothered Chicken and Rice

Smothered Chicken and Rice is one of those comforting dishes that brings back warm memories of family dinners and cozy evenings at home. I first encountered this hearty Southern classic during a road trip through Louisiana with my best friend, Emily. We had stopped at a charming little diner on the outskirts of Baton Rouge, and the welcoming aroma of simmering chicken and spices greeted us as soon as we walked through the door. It was love at first bite, and I knew I had to recreate it for my family.

Back home, I set out to perfect my own version of Smothered Chicken and Rice. After a few tweaks and taste tests, I found the ideal balance of spices and flavors. The secret lies in the rich, savory gravy that blankets the tender chicken and fluffy rice. This dish has become a family favorite, especially on those chilly evenings when we all crave something comforting and delicious.

The beauty of Smothered Chicken and Rice is its simplicity and versatility. You can adjust the spice levels to suit your taste, and it’s a great way to use up leftover rice. I love adding a pinch of cayenne for a little extra kick, but feel free to dial it down if you prefer a milder flavor. Serve this dish with a side of steamed vegetables or a simple green salad to round out the meal.

So, gather your ingredients and let’s get cooking! This recipe is sure to become a staple in your home, just as it has in mine. Whether you’re making it for a weeknight dinner or a special family gathering, Smothered Chicken and Rice is a dish that brings everyone to the table.

Preparing Smothered Chicken and Rice

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons neutral oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
  • 4 cups chicken stock (preferably unsalted)
  • 6 cups cooked white rice

Directions

Heat a large Dutch oven or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

In a small bowl, mix together the salt, black pepper, granulated onion, granulated garlic, lemon pepper, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.

Season the chicken thighs thoroughly with the spice blend, making sure to get under the skin as well.

Once the Dutch oven is hot, add the oil.

Brown the chicken thighs on both sides, about 6 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and set it aside.

Add the butter and sliced onions to the Dutch oven. Stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.

Sauté the onions until soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Slowly stir in the flour and bouillon powder until well mixed with the onions and butter.

Pour in the chicken stock and whisk until the gravy is smooth. Adjust the seasoning with additional bouillon if necessary.

Bring the gravy to a low boil, then add the browned chicken thighs back to the Dutch oven.

Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low.

Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender and fully cooked.

Serve the chicken thighs over cooked white rice, with extra gravy spooned on top.

Enjoy your smothered chicken and rice!

FAQs:

What type of chicken works best for smothered chicken and rice?

Bone-in chicken thighs are ideal for smothered chicken and rice because they stay moist and flavorful during the cooking process. Additionally, the bones help enrich the gravy, adding depth to the dish.

Can I use boneless chicken instead of bone-in for this recipe?

Yes, you can use boneless chicken thighs if you prefer. However, keep in mind that boneless chicken may cook faster, so adjust the cooking time accordingly to avoid overcooking.

How can I make the gravy thicker or thinner?

To make the gravy thicker, you can let it simmer uncovered for a few extra minutes to reduce and thicken. Conversely, to make it thinner, you can add a bit more chicken stock until you reach your desired consistency.

What can I substitute for chicken bouillon powder?

If you don’t have chicken bouillon powder, you can use a chicken bouillon cube dissolved in a small amount of hot water. Alternatively, you can use extra chicken stock, though it may be less concentrated in flavor.

Can I prepare smothered chicken and rice ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare this dish ahead of time. Simply cook the chicken and gravy as instructed, then store them separately from the rice. Reheat the chicken and gravy gently on the stovetop before serving over freshly cooked rice.

Smothered Chicken and Rice

Smothered Chicken and Rice

This Smothered Chicken and Rice recipe is a hearty and flavorful dish that will quickly become a family favorite, ideal for any night of the week.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
...

Ingredients
  

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons neutral oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
  • 4 cups chicken stock preferably unsalted
  • 6 cups cooked white rice

Instructions
 

  • Heat a large Dutch oven or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, granulated onion, granulated garlic, lemon pepper, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
  • Season the chicken thighs on all sides with the seasoning mixture, making sure to lift the skin and season the meat underneath.
  • Add the oil to the preheated Dutch oven.
  • Brown the chicken on both sides, about 6 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and set it aside.
  • Add the butter and sliced onions to the Dutch oven. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.
  • Sauté the onions until they are softened and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Gradually add the flour and bouillon powder, stirring until well combined with the onions and butter.
  • Pour in the chicken stock and whisk vigorously until a smooth gravy forms. Taste and adjust seasoning with more bouillon if needed.
  • Bring the gravy to a low boil, then return the chicken thighs to the Dutch oven.
  • Cover and reduce the heat to low.
  • Simmer the chicken in the gravy for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the thighs are tender and cooked through.
  • Serve the chicken thighs over a scoop of cooked white rice, spooning extra gravy on top.
  • Enjoy your smothered chicken and rice!
Keyword Chicken, rice
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