This smothered chicken recipe is made with juicy fried chicken breasts tossed in a flavorful gravy with crispy bacon. It's truly a restaurant worthy meal right at home!
Prework: Add chicken dredge ingredients to a large plate and toss to combine. Set aside. Measure out gravy ingredients prior to beginning.
Cook the Bacon: Fry bacon over medium-low heat until crispy on both sides. Remove from pan and pour grease into a heat-safe bowl. Reserve 2-4 Tablespoons of clear bacon drippings. Wipe any black residue from the pan if needed.
Slice & Pound the Chicken: While the bacon cooks, slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise to create 2 thinner slices. Place saran wrap over them and use a meat tenderizer to pound them to about 3/4 inches thick. This gives them a little more texture for the flour dredge to hold on to. They’ll plump up more when cooked.
Coat the Chicken: Wipe the chicken dry and coat generously in the flour mixture, get in every nook and cranny.
Cook the Chicken: Add the reserved bacon drippings to the clean pan and enough vegetable oil to cover the chicken by half. Heat over medium-high heat. Once heated and glistening, add the chicken. Fry 2 at a time for about 5 minutes per side, until they have a nice golden sear. Set aside on a plate. Adjust heat down slightly and back up throughout cooking as needed.
Drain the oil: Remove the oil from the pot and use a paper towel to remove any black spots from the pan, but leave any brown remnants. This is called ‘fond’ and will give the gravy a nice flavor.
Make the Roux: Melt the butter over medium heat and use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the flour gradually, whisking continuously, until a paste forms.
Add the Broth and Half and Half: Add the liquid in small increments, whisking constantly. It will thicken up in between each splash of liquid. If you add it all at once, you’ll “break” the roux and it won’t be thick.
Add remaining gravy ingredients: Slowly add the beef bouillon, soy sauce, and seasonings.
Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add a few drops of kitchen bouquet if a darker color is desired.
Add the chicken back to the pan along with any juice from the plate.
Chop up the bacon and add it to the top of the chicken.
Cover partially and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165 degrees prior to serving.
Garnish with parsley and serve with mashed potatoes.
*Nutritional information is per serving and is based on using all of the breading and oil without any ingredient being discarded.
To Control the Consistency of the Gravy:
- Add the chicken broth/half and half to the roux slowly and in small increments. This is the key to keeping the consistency nice and thick.
- For thicker gravy: Let it continue to simmer, uncovered.
- For thinner gravy: Add a splash of half and half, milk, or broth.
Other Pro Tips:
- Ensure the oil is hot enough prior to adding the chicken to ensure the breading stays on.
- Create texture on the surface of the chicken with a meat tenderizer to give the breading more to cling on to, this will give it more of a fried chicken look. Work the breading into every nook and cranny.
- Chicken thighs or pork chops can be used in this recipe instead of chicken breasts.
- To control the sodium in this recipe, you can use unsalted butter and/or reduced sodium broth. Additional salt can always be added if desired. (You can also omit the bacon, but it does add a nice flavor and crunch!)
Calories: 666kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 54g, Saturated Fat: 35g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 92mg, Sodium: 1687mg, Potassium: 472mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 456IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 2mg