Smothered Chicken

Smothered Chicken 1

It’s the most eating-est time of year, but not just because of all the shortbread and turkey dinners and Turtles—some of our favourite December things are the weekend morning we gather around my mom’s dining room table to make crackers for Christmas dinner, the afternoon Christmas carol jam, and the night we invite everyone over to watch Elf and Christmas Vacation, and plunk down a big pot of meatballs, or my grandma’s beef carbonnade, or something easy we can all dig into, in the middle of the table. I love that there are just more people around for dinner more often these days, which means those one-pot meals that are so comforting (and genuinely satisfying to make) are pulled into service for home entertaining of the more casual sort—the ones where everyone brings their own slipper socks.

Smothered Chicken 7

Smothered chicken is an old, classic recipe. I love the idea of it. You can make it with a whole spatchcocked chicken, like Craig Claiborne wrote about in the New York Times, or you could do chicken pieces, which is I think the most common, or you could just do chicken thighs, which I’m a fan of for their flavour + price point. It’s quicker than stews or braises, but tastes like it has been in the works all afternoon—you brown the chicken, then brown some onions and mushrooms, and make a quick gravy right in the pan with a splash of cream, then return the chicken to the pot, cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for another 15 minutes or so, until the chicken is ridiculously tender. Best of all, smothered chicken is an excuse to boil some egg noodles. And even if you didn’t grow up with it, it comes with built-in nostalgia.

Smothered Chicken 9

So All-Clad Canada sent me a fancy new pan—the Tri-ply Stainless 4QT (!!) Weeknight pan (link) is a beauty, heavy-bottomed and deep, with a nice flat, tight-fitting lid—something I didn’t realize I was missing with my cast iron skillets. It’s completely ideal for this kind of thing—sort of half skillet, half pot, suitable for the way I cook—curries, braises, smothered chicken and anything I want to start on the stovetop and finish in the oven. I’m contemplating making my mincemeat in it this year—I love the thought of making it in a wide, light pan with a broader surface area. A pot of meatballs simmered in sauce will be its next big gig, but first I gave smothered chicken a go, and I might just try the same with turkey drumsticks to bring to my drumstick-loving mother in law who every year thinks maybe this is the year we shouldn’t do a whole turkey.

Smothered Chicken 4

Here’s to a season full of buttered egg noodles and delicious things to ladle on top.

Smothered Chicken 5

Smothered Chicken
Smothered Chicken

Smothered Chicken


December 2, 2017


canola or olive oil, for cooking

8 chicken thighs, with skin and bone

salt and freshly ground black pepper

big pinches of fresh or dried thyme

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 cups quartered fresh mushrooms

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1-1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup whipping cream or sour cream


1Set a large, heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil and once it’s hot, brown the chicken thighs on all sides, sprinkling with salt, pepper and thyme. Transfer to a plate as they brown.

2Add the onions and mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring, until both are turning golden. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then shake the flour overtop and stir to coat. Add the chicken stock and stir until it bubbles and thickens. Add the cream, then return the chicken to the pan, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for another 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles.


About Julie

4 comments on “Smothered Chicken

  1. carol s-b
    December 2, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Looks delicious… I linked to All-Clad and entered their contest to win this exact pan.
    Here’s hoping!

  2. stacey snacks
    December 2, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Julie, looks so delicious! Perfect Sunday dinner for the cool temps.

    Thanks, Stacey

  3. Vicki Duiven
    December 4, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    I had a mysterious ziploc bag in my freezer but wasn’t sure if it was boneless chicken pieces or not, so I decided to defrost it just for this recipe last night . I’d made smothered pork chops before, years ago, but it used canned condensed soup. This version was fantastic, even better because it didn’t contain any obscure ingredient not already in my kitchen. Thanks! And now this shall enter the family dinner rotation…

    • Julie
      December 5, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      Nice! That’s what I like to hear! 🙂

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