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close up of smothered chicken with a fork digging in and mashed potatoes

Smothered Chicken Recipe

  • Author: Lisa
  • Total Time: 2 hours 50 mins
  • Yield: 5-6 1x


The most fall-off-the-bone tender chicken, smothered with vegetables and flavorful rosemary, vinegar garlic sauce.


Units Scale

Equipment: A heavy bottomed non-stick or cast iron skillet and a large heavy cast iron pot or Dutch oven with a lid.

  • 4 1/2 pounds chicken parts with bones, skin removed (I use a mix of breasts and thighs)
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2-3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6-7 tablespoons cooking oil such as light olive oil, canola or rapeseed, divided
  • 8 flat anchovy fillets, finely chopped (from a tin of flat anchovies in olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 5-6 stalks celery, thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 - 2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 2 small carrots, thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (I recommend Swanson's low salt)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar


Equipment: Large heavy lidded pot or Dutch  oven and a large cast iron or non-stick skillet

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

  1. Make seasoned flour by mixing ¾ cup flour with 1 teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Put seasoned flour into a large plastic ziplock bag and add the chicken pieces. Seal and shake vigorously to coat chicken.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in the skillet over medium heat and brown the chicken, in two batches, shaking off excess flour before adding it to the skillet, sautéing pieces about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Add more oil, if needed, and regulate the heat so the flour doesn't burn. Transfer the chicken to the heavy pot or Dutch oven, and season with ½ teaspoon of salt and a several grinds of pepper.
  3. Pour off the fat from the skillet and wipe it out so there is no flour residue. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and turn the heat to medium-low. Sauté anchovies, garlic and rosemary, stirring constantly, for a minute, until fragrant. Scrape the mixture into a small bowl and set aside. Add 2 more tablespoons oil and cook celery, onions and carrots for 10-12 minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until softened and starting to brown. Remove skillet from heat and stir in the rosemary garlic mixture.
  4. Spoon the vegetable mixture over chicken. Combine the chicken broth with the vinegar and pour it over the chicken and vegetables. Turn the heat up to high and when the liquid comes to a boil shut off the heat, cover the pot, set it in the middle of the oven and leave the chicken to braise for 1½ hours.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot.


Make this ahead: Smothered chicken is only better the next day. If you want to make this a day head, cook it fully, let it cool in the pot, uncovered, for an hour or so and then put it in the fridge uncovered for an hour or so. Then cover it.

To Reheat: Take it out of the fridge an hour or so before dinner. Heat it slowly on the stove, covered, over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until it's heated through. If the sauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water.

[This post first appeared on Panning The Globe in Feb 2013. It was updated in November 2019 with new photos, added nutritional information, more clarifying details in the written post and clearer instructions in the recipe.]

Nutrition Information: The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and is not a substitute for the advice of a professional nutritionist.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 20 mins
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Braise
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: braised chicken with vinegar, smothered chicken, oven braised chicken with onions garlic and rosemary