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Smothered Chicken With Vegetables (A One Pot Meal)

Smothered chicken is one of my favorite comfort foods. Tender, juicy chicken smothered in onions, carrots, celery, peppers and spinach and a yummy sauce – all in one skillet.

Food for the soul, this one pot meal of chicken and vegetables goes way back, over 30 years at least. 

chicken and vegetables in sauce in skillet 1

It’s a family fall or winter favorite that shares similar tastes to a chicken stew or chicken fricassee, but contains no dairy.

The oniony, garlicky savory gravy is like a warm hug.

This is a great recipe that is well worth the few extra steps and time in my opinion, and it can be made ahead and warmed up the next day. In fact, it’s just as good or better the next day. 

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

Bone-in chicken pieces, carrots, onions, celery, red pepper, garlic, oil, baby spinach (optional), broth, salt, pepper, thyme, cornstarch.

  • Chicken options
    • You can substitute a whole cut-up chicken with any type of bone-in pieces you prefer e.g. chicken thighs, chicken breasts, etc. You can even make this same recipe using pork chops.
    • I use bone-in, skin-on chicken. If you’ve seen my other chicken recipes, you’ll know that I always prefer dark meat (thighs and legs) because I find it juicier and more flavorful. But since the chicken and vegetables are covered in a sauce, the chicken – both dark and white – stays moist.
    • Skinless chicken would be fine too (just cook it for less time). 
  • Vegetable variations
    • Substitute or add other vegetables like mushrooms, sweet potato or parsnips. I don’t suggest watery vegetables like zucchini as they can become mushy.
    • Instead of fresh spinach, use a cup or more of frozen chopped spinach, microwaved on high for 3 minutes then well drained.
  • Seasonings
    • Play around with the seasonings. I love thyme or rosemary in this recipe. Marjoram, sage, dill and poultry seasoning would work too. For a bit of heat, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Step-by-step instructions

seasoned pan fried bone in chicken draining on paper towel.
Coat chicken pieces with seasoned flour. Pan-fry in a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven until golden brown. Set chicken aside on a paper towel.
mixed vegetables sauteeing in skillet.
Sauté vegetables and garlic for 5 minutes. Add chicken back to the skillet. Pour in broth, sprinkle chicken with thyme and bake chicken, covered, in oven, for 45 minutes or until cooked through.
veggies and sauce in skillet.
Set chicken aside. Thicken broth on the stovetop with a cornstarch slurry. Add spinach if using and stir until wilted.
chicken and vegetables in sauce in skillet 2
Add chicken back into the hot skillet and spoon over the sauce.
chicken and vegetables in sauce on plate with rice
Serve the cooked chicken and veggies over mashed potatoes, rice, quinoa or noodles.

Weird Tip

To avoid that fry/onion smell in my hair, I wrap a scarf around my head when pan-frying the chicken. Not pretty and my husband just shakes his head, but worth it!

What to serve with smothered chicken

Keeping with the comfort food vibe, I love to serve this saucy chicken and vegetable recipe with fluffy mashed potatoes. Noodles, quinoa or rice are great too. For a lighter option, try our seasoned cauliflower rice with herbs.

To round out the meal, add a simple tomato and onion salad, microwave green beans, or a citrus salad.

Shortcuts

  • Instead of making your own seasoned flour, buy a seasoning mix with similar seasonings (no chili powder or sugar!)
  • Substitute garlic from the jar or frozen garlic cubes instead of mincing fresh garlic.
  • Use boneless chicken and cut the vegetables smaller for a shorter cooking time in the oven.

Make Ahead 

  • Make the full recipe, cool and refrigerate. Warm it up in the oven the next day. The only small downside is that the spinach won’t maintain its vibrant green color.
  • Leftovers are delicious and will keep in the fridge for several days.
  • You can also make the dish a couple of hours ahead and rewarm it before serving.
chicken and vegetables in sauce in skillet p

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4.94 from 43 votes

Smothered Chicken With Vegetables (A One Pot Meal)

Smothered chicken is one of my favorite comfort foods. Tender moist chicken smothered in onions, carrots, celery, peppers and spinach and a yummy sauce – all in one skillet. Food for the soul, this one pot meal of chicken and vegetables goes way back, over 30 years at least. 
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 -5

Equipment

  • A deep 12" skillet (20.5 cm) with lid (or 14"/35.5cm). Or dutch oven. If you don't have one, you can transfer chicken and vegetables to a roasting pan with a cover for the oven portion of the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3.5 pounds chicken pieces (e.g. legs, thighs, breasts, wings) bone in, skin on.
  • 1/4 cup seasoned all purpose flour, Note 1
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Vegetables

  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/2 inch/1.3 cm pieces
  • 4 large carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2 inch slices
  • 4 celery ribs, cut into 1/2 inch/1.2 cm slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch/1.3 cm slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped optional to add at final step

Sauce

  • 2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme I use a bit more
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed into 1/4 cup/59 ml cold water
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Garnish (optional)

  • chopped green onions or chopped parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F/176.7C
  • PREPARE CHICKEN : Trim extra fat from chicken. Place seasoned flour into a bag and season chicken pieces, one at a time, by shaking in bag (shake off excess flour and discard any remaining flour mixture after all chicken is coated).
  • SAUTÉ CHICKEN: In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil on medium heat to medium-high heat. Add chicken to the bottom of the pan and fry on one side until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn chicken and repeat on second side. The chicken will finish cooking later on. Drain on a paper towel over plate and set chicken aside. If your pan is not large enough to fit all the chicken pieces with some space in a single layer, fry in two batches then transfer all the chicken to a larger covered roasting pan.
  • SAUTE VEGETABLES: Sauté vegetables and garlic in the skillet for 5 minutes. Place chicken back in skillet (or transfer to pan with chicken if using a separate pan) and settle vegetables under and on top of chicken.
  • BAKE: Pour broth into bottom of skillet (or roasting pan) and sprinkle chicken and vegetables with thyme. Cover chicken, place in the oven and cook chicken for about 35-45 minutes. Vegetables should be tender and chicken should read 160F-165F/71-74C with an instant thermometer.
  • FINISH SAUCE AND SERVE: Remove chicken to a plate and set aside while you finish the sauce. Skim grease floating on the top and discard. Place skillet (or pan) on stove and bring vegetable and broth mixture to a boil. Pour in the cornstarch-water slurry and stir until thickened, 1 minute. Reduce heat to low, stir in spinach (if using) and cook just until wilted, about 1 minute.
    Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If the sauce is too thick, add some more chicken broth or water. Place chicken back into the skillet and spoon over sauce to coat it. If serving to company, transfer the entire dish to a deep platter (or serve in the skillet), sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired and serve with mashed potatoes, rice or noodles or with crusty bread. Garnish with parsley or green onions if desired.

Recipe Notes

  1. To make seasoned flour: combine 1/4 cup (31 grams) flour with 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon pepper, ½ teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder. Shortcut: buy seasoned flour or chicken seasoning (about 4-5 teaspoons) to add to flour. 
  2. Variations and Substitutes
    • Chicken options
      • You can substitute a whole cut-up chicken or any type of bone-in chicken pieces you prefer e.g. all thighs, all breasts, etc.
      • Skinless chicken would be fine too (and lower calories and fat). 
    • Vegetable variations
      • Substitute or add other vegetables like mushrooms, sweet potato or parsnips. I don’t suggest watery vegetables like zucchini as they can become mushy.
      • Instead of fresh spinach, use a cup or more of frozen chopped spinach, microwaved on high for 3 minutes then well drained.
    • Seasonings
      • Play around with the seasonings. I love thyme or rosemary in this recipe. Marjoram, sage and poultry seasoning would work too. Even dill.
  3. Make Ahead: 
    • Make the full recipe a day or two ahead, cool and refrigerate in an airtight container. Reheat in a 350F/176.7C oven for about 20 minutes or until heated through.
    • Leftovers will keep in the fridge for several days. I just warm them in the microwave.
    • You can also make the recipe a couple of hours ahead. Rewarm in a 325-350F/163-176.7C oven before serving.  
 
Nutrition values are estimates. For lower calories and fat, remove the skin from the chicken.  

Nutrition

Calories: 695kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 202mg | Sodium: 581mg | Potassium: 1061mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 13633IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?We’d love you to rate it above under ‘rate this recipe’ or in the comment section below. Thanks!

This recipe from 2016, now updated, was previously posted as Chicken and Vegetables In A Skillet. 

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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this, using boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and it came out delicious! It was a big hit for the whole family. Thank you for posting it.

  2. 5 stars
    KOODOS….Ladies tried this receipe today and it was a true winner in my house…will keep as one of those soul satisfying go to meals

    1. I haven’t tried that, but I think it should work well. Good idea! I’d love you to let me know how it works out if you try it. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Just wanted you to know that this recipe was fantastic. I doubled the minced garlic because, well. GARLIC! And I added Trader Joe’s Umami seasoning, about 1 tsp. Served over brown Jasmine rice.