Smothered Barbecued Chicken – sticky, sweet, tender chicken slowly simmered and smothered in a rich, thick barbecue sauce.
I wonder how many people have ever heard of smothered chicken? In case you haven’t, it’s chicken that has been either deep fried or pan fried, then a gravy is made and the chicken is returned to the pan to “smother” in the gravy for an hour or so.
The chicken becomes so, so juicy and falling-off-the-bone tender. Really good old-fashioned comfort food.
Well, take that idea and instead of the gravy, “smother” your chicken in barbecue sauce. Oh. my. goodness. Juicy, tender, rich, deep dark flavor. I could go on and on.
By the end of the cooking time the chicken and sauce have taken on a deep mahogany color and a sticky sweetness that children, especially, really like. Just be sure to put a bib on the little ones and have plenty of napkins for everyone!
I’ve been making barbecued chicken this way for years and it’s a real favorite around our house. And since I’ve never seen anyone else make anything like this recipe, I’m claiming this one as my own. Please let me know, though, if I’m stepping on anyone’s toes with that claim.
Now, before I start the recipe, let me just clear up one thing about “barbecue.”
In some parts of the world, cooking outdoors over a flame is called a “barbecue.” In the South, that is called “grilling” or “grilling out.” In the South, barbecue is any meat that has been cooked and a barbecue sauce has been applied. It does not mean that the meat has been cooked outdoors on a grill although it very well may have been. A steak cooked outdoors on a grill is a grilled steak, but not barbecued unless you have put some barbecue sauce on said steak. That all cleared up for you? Good.
How to Make Smothered Barbecued Chicken
Use paper towels to make sure your chicken is dry before beginning. A wet chicken will just sit in the pan and boil instead of getting nice and dark and crispy like we want for this recipe.
Place the chicken on a plastic cutting board or other washable surface. Sprinkle all sides liberally with Jane’s Salt, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt whatever other seasoned salt mixture you like.
Add the canola oil and butter to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until the butter melts. Add the seasoned chicken, skin side down, and cook until a deep brown color forms. Turn the chicken oven and repeat on the other side.
Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and place them on paper toweling to drain. Pour off excess fat from the pan.
Add all the chicken pieces back to the pan, nestling them in so that they all fit. Pour over the barbecue sauce. I’m using my family’s decades old barbecue sauce recipe here, but you just use whatever kind you like best.
Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the chicken is tender. Check during cooking time and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water if needed to prevent the barbecue sauce from burning, but not so much that the sauce thins out.
Arrange the chicken on a serving platter and pour all the pan juices over the chicken.
🧾 More Recipes You’ll Like
- Buffalo Chicken Dogs
- Chicken with Mushrooms in White Wine Sauce
- Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
- White Chicken Chili
- Chicken Tortilla Onion Soup
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Smothered Barbecued Chicken
- 3 pounds frying chicken cut up
- 1 tablespoon seasoned salt (recommend: Jane's Crazy Mixed-Up Salt)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups barbecue sauce
- Use paper towels to make sure your chicken is dry before beginning.
- Place the chicken on a plastic cutting board or other washable surface. Sprinkle liberally with Jane’s Salt, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt or other seasoned salt mixture.
- Add the canola oil and butter to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until the butter melts.
- Add the seasoned chicken, skin side down, and cook until a deep brown color forms.
- Turn the chicken oven and repeat on the other side.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and place them on paper toweling to drain. Pour off excess fat from the pan.
- Add all the chicken pieces back to the pan, nestling them in so that they all fit.
- Pour over the barbecue sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover.
- Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken is tender. Check during cooking time and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water if needed to prevent the barbecue sauce from burning, but not so much that the sauce thins out.
- Remove chicken to a serving platter. Pour all the pan juices over the chicken.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.