The Good Dish Melba Wilson's Smothered Fried Chicken


Recipe contributed by Melba Wilson.

Prep Time: 30 minutes + marinating time

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 to 6


Fried Chicken:

1 (3-lb) chicken, cut into 8 pieces

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon sweet spanish paprika

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon brown mustard

2 cups buttermilk

Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons Goya sazonador seasoning

Chicken Gravy:

4 cups chicken broth

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 stick unsalted butter

1 tablespoon canola oil

½ small white onion, small diced

1 celery stick, small diced

2 sprigs thyme

2 sprigs rosemary

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon browning


For the Fried Chicken:

Place the chicken pieces in a bowl. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, paprika, poultry seasoning and garlic powder. Add the mustard and, using your hands (clean, of course), work all the seasoning into the meat. Pour in the buttermilk, cover with plastic wrap, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

When ready to cook, pour 3 inches of oil into a deep, heavy-bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron) and heat to 325ºF over medium heat.

When the oil is heating, combine the flour and sazonador seasoning in a large brown paper bag. Add a few pieces of chicken at a time to the seasoned flour and shake the bag like you really mean it. Fry the chicken in batches until it is beautifully brown and crispy on one side, about 15 minutes. Then turn and cook on the other side until the chicken registers 160ºF on an instant read thermometer, about another 15 minutes.

As the pieces are done, transfer them to drain on paper towels.

For the Gravy:

In a medium-sized stock pot, add the canola oil, onions, celery, rosemary and thyme and saute until the celery and onions are softened on low heat.

Add the butter and stir until melted. Once melted, whisk in your garlic powder and onion powder followed by the flour. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the chicken broth and browning, stir and let simmer until gravy starts to thicken. Strain then season with salt and pepper to taste.

This can be served two different ways, place the chicken pieces on a plate and pour over the delicious gravy. Or you can place the chicken pieces into the gravy and dip on both sides to smother in the gravy and serve.

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