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 Hattie's Smothered Chicken with Gravy

There is a distinct difference between chicken stew and chicken fricasee, aka smothered chicken. With stew, the chicken and various vegetables are combined in a pot, covered with broth, brought to a boil then simmered until done. With a fricasee the chicken is browned first, which adds a deeper layer of flavor, then simmered in gravy until done.

Both are good, but Hattie's smothered chicken is the best.


INGREDIENTS:

  • 3- to 4-pound chicken, cut up
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces, including some of the green
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed and minced
  • 3 1/2 cups hot water or chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. powdered sage
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tblsp vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS:

In deep, heavy 12-inch skillet, heat oil over low heat for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; place in hot skillet. Cover chicken with yellow and green onions and minced garlic (this is why it's called "smothered" chicken). Increase heat to medium.

Cook 10 minutes; turn chicken. Cook 10 minutes longer or until golden. Reduce heat to low; cook 5 minutes longer. Turn; cook 5 minutes. Remove chicken and onions from skillet. Place in large pot or Dutch oven; set aside.

Make a roux (pronounced "roo"). Make sure you have about 2 Tbsp. of chicken drippings or butter in the pan and heat it over low heat until it starts to sizzle. Add 2 Tbsp flour, the onion powder and sage and mix with a whisk, stirring constantly, until it forms a smooth, uniform mixture. Cook the roux over low heat for 2 or 3 minutes to eliminate the raw flour flavor; the color should be blond or golden.

Stir in the water or chicken stock, stirring constantly with a whisk to keep lumps from forming. If it gets too thick, add more liquid. When it is smooth and starting to thicken, pour the gravy over the chicken in the large pot. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally so the gravy doesn't stick to the pot.

Serve hot over rice or wide noodles.

Serves 4.

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