I use two versions of Smothered Chicken – the one shown here, and sometimes I do another by Craig Clairborne.
4 pounds chicken leg quarters ; skinned
salt to taste (optional)
1/3 cup flour (more if needed
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
ground black pepper
1 poblano chili; cleaned of membranes and seeds (chopped)
1 onion; chopped
1/2 lb to 1 lb fresh mushrooms sliced
2 or 3 shallots, peeled and sliced (optional)
1/4 – 1 cup white wine (or beer or chicken stock)
1/4 cup cooking oil
Tony Cachere’s Instant Gravy or Roux
Cut chicken into serving pieces and remove skin. (I do this dish with whatever chicken I happen to have on hand. Sometimes I use leg quarters; sometimes I use the big baking hens.) Sprinkle all sides of the chicken pieces with the seasonings.
These measures are approximates.I like mine spicy hot. Adjust the seasonings to your own taste. (For variety, add other herbs, e.g., thyme, basil, oregano, etc.) Coat the pieces with flour.
In the meantime, add oil to a Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken pieces a few at a time, turning to cook on both sides. As the pieces brown, remove to a paper towel to drain. Keep moving the chicken around to prevent sticking if possible.
When all the pieces have been browned, scrape the pot to loosen any particles stuck to the bottom. Add a splash of wine, beer or stock if needed to help loosen cooked on particles.
Add onions, garlic, peppers, and mushrooms. Stir and cook until the onions begin to wilt. Lower the heat and return the chicken to the pot. Add more wine (enough to keep the bottom of the pot wet so the chicken doesn’t stick). If you don’t have wine, beer works fine. I’ve used tea and sometimes ginger ale. Use water as a last resort.
Cover the pot and simmer until done. When the chicken is done, stir 1/2 cup of water into a tablespoon of Chacere’s Gravy Mix. Wisk until thoroughly blended. Slowly stir that mixture into the pot making sure to blend throughout. Simmer a few more minutes.
At this point, I like to remove the chicken, allow it to cool a bit; debone it, and stir the meat back into the pot. Then serve over rice. This is optional. There’s nothing wrong with serving on the bone along with the gravy and vegetables.
Feel free to experiment. Add more onion, more poblano, or more shallots. Maybe add some sliced black olives or even some sliced carrots. Have fun!
Note (January 18, 2015): I did this last night, but didn’t bother flouring the chicken pieces. I just browned the chicken; removed from the pot; added a pan full of slivered onions with some sliced mushrooms. I cooked those down until they were beginning to turn tender; then added the chicken pieces. Covered the pot and simmered gently until the chicken was fall-off-the-bone tender. Very Good! I’ll do this again.
Note: (September 9, 2016): I plan to do this or a version of it for a family our church is helping.