Smothered Chicken – Clairborne

by Jun 30, 2016Poultry

Start with the basic recipe; then modify as desired. Green peppers, onion, celery, and tomatoes for a Louisiana flair. Mushrooms & petite onons for a French twist. This is adapted from a Craig Claiborne recipe that appeared in the NYTIMES possibly as early as 1983. I have another version of this that is also quite tasty.


chicken, about 3 1/2 pounds, spatchcocked (split down the back)
Kosher salt, to taste
black pepper
2 T unsalted butter
2 T  all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth


Clairborne recommends a cast iron skillet for this. It must be LARGE enough to contain opened up spatchcocked chicken. Pat the chicken absolutely dry. Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Melt the butter in the skillet and add the chicken, skin side down. Fold wings under. Cover with a plate that will fit INSIDE the skillet; then weight down the plate to press chicken flat. Cook over low heat, until the skin is browned (about 25 minutes).

Turn chicken and replace the weight on it. Cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove chicken and fat, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the skillet. To these drippings add flour and whisk over medium heat to make up a roux. Then gradually add the chicken broth. When thickened, return chicken skin side up. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover again with the weight and cook another 20 or 30 minutes.

Cut chicken into individual pieces and serve over rice. Spoon gravy over top.