Smothered Chicken with Alden's Grandmother's Cornbread Kicked Up

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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8 medium chicken thighs

3 tablespoons Essence, recipe follows

1 cup all-purpose flour 

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 cups sliced yellow onions

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

3 1/2 cups chicken stock

2 bay leaves

1/4 cup chopped green onions

2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves

Alden's Grandmother's Cornbread Kicked Up, recipe follows

Alden's Grandmother's Cornbread Kicked Up:

1/4 cup bacon grease, vegetable oil or shortening

2 cups cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

5 teaspoons minced jalapeno

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme


  1. Season the chicken generously with 2 tablespoons of Essence. Add the other tablespoon of the Essence to the cup of flour. Place the flour in a 1-gallon plastic bag and add the chicken to the bag. Shake the bag well to thoroughly coat the chicken with the flour. Remove the chicken from the bag and place on a plate to dry. Reserve the flour.
  2. Heat the 1/2 cup of oil in a large iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken in 2 batches, cooking for about 4 minutes on each side. Reserve the chicken on a plate lined with an absorbent cloth or paper towels.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions to the hot oil and cook, covered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minute. Add 3 tablespoons of the reserved flour to the pan and stir well. If the vegetables still have an oily appearance, add more flour, up to 2 more tablespoons. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Add the chicken stock and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan and cover. Simmer gently for 30 minutes or until the chicken begins to pull away from the bone. Add the green onions and cook for 5 to 10 minutes longer.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, place the chicken in a serving dish. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately, with the cornbread passed at the table.

Alden's Grandmother's Cornbread Kicked Up:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Coat the sides and bottom of 10-inch cast iron skillet with the bacon grease, vegetable oil or shortening. Place skillet in the oven to heat.
  3. In a bowl, combine the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper and mix well. In a small bowl combine the buttermilk, egg, melted butter, and jalapenos. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just to combine. Remove the hot skillet from the oven, carefully swirl to evenly distribute hot grease, and quickly pour the cornmeal batter into the skillet.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until firm and golden brown on top. Let sit for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve hot with butter on the side.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

  1. Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch
  3. Published by William Morrow, 1993.