That Divine Smothered Chicken the Smolletts Made at #BlogHerFood16

BlogHer Original Post

Earlier this month at #BlogHerFood16 in Austin, we got an extra treat: Our keynoters, the charming stars of "Smollett Eats," prepared a meal on stage, and shared the results with the audience.

#BlogHerFood16 keynote: The Smollett family

Jake, Jocqui and Jazz managed the impressive feat of answering Elisa Camahort Page's questions while simultaneously cooking live—and having to improvise with tools and ingredients. Watching Jazz change up her potatoes quickly was an excellent lesson in how great cooks adapt without (much) stress.

#BlogHerFood16 keynote: Jazz Smollett

Jake's the family chef/blogger—and he's graciously shared his recipe for Smothered Chicken and Garlic Mashed Potatoes with us. Trust me: It's goooooooood.

#BlogHerFood16 keynote: Jake Smollett's smothered chicken recipe

Smothered Chicken Recipe

  • 2 pounds chicken wings
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 clove elephant garlic
  • ¼ large onion
  • ¼ serrano pepper
  • ½ stick butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. chili flakes
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. basil flakes
  • ½ tsp. pure ground gumbo filé
  • ¼ tsp. white pepper
  • 10 baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups free-range chicken broth
  • Handful of fresh oregano


In a large pan, heat up 1/2 stick of butter with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add in the chopped garlic, celery, onion, and serrano pepper. Let that sauté until it becomes a paste-like consistency.

Add the raw chicken to the pan, seasoning it with the salt, basil flakes, chili flakes, gumbo filé and white pepper. Let the chicken fully cook, making sure to create that nice golden-brown glisten. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the pan and put it aside in a large bowl.

Add the mushrooms and 3 cups of chicken broth to the empty pan. The key here is to keep the seasoning left over in the pan from cooking the chicken. Trust me, you'll want all those delicious flavors to mix in with the chicken broth, creating a tasty and time-friendly gravy. Once the chicken broth begins to simmer, mix 1/3 cup of flour and 1 cup of chicken broth in a measuring cup. Stir the mixture until smooth, then add it to the pan; continuously stirring so it doesn’t lump.

Once the gravy is smooth and thick, add the cooked chicken back into the pan. Let that simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until the chicken is married to the gravy. Let cool before dishing.

Serves quite well over mashed potatoes or rice, and is a guaranteed hit for any occasion!

Mashed Potato Recipe

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, skinned
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 green onion


Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees to roast the garlic. Spread unpeeled garlic cloves on a cookie sheet, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Let it bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the garlic is soft.

In a large pot, boil the skinned potatoes for 45 minutes or until soft. In a blender or food processor, puree together the whole milk and roasted garlic until smooth.

Once the potatoes are done boiling, drain them and pour them back into the pot, adding in 1 stick of butter. Use a potato masher or hand mixer to mix the potato and butter. Then add in the garlic and milk mixture, along with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper. Mix the potatoes until smooth.