Southern Fried Chicken with Tomato Gravy

Southern Fried Chicken with Tomato Gravy by

Smokin' Joe Lasher


Serves: 4-6


Fried Chicken

  • 8 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup spicy BBQ rub (your choice)
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. ground pepper
  • 1½ cup buttermilk
  • canola oil, enough to cover ½ chicken

Tomato Gravy

  • 4 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and grated/chopped (sub a 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (or whole milk)
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Prep chicken by placing all pieces into a gallon freezer back and cover with buttermilk. Seal the bag and put in refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours or overnight.
  2. Prep chicken breading mix in medium to large mixing bowl by combining flour, BBQ spice, onion powder, salt, and ground pepper. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  3. Make the tomato gravy. In a large skillet, fry bacon strips over medium heat until crisp. Remove all but two tbsp. of bacon grease.
  4. Add onion to skillet with grease and sauté until soft and translucent. Add butter and flour, stirring frequently until flour is absorbed.
  5. Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth, tomato paste, and sugar and simmer over medium heat until gravy has thickened. Once thickened, stir in cream and crumbled bacon. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  6. Prepare the chicken for frying by removing one piece at a time from the freezer bag. Allow the chicken to drip, but do not remove buttermilk from the chicken.
  7. Coat chicken with breading mix thoroughly and set aside.
  8. In a clean, large skillet, add just enough canola oil to cover ½ of the chicken pieces being used. In this case, probably ½” of oil to the bottom of the pan. Using high heat, bring oil to 350°-375°F. Place chicken into hot oil and fry, turning as the down-side begins to turn golden brown. Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove from oil and place on cooling rack or plate lined with paper towels.
  9. Plate chicken and then spoon warm tomato gravy over top. Serve with garden fresh tomato slices, green onion, and a buttermilk biscuit!

Fried chicken and tomato gravy is southern comfort food at its finest.