I found this recipe years ago, when we were passing through the hills of West Virginia. We stopped at a little road side shop for some snacks and I zeroed in on a small rack of cookbooks! LOL This was just a little paperback book, with maybe 50 pages in it. It's called "Ma's Cookin' - Mountain recipes." I liked it because not only does it have some good recipes, but it is laced with all sorts of mountain customs, sayings and superstitions. This recipe for smothered chicken, was the first one that I tried from the book. It has remained a family favorite and one of my Honey's all time favorites, ever since.
This is how they introduce most of the recipes in the book:
Don't know 'bout most folks - but wuld ruther hev my chicken kilt fer cookin' by choppin' off his head as usual. Wal anyways, here goes:
1 whole chicken, cut in pieces
Flour for dusting
Lawry's seasoned salt
Ground black pepper
6 slices bacon
1/2 medium onion, sliced
Celery leaves, for top
Preheat oven to 350. Season flour with Lawrys, pepper, and garlice powder. Roll chicken in flour, and lay in baking pan. Lay bacon slices over the top. Cover with onion slices. Top with celery leaves. Pour water in bottom of pan and bake at 325 for 2 hours.
*NOTE* I have also, at different times, used the celery stalks. I lay them on the bottom of the pan and then lay the chicken pieces on top of them. It just depends on how much you like the taste of celery. I thought it gave it a much richer flavor and the family agreed.
This is one of the mountain sayings in the book:
A whistlin' woman an' crowin' hen are shore to cum to sum bad end!