french onion chicken
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French Onion Chicken

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I love French Onion Soup or just about anything with caramelized onions in it. What is not to love about the sweetness they provide to a recipe? Rob and I were throwing around some dinner ideas when we came up with this recipe.

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Our brainstorming started with pork chops. I remembered our caramelized onion pork chop from my technique post a while back. Rob then threw out the idea of a variation of a chicken pan sauce (think piccata but French). We both immediately decided that was the meal. The best part of this is that you need to make the onions first, which means that flavor stays in the pan for the whole recipe!!

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While caramelized onions can take a little while to make, this is actually a pretty simple recipe. It requires very few ingredients and in reality no special techniques. I love it because you just build flavors in one dish as you go.

We paired this with some classic brussels sprouts and roasted potatoes. Rob varied up how he did the potatoes a little and they actually came out even better. A post on this recipe will be coming soon!

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Normally, he would make these in a roasting pan, but this time he used a skillet. This actually made a big difference. I think the key is that they can’t steam at all. The low sides allowed moisture to evaporate away and the end result was a perfectly crispy potato. Rob also let them strain a bit longer after he washed them, so they were a little drier to start.

French Onion Chicken

Using the basics of French Onion soup to make an awesome pan sauce for chicken breasts.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: baked chicken, caramelized, french, French Onion, pan sauce, white wine, Wine
Servings: 4 People


  • 4-5 Thin Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Yellow Onion sliced length-wise (see instructions for details)
  • 1 Cup Chicken Stock
  • 4 Tbs Butter split in half
  • 1/3 Cup White Wine
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • Cut the onions into slices by cutting perpendicular to the root (90 degrees from the normal cutting orientation that gives you the typical half moon). Separate the onion layers into individual pieces.
  • In a skillet or saute pan, heat 2 Tbs butter over medium heat. Add the onion a handful at a time to avoid overcrowding the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes for each handful until all of the onion is in the pan. Season with a good pinch of salt once all of the onions are in.
  • Cook for another 1-2 minutes and then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 25 minutes stirring approximately every 3-4 minutes or so. Add water or broth if needed during the cooking process to prevent burning.
  • Look for a solid golden brown color.
  • Remove the onions from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the remaining butter to the skillet and increase heat to medium-high.
  • Cook the chicken breasts for about 4-5 minutes per side and golden brown.
  • Remove the chicken and tent with foil.
  • Add the garlic, reduce heat back to medium, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the wine and thyme, allow to reduce for 1-2 minutes. Add about 1/2 Cups of the Chicken Stock and caramelized onions, continue to reduce for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken breasts back to the pan, coat both sides in the sauce.

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