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French Onion Chicken

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close up overhead shot of a skillet of French onion chicken garnished with thyme
Make this delicious French onion chicken that is full of rich flavors and topped with ooey-gooey bubbly cheese, and I guarantee you that you will want to add it to your regular dinner rotation.
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Table of Contents
  1. French Onion Chicken Ingredients
  2. How to Make This French Onion Chicken Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This French onion chicken recipe is a new way to enjoy the classic taste of French onion soup. Tender chicken breasts are simmered in a flavorful onion broth and covered with melted cheese in this one-pan skillet meal that is sure to be a huge hit with the whole family.

If you love this French onion chicken skillet recipe, try our french onion pork chops. For another one-pan chicken meal, check out our chicken marsala.

close up shot of French onion chicken garnished with thyme

French Onion Chicken Ingredients

French onion chicken raw ingredients that are labeled

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 white or sweet yellow onions, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 to 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, removed from stems (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 ounces each)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup dry white wine (like a sauvignon blanc, optional)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ¼ pound provolone cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
  • ¼ pound swiss cheese, grated (about 1 cup)

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

DRY WHITE WINE: This recipe uses sauvignon blanc, but any dry white wine such as Marsala will work just as well. For an alcohol-free recipe, you could replace the wine with beef broth.

BEEF STOCK: Either beef broth or beef stock can be used in this simple recipe. You can also use beef bouillon cubes if you prefer.

CHEESE: If you don’t have provolone or swiss cheese, you can also use Gruyère cheese in this tasty dish.

CHICKEN: You could use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts in this recipe. You may have to watch your cooking time for doneness and may need a couple of extra thighs to end up with the same quantity of chicken. 

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How to Make This French Onion Chicken Recipe

STEP ONE: In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, combine olive oil, butter, and sliced onions. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions become soft, about 10 minutes.

PRO TIP:

If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, any oven-safe large skillet will work, or you can transfer everything to a casserole dish or baking pan for the baking portion of the recipe. 

French onion chicken process shot of onions being sautéed in a skillet

STEP TWO: Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt over the sweet onions. Add fresh thyme and a bay leaf to the pan. Continue sautéeing the onions over medium to medium-low heat until the onions become deep golden brown. Stir every few minutes to prevent onions from burning. If the color becomes too dark on some of the onions while still cooking, add a splash of white wine or beef broth to the pan and stir. This process of caramelizing the onions should take about 15 to 20 minutes longer after adding the sugar, salt, thyme and bay leaf. In the final minute or two of cooking, add the minced garlic and saute for just a couple of minutes. 

PRO TIP:

Be very careful not to burn the garlic as it will result in a bitter taste.

Patience is key when caramelizing the onions. Keep them over medium or medium-low heat and stir more frequently as time goes on. If onions start browning unevenly or suddenly, add a little bit of wine or broth to keep them moist and cooking evenly. The sugar helps with the caramelization process. The last 5 minutes or so of cooking is when they caramelize the fastest, keep the heat low at this point, and stir frequently.

French onion chicken process shot of ingredients cooked in a skillet

STEP THREE: While the onions are cooking, prepare the chicken. Remove from packaging and pat with a paper towel to make sure they are completely dry. Use a meat mallet to pound out each piece of chicken to an even ½ to ¾-inch thick. Season chicken with pepper on both sides.

STEP FOUR: Remove the caramelized onions from the skillet using a slotted spoon while keeping as much butter/oil in the pan as possible.

STEP FIVE: Without wiping out the skillet, increase heat to medium to medium-high heat and add the chicken. Sear on each side of the chicken until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. 

French onion chicken process shot of chicken being seared on a skillet

STEP SIX: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

STEP SEVEN: Remove the chicken breasts from the skillet and set them aside momentarily.

STEP EIGHT: Place the onions back into the skillet and return to medium heat. Sprinkle with flour and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes to cook the flour.

STEP NINE: Add the wine to the onion mixture and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring continuously while the alcohol evaporates and the browned bits on the bottom of the pan loosen. If you are not using wine, proceed with step 10.

STEP TEN: Add the beef broth to the onions and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly and a deep brown gravy forms.

French onion chicken process shot of ingredients being cooked in a skillet

STEP ELEVEN: Nestle the browned chicken breasts down into the onion gravy and spoon some of the sauce up over the chicken.

STEP TWELVE: Top each chicken breast with a ¼ of each of the cheeses.

French onion chicken process shot of shredded cheese sprinkled on top of the chicken breast then melted

STEP THIRTEEN: Transfer the skillet to the oven preheated to 350°F and cook for 20 to 25 minutes until the cheese has melted and the meat registers an internal temperature of 165°F.

STEP FOURTEEN: Remove from the oven. Spoon the onions and French onion sauce over the chicken and serve. Garnish with fresh thyme.

How To Serve

Serve this French onion baked chicken recipe as the main course alongside green beans and creamy mashed potatoes, and you’ll have a hearty and filling comfort food meal that the entire family will rave about.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store this French onion soup chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  

IN THE FREEZER: Store this French onion chicken bake in the freezer for up to 1 month. 

close up shot of a skillet of French onion chicken garnished with thyme

Pan-seared chicken covered in a saucy sweet caramelized onion gravy and topped with melty Italian cheese makes this a great choice for a weeknight dinner. This recipe is straightforward and full of flavor that you will want to make again and again.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What can I serve with French onion chicken?

You can serve this easy chicken recipe with vegetables and mashed potatoes or crusty bread on the side for a complete meal. It would also taste delicious with a salad as the side dish.

What are caramelized onions?

Caramelizing onions is the process of turning onions with their sharp and relatively strong flavor and softens them to produce an almost sweet taste. The onions are cooked slowly over medium heat to break down the sugars producing a delicious and subtler flavor.

Do I need an oven-safe skillet for this French onion chicken recipe?

You need an oven-safe or cast iron skillet that you can take from the stovetop directly into the oven for the baking portion of this easy chicken dinner recipe. If you do not have an oven-safe skillet, you can transfer the chicken and gravy to a baking dish before popping it in the oven.

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close up overhead shot of a skillet of French onion chicken garnished with thyme

French Onion Chicken

5 from 2 votes
Make this delicious French onion chicken that is full of rich flavors and topped with ooey-gooey bubbly cheese, and I guarantee you that you will want to add it to your regular dinner rotation.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 sweet yellow or white onions, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme removed from stems (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (6 ounces each)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup dry white wine like a sauvignon blanc, optional
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ¼ pound provolone cheese grated (about 1 cup)
  • ¼ pound swiss cheese grated (about 1 cup)

Instructions
 

  • In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, combine the olive oil, butter, and sliced onions. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions become soft (approximately 10 minutes).
  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt over the onions. Add fresh thyme and a bay leaf to the pan. Continue sautéing over medium heat to medium-low heat until the onions become deep golden brown. Stir every few minutes to prevent onions from burning. If the color becomes too dark on some of the onions while still cooking, add a splash of white wine or beef broth to the pan and stir. This process of caramelizing the onions should take about 15 to 20 minutes longer after adding the sugar, salt, thyme, and bay leaf. In the final minute or two of cooking, add minced garlic and saute for just a couple of minutes; do not burn the garlic.
  • While the onions are cooking, prepare the chicken. Remove from packaging and pat with a paper towel to make sure they are completely dry. Use a meat mallet to pound out chicken to an even ½ to ¾-inch thick. Sprinkle with pepper on both sides.
  • Remove caramelized onions from the skillet using a slotted spoon, keeping as much butter/oil in the pan as possible.
  • Without wiping out the skillet, turn the heat to medium to medium-high and add the chicken. Sear on each side until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Remove the chicken breasts from the skillet and set them aside momentarily.
  • Place the onions back into the skillet and return to medium heat. Sprinkle with flour and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes to cook the flour.
  • Add the wine to the onion mixture and simmer/stir for 2 to 3 minutes while the alcohol evaporates and the browned bits on the bottom of the pan loosen. If you are not using wine, proceed with step 10.
  • Add the beef broth to the onions and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly and a deep brown gravy forms.
  • Nestle the browned chicken breasts down into the onion gravy and spoon some of the sauce up over the chicken. Top each chicken breast with a ¼ of each of the cheeses.
  • Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes until the cheese has melted and the meat registers an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Remove from oven. Spoon onions and sauce over the chicken and serve. Garnish with fresh thyme.

Notes

PRO TIP: If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, any oven-safe large skillet will work, or you can transfer everything to a casserole dish or baking pan for the baking portion of the recipe.
 
PRO TIP: Be very careful not to burn the garlic as it will result in a bitter taste.
PRO TIP: Patience is key when caramelizing the onions. Keep them over medium or medium-low heat and stir more frequently as time goes on. If onions start browning unevenly or suddenly, add a little bit of wine or broth to keep them moist and cooking evenly. The sugar helps with the caramelization process. The last 5 minutes or so of cooking is when they caramelize the fastest, keep the heat low at this point, and stir frequently.

Nutrition

Sodium: 958mg | Calcium: 493mg | Vitamin C: 10mg | Vitamin A: 897IU | Sugar: 10g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 823mg | Cholesterol: 148mg | Calories: 597kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Fat: 37g | Protein: 42g | Carbohydrates: 19g | Iron: 2mg
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  1. Dyana says

    5 stars
    I love French Onion Soup and found this recipe for the French Onion Chicken. It sounded really good so I decided to try it. I am so happy I did- it was out of this world delicious. I will definitely make it again!

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