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French Onion Chicken

This French Onion Chicken will be one of the best chicken dinners you ever sink your teeth into!  It boasts the classic rich, complex, umami flavors of French onion soup but in an easy skillet chicken form! This French Onion Chicken Recipe is made with juicy, golden, pan seared chicken breasts, golden caramelized onions enveloped in velvety sauce, all blanketed with three types of ooey-gooey cheese. The one skillet cooking method makes this recipe a weeknight dinner homerun with hardly any cleanup and the intoxicating flavors are so swoon worthy, it will impress for any special occasion or holiday!  Serve this French Onion Chicken over a bed of mashed potatoes and you have a spectacular, simple, saucy, repeat favorite.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

CHICKEN

  • 4 medium chicken breasts pounded to an even thickness
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tsp EACH salt, garlic powder, onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp EACH pepper, paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Danish Creamery Butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

FRENCH ONION SAUCE

CHEESES

  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 4 oz. freshly grated Gruyere cheese
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

  • Prep chicken: Whisk the flour and all chicken seasoning together in a shallow dish. Dredge each breast in the mixture, shake off any excess, then transfer to a dry surface.
  • Cook chicken: Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden (it will finish cooking in the oven). Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil, don't wipe out skillet.
  • Caramelize onions: Melt 4 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in the chicken drippings over medium heat. Add the onions, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized and deep golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Turn down the heat and/or add additional butter/olive oil if the onion start to scorch.
  • Preheat oven: The last 10 minutes or so of cooking the onions, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Make sauce: Once the onions are caramelized, add the garlic, red pepper flakes, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce and cook for 30 seconds. Add the flour and cook for one minute. Add the beef broth, beef bouillon and all sauce seasonings. Bring to a simmer until thickened. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired (I don't add any.)
  • Add cheese: Once the sauce thickened, add the chicken back to the skillet; spoon some sauce over the chicken. Top each piece of chicken with one slice of provolone cheese followed by shredded Gruyere and Parmesan.
  • Bake: Transfer the oven-safe skillet to preheated oven and bake at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and chicken is cooked through. To serve, spoon more sauce over the chicken. This dish is fabulous served with mashed potatoes.

Video

Notes

Tips for Success

  • Oven proof skillet: If you don't have an oven proof skillet, you can prepare the recipe on the stove then transfer it to an oven safe baking dish before popping it in the oven.  
  • Beef bouillon:  Is a secret ingredient that adds a complex depth of flavor that fools your palate into thinking the caramelized onion sauce has been simmering for hours.  You can use granulated beef bouillon, beef bouillon cubes or better than bouillon.   If using cubes, crush and add directly to the sauce, don’t dissolve in water first.
  • Cut onions uniformly: Try and slice your onions into uniform rings so they cook evenly.  Keep your onion slices about ¼” thick.  This might seem thick but will cook down considerably.  Onions that are too thin will end up stringy and mushy – we don’t want that!
  • Gruyere Cheese: Is traditionally located with the specialty cheeses in the deli section of your grocery store.  If you have the option to purchase aged Gruyere, then go with that, as the flavors become more complex as the cheese matures.
  • Provolone: I highly suggest you purchase provolone from the deli counter and ask them to slice it for you – it tastes far superior (almost like a different cheese entirely!) than pre-packaged, pre-sliced provolone.  A great substitute for provolone is fresh sliced mozzarella (but provolone has more flavor).
  • Parmesan cheese:  For best results, use ONLY freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  It is much more flavorful and melts much better than powdered or pre-shredded cheese.
  • Caramelize onions more: If you think your onions are caramelized but not sure, cook on!  The last few minutes of caramelization is crucial for intensely sweet onions, because the deeper the color, the deeper the flavor.  They should be quite dark golden but not burnt. 
  • Don’t overcook chicken:  The first step is to sear the chicken on the stove, not cook it all the way through because it will continue to cook in the oven.. The best and most efficient way to check for doneness is to insert a meat thermometer into the chicken; chicken breasts are done when they register 165 degrees F. 

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT

  • To store:  French Onion Chicken should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. 
  • To Freeze: Let the skillet cool completely then transfer the contents to a freezer safe bag and squeeze out excess air to prevent freezer burn or transfer to an airtight freezer safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator completely before reheating.
  • To reheat in the microwave:  Heat for 1 minute, then at 30-second intervals until warmed through. 
  • To reheat in the oven:Transfer chicken to an oven safe dish and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until warmed through.