Hey, What’s Cookin’?
Today’s dish features a favorite standbye, chicken breasts, infused with the flavor of French onion soup
This dish is a little long on the prep side, due to the time it takes to caramelize the onions–there is no way to rush that process. But it’s perfect for a Sunday dinner, and impressive enough for any guests.
Be sure to serve mashed cauliflower or turnip alongside to soak up all the delicious French onion flavoered pan juices! Green beans make a particularly good side vegetable, as would asparagus or broccoli.
Chicken and French Onion Casserole
- 2 tbs butter
- 2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme, divided
- 1 tbs dry sherry or white wine
- 1 tbs balsamic vinegar (use sherry or white wine if you don’t this)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup beef broth, halved
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, of uniform size
- 1-2 tbs olive oil, for sauteeing breasts and oiling baking dish
- salt, pepper, garlic powder, & ground thyme for seasoning breasts
- One package (8-oz) fresh mozzarella ball or mozzarella pearls
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and season with pepper and half of the fresh chopped thyme. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent. If the pan gets dry, add the beef broth. Keep stirring until onions start browning.
Add the white wine, sherry or balsamic vinegar (and the beef broth, if you haven’t already). Let cook for a minute until the sauce thickens slightly.
Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pull pan off heat and let cool while you prepare the chicken.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Lightly oil a 9×12-inch baking dish and set it aside.
Cut chicken breasts in half horizontally to create pockets. Season chicken all over and inside pockets with salt, pepper, garlic powder and ground thyme.
Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of caramelized onions into each pocket. Stuff each breast with 1-2 oz. mozzarella and seal pockets with toothpicks.
Transfer the remaining caramelized onions from the skillet to the prepared baking dish and set aside.
Heat oil in the same skillet over medium high heat. Sear the stuffed chicken breasts for 4 minutes each side until browned. The breasts will not be fully cooked; they finish cooking in the oven.)
Arrange chicken on the caramelized onions in the baking dish. Spoon some of the sauce in the dish over each chicken breast. Top with remaining tsp of chopped thyme and bake for 20 minutes or until fully cooked.
Remove toothpicks. Serve chicken with pan juices and onions.
Notes: If you prefer, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You won’t be able to stuff them easily, so just brown them for 3 minutes each side, place in the baking dish, and smother the thighs with the onions and dot them with 4 oz. of fresh mozzarella before baking for 15-20 minutes in 400° oven.
Photograph via BringontheBacon