All the comforts of French onion soup turned into a cozy one-pot dinner. This French Onion Chicken dinner is downright romantic and perfect for this winter weekend spent all cuddled up.
You know every year I trapse in here with a version of Marry Me Chicken that is rumored to be soo good as to inspire a wedding proposal. You also know that… well, I wouldn’t consider myself living proof of such legend which is, by no means, a reflection of the chicken.
Who would I be without another extremely cozy chicken dish for your Valentine’s weekend? My daydream for you is that you have this for Sunday supper this weekend. A kind of low key I Love You. The kind you say everyday with the little things like tucking a napkin under your love’s plate or refilling their glass of wine. It’s sweet, like waking up holding hands.
This dish is as cozy to make as it is to enjoy. One big pot, a whole lot of chicken and gravy. Also mashed potatoes and there’s no way mashed potatoes aren’t wholly romantic.
This recipe is inspired and adapted from PaleOMG.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this One-Pot French Onion Chicken dinner:
• four sweet or yellow onions
• olive oil and butter, both
• boneless skinless chicken thighs
• fresh thyme
• balsamic vinegar
• all-purpose flour or potato starch
• chicken stock
• kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
• gruyere cheese
• good bread, buttered
• russett potatoes, half and half, butter, and herbs for mashed potatoes
I used my favorite 3.5qt Le Creuset Braiser for this dish (I swear I use this pan more than my dutch oven), and first seared the chicken thighs to lightly golden. Any oven-safe dish with a lid will do! Searing the seasoned chicken will caramelize the chicken and add some browned bits to the pan that will deepen the flavor of the onions.
Do you have a pair of those cheeky kitchen glasses? The sort that keep onions from making your cry? Maybe a pair of swim goggles? A snorkel mask? Grab whatcha got because thinly slicing four onions is not for the faint of heart. It’s worth it, but it stings.
Melt butter over what’s left after the chicken has been browned. Add the sliced onions and thyme sprig and place the lid over the pan. Simmer and brown the onion over medium-low heat in ten minute intervals. Stir just occasionally. Keeping the lid on the pan will keep steam in the pan and keep the onions from burning before they cook down to sweet.
Coaxing the onions from sharp to sweet is the beauty of this whole dish so don’t rush the onions. Let em viiiiibe.
The onions will pick up color and flavor from the bottom of the pan but may not brown aggressively. It all depends on the heat under the pan. Play around and cook the onions to sweet. Remove the thyme sprig. Add a hearty splash of balsamic vinegar, a spoonful of all-purpose flour, and a couple cups of chicken stock to the mixture.
The liquid will bring all the browned flavor off the bottom of the pan. Gaze upon all the layers of flavor we’ve built before tucking the browned pieces of chicken into the oniony onionness.
Place the dish in the oven to bake the chicken pieces to ultra tender, and thicken the caramelized onions.
To further french onion this chicken, crank the broiler, sprinkle the chicken with grated gruyere cheese and broil until melted.
While the chicken cooks, we’ll make a proper side of LUXURY mashed potatoes. I like to boil mostly russet potatoes to super tender, drain the potatoes in a colander and melt butter with herbs and cream in the pot. Add the potatoes back to the pot and mash to mostly smooth. GAH. The best part is how much you have to taste the potatoes to get the seasoning right. Big spoonfuls, no shame.
Serve in bowls with generous dollops of mashed potatoes. Garnish with parsley and a bit more fresh thyme if you have extra. Chicken and it’s onion gravy, and if you’re so bold as to double carb: a chunk of buttered bread.
I love you and I hope those you love love this chicken.
And if you’re in need of more one-pot contentment, please consider:Print
The most cozy and satisfying winter dinner with sweet onions, tender chicken pieces, and buttery mashed potatoes.
For the Chicken
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 large onions, thinly sliced
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese
- Good toasted bread
- Herby mashed potatoes, below
Herby Mashed Potatoes (make these while the onions are cooking down)
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
- Kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 3/4 cup half and half (or whole milk if you prefer)
- Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- Season chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Set a large dutch oven (or any heavy bottom oven-proof lid and pan set you have) over medium heat. Add olive oil and tilt to coat. Add the chicken thighs in batches, cooking until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. The chicken won’t be entirely cooked through and that’s fine! Place on a plate and set aside.
- Add butter to the same dutch oven. Add onions along with a hefty pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and begin to toss the onions around the pan and they cook down. Add the thyme. Cover the pan and allow onions to reduce for 30 minutes, removing the lid to stir every 10 minutes or so.
- We want the onions to be browned and caramelized without burning so reduce heat if necessary. Cover and cook for another 20 minutes until deeply caramel.
- Remove the lid and remove the thyme. Stir in the balsamic.
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Sprinkle flour over the onion mixture and top with chicken broth. Increase heat to medium and bring to a simmer just to thicken the sauce. Nestle the chicken thighs inside the onion broth.
- Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven and set the oven to broil. Top chicken with cheese and broil for 3-4 minutes until melty and bubbling.
- Top dish with flaky salt and more fresh cracked pepper. Serve with toasty buttered bread and mashed potatoes.
- To make the potatoes, add potato chunks to a medium pot and cover with cool water so they’re submerged by an inch. Season with a few generous pinches of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain into a colander.
- In the same medium saucepan, melt butter. Add fresh herbs and stir until just fragrant. Add half and half and stir until warm.
- Add the potatoes chunks to the dairy mixture and mash to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste. They’re delicious at this point. Serve with the chicken.
Keywords: one-pot, dinner, valentine's day, chicken, onion