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French Onion Chicken

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hr 15 min
  • Calories: 762
French onion chicken in a braiser with gruyere cheese and caramelized onions

We’re embracing gal-entine’s day and inviting all of our closest girlfriends over for an indulgent feast, starring this cheesy, savory indulgent French onion chicken.

Girls’ Night IN!

In our 20s, galentine’s day would have been an excuse to bar hop with our whole crew until the wee hours. But, now that we’re busy with kids and work and all of the demands of adult life, although we crave time with our friends more than ever, it can be so hard to come by. Gathering a group of close friends is no small feat—with everyone’s busy schedules, just picking a date can be tricky. But once you’ve locked it in—hundreds of text messages later—you want to make sure that you can get the most out of your time together. And nothing encourages connection and conviviality more than gathering around a cozy meal. When we host a girls’ night in, our checklist looks like this:

  • Lots of fresh flowers! (easy to grab—vases, too!)
  • Wine (duh) like prosecco, Champagne and a good, hearty French red wine, as well as some good non-alcoholic options, too. We always at least have bubbly water handy, and if we’re feeling ambitious we like to offer a mocktail, too.
  • A solid playlist, because a party without music is just awkward. Play whatever you like, but remember that you want something people can easily converse over. We usually keep it classic—think Eartha Kitt and Ella Fitzgerald.
ingredients laid out for French Onion Chicken gruyere cheese, white wine, garlic, thyme and beef stock
skin on Chicken thighs browning in a braiser
raw onions in a braiser ready to be caramelized
onions caramelizing in a pan

What You’ll Need to Make French Onion Chicken

You love French onion soup, right? Insanely savory and covered in gooey cheese, what’s not to love?! Well, French onion chicken is basically French onion soup, made into a hearty one pot dish. It’s easy to love, and it’s nearly a meal unto itself—just add some crusty bread and a small side salad and you’re good to go! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chicken thighs. We prefer bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, because they’re so flavorful. But this recipe can be made with boneless, skinless thighs if that’s your preference.
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Onions
  • Fresh thyme
  • Bay leaf
  • Garlic cloves
  • Dry white wine. We used Sauvignon Blanc, but any dry white wine that you like to drink is great.
  • Beef Stock
  • High-quality Swiss cheese, like Gruyère or Comté.
caramelized onions in a braiser
French Onion Chicken 7
hand pouring white wine into caramelized onions for french onion soup chicken
french onion chicken casserole

How to Make French Onion Chicken Casserole

This easy chicken thigh recipe cooks in just one skillet, but you’ll need a big one and one that can go from stove top to the oven. Cast iron is ideal, but anything oven-safe will work. Here’s how to make French onion soup chicken!

  1. Brown the chicken thighs.
  2. Caramelize the onions! The key is not to rush—patience makes perfect. For more info about caramelized onions, check out our how-to guide here.
  3. Season the caramelized onions and deglaze the pan with the wine (and if you “sample” the wine as you cook, we fully endorse that.)
  4. Pour in the stock and give the whole delicious thing a simmer.
  5. Add the chicken thighs to the pan and move the chicken thigh bake to the oven to bake for about 15 minutes. Reminder! With chicken thighs, you’re looking for an internal temp of 170°F to indicate doneness.
  6. Cover the chicken thighs with cheese and broil (just as you would with French onion soup) until the cheese is bubbling and melty.
braised chicken and onions for french onion soup chicken
french onion chicken in a pan with melted gruyere

Tools You’ll Need:

french onion chicken garnished with parsley
french onion chicken with gruyere cheese being scooped out of a pan with a wooden spoon

More Chicken Thigh Recipes to Try

They’re just as healthy as chicken breasts, and so much more flavorful. Are you convinced yet? Here are four of our favorite, go-to chicken thigh recipes.

french onion soup with wine
f1 serving of french onion soup in a bowl

Galentine’s? Valentine’s? Or Just Another Tuesday.

Whenever you serve this easy French onion chicken recipe, we want to hear about it! Snap a photo of your chicken thigh bake and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!


French Onion Chicken

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hr 15 min
  • Calories: 762

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Chicken thighs, bone-in skin-on (at least 6 thighs)
  • 2 tsp Salt, divided
  • 1 tsp Black pepper, divided
  • ¼ cup Olive oil, divided
  • 3 Medium onions, sliced into ¼ inch rings (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 4 Sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 2 Garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup Dry white wine (like sauvignon blanc)
  • 2 cups Beef stock
  • 8 oz Gruyère or comté cheese, grated

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the black pepper.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium, high heat. Add in chicken, skin side down, and cook, undisturbed until browned about 5-7 minutes. Turn chicken and repeat on other side for about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  4. In the same pan add in remaining olive oil and reduce heat to medium/low. Add onions and cover for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook the onions, stirring often, until a nice golden brown color is achieved. The caramelization process should take about 25 minutes, don’t rush it.
  5. Once the onions are caramel in color add butter, nutmeg, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, and remaining salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 3 more minutes.
  6. Increase heat to high and add wine. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, about 3-5 minutes.
  7. Add beef stock, bring to a simmer and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Remove thyme and bay leaf and add chicken back into the onions. Bake on center rack of preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle chicken with cheese and place back in the oven under the broiler. Watch carefully so your cheese doesn’t burn.

    **Serve immediately with crusty bread and maybe even mashed potatoes.
    Note: This recipe works just as well with boneless skinless thighs and breasts if that is your preference.