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French Onion Chicken Bake

French Onion Chicken Bake

French Onion Chicken Bake: A Golden and Flavorful Twist on Comfort Food

Craving a comforting and flavorful dish that's easy to prepare? Look no further than this French Onion Chicken Bake! This recipe combines the rich, caramelized flavors of French onion soup with juicy chicken breasts, creating a delightful and satisfying meal.

Why You'll Love This Recipe:

  • Flavor Explosion: The star of the show is the caramelized onion mixture. Slowly cooked with butter, balsamic vinegar, and herbs, the onions develop a deep and complex flavor that perfectly complements the chicken.
  • Easy Does It: Despite the impressive outcome, this French Onion Chicken Bake comes together surprisingly quick and easy. With minimal prep work and readily available ingredients, it's a perfect weeknight meal.
  • One-Pan Wonder: This recipe utilizes just one skillet and a baking dish, minimizing cleanup for a stress-free cooking experience.

Ingredients:

  • Building the Flavorful Base:

    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 2/3 cup low-sodium beef broth
    • 4 onions, peeled and sliced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • The Star Protein:

    • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • The Cheesy Finish:

    • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Get your oven ready by preheating it to 200°C (400°F).

  2. Preparing the Baking Dish: Lightly grease a baking dish with cooking spray to prevent sticking.

  3. Caramelizing the Onions: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and let it melt. Then, add the sliced onions and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until they soften and become translucent.

  4. Building the Flavor: Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the minced garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper to the softened onions. Sauté for another minute, allowing the herbs and spices to release their fragrance.

  5. Introducing the Acidity and Broth: Pour in the balsamic vinegar and beef broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. This deglazing step incorporates those flavorful bits into the sauce. Stir everything together to combine well.

  6. The Simmering Magic: Let the onion mixture simmer for 10 minutes, or until the onions become beautifully caramelized. This slow cooking process allows the sugars in the onions to brown and develop a rich, deep flavor.

  7. Assembling the Bake: Spread approximately one-third of the caramelized onion mixture evenly across the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

  8. Layering the Chicken: Place the boneless, skinless chicken breasts on top of the onion layer in the baking dish. Season the chicken breasts with a sprinkle of salt.

  9. Onion and Cheese Topping: Distribute the remaining caramelized onions over the chicken breasts. Finally, generously sprinkle the top with both the shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

  10. Baking to Perfection: Place the baking dish with the assembled chicken bake into the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the chicken breasts are cooked through and the cheese is melted and golden brown.

  11. Resting and Serving: Once baked, remove the dish from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes at room temperature. This allows the juices in the chicken to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and flavorful bite.

  12. Enjoy!: Serve your French Onion Chicken Bake warm and enjoy the delicious combination of juicy chicken, caramelized onions, and melted cheese. It's a comforting and flavorful meal that's sure to please.

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