Skillet Chicken in Balsamic Caramelized Onion Cream Sauce
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Tender skillet chicken in balsamic caramelized onion cream sauce. All you need are a few simple ingredients, and you’ve got a restaurant quality meal at home. And you won’t believe how easy it is to put this together!
Here we go, one more time!
Did anyone else get the urge to start singing? ?Everybody’s feeling fine; here we go nowwww.? Quick! Name that 90’s hit.
So anyway! Guys, I cannot control my excitement on this one. This is the latest addition to my skillet chicken dinner family: balsamic. caramelized onion. cream sauce. [mic drop]
True story: I shared this dinner with my parents one evening. You guys, my dad is not someone who’s easily impressed by food. He just isn’t. But he absolutely could not stop eating this sauce. I know you don’t know him, but that is BIG.
This little number has got it all! Tender, seared chicken, caramelized onions, and then, balsamic vinegar to sweeten it all up a bit, then cream to mellow and smooth things out. We’ll flavor it with simple things like, a little thyme, a pinch of red pepper flakes and basically what you’ve got is a restaurant quality meal right at home.
To make this recipe simpler, I took the liberty of skipping the oven time on this skillet chicken in cream sauce; mainly because I’ve got serious doubts that you guys would object to that. Still one skillet, and now, one heat source too!
So let’s talk about this skillet chicken recipe. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs is what I suggest. Mainly because if you’re planning on doing this with bone-in skin-on chicken, it’ll get a little more complicated. And by that, I mean you’ll need extra time on the stove to sear the chicken skin. Then additional time for it to finish off in the oven. Oh and let’s not forget that the sauce might need to be thinner too so that it doesn’t dry out in the oven. So what I’m basically trying to say is that let’s make this recipe a stress-free and make it with boneless chicken, shall we?
This skillet chicken recipe starts the way all my skillet chicken recipes do, with the chicken. We’ll season it with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Next, we’ll cook the chicken all the way through. This is a little different than what we’ve done in the past. Usually, we’ll cook the chicken just until it sears on the outside then remove it to a plate and finish it in the oven after we make our cream sauce.
But guys, I want you to know your suggestions are taken to heart, and I try to alter recipes so they’re easy to make for ALL OF US. So many of you have reached out and asked for skillet chicken recipes to be cooked completely on the stove and to skip the oven method altogether.
And here it is, one skillet chicken with balsamic caramelized onion cream sauce, cooked from start to finish on the stove-top.
Once you’ve seared the chicken, we’ll add a little butter to the pan along with finely chopped onions. I know, traditionally caramelized onions are thinly sliced and not chopped. But guess what? I find that finely chopping the onions allows them to cook faster, thus getting your dinner on the table a whole lot quicker! Who doesn’t like the sound of that?
Cook the onions on low and slow, let them pick up all that flavor left behind by the chicken. Season the onions around the halfway mark with a little sugar and some fresh thyme. We’ll deglaze the pan with a little balsamic vinegar and chicken broth.
Normally, I’ve used somewhere in the ballpark of 1 cup of chicken broth, we’ve cut back for this recipe so that the time it takes to reduce the sauce is a lot less. Finish it off with a generous amount of cream and voila! We’ve got tender cooked chicken in balsamic cream sauce.
So, friends it comes down to this, you have GOT TO make this recipe.
That is all.
shop this post:
- 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup EACH: chicken broth AND heavy cream
- COOK THE CHICKEN: season both sides of the chicken breast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the chicken all the way through, roughly 6-12 minutes depending on the size. Make sure chicken reaches 165ºF on a thermometer; remove the chicken to a plate.
- CARAMELIZE THE ONIONS: add the butter to the skillet along with the onions. Push the onions around the pan so they pick up all the flavor bits left behind by the chicken, lower the heat to medium-low and allow the onions to cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring them as needed to prevent from sticking. The onions are done when they soften completely and deepen in color. Add the thyme, red pepper flakes, sugar, and balsamic vinegar, let the vinegar cook out for a couple of minutes.
- MAKE THE SAUCE: Grab a whisk for this next step. Slowly pour in the chicken broth in a steady stream while you whisk, this will help deglaze the pan. Kick the heat up to high and let the sauce reduce for 2-3 minutes or until it thickens a bit. Once the sauce reduces, lower the heat again, and add in the cream. You don't want the cream to start boiling immediately as it will cause the sauce to split. Let the sauce come to a gentle simmer, once it does, add in the chicken breasts and spoon the sauce on top. Serve immediately. The sauce will thicken as it sits so you may need additional broth to thin it out.
- this makes just enough sauce for the chicken. If you want more sauce to serve with veggies or rice, I suggest doubling everything starting from the chopped onions all the way down to the heavy cream on the ingredient list.
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