If you love French Onion Soup, you will really LOVE this recipe. It's easy to make in the Ninja Foodi or on the stove/oven.
I had no idea that French Onion Chicken was even a thing when I made this one night for Jeff. I had a bunch of onions and some chicken breast and threw things together. It tasted like French Onion soup on a plate with chicken!
I then reached out to my friend, Google, and found out it is a thing! It's always interesting how recipes develop and with this one, I was actually testing a French Bread recipe, not a chicken recipe.
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It was so good that it shot to the top of the list and here it is after multiple tests. What isn't ready is that French Bread recipe! It's close though!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can. The best way to do that is to sear the chicken breasts in batches so that you get nice browning on each piece of chicken. Double all of the ingredients and make the following changes in cook times.
As long as the chicken pieces are close to the same size, they will cook with the same cook time as the recipe calls for.
The onions will take longer to caramelize and you can use either broil or sauté to achieve this. Stir them more frequently to encourage browning, especially when using the broil method.
You can fit up to 6 chicken breasts (depending on size) in the pot and follow the same instructions for melting the cheese on top. If you want to make more chicken than that, I would stagger the chicken the best you can to limit overlapping and place cheese slices or even grated Swiss all over the top and broil until brown and bubbly.
You will not be able to fit more than 4 pieces of French Bread for toasting, so I would toast the bread in the oven.
Absolutely! Simply cut all the ingredients in half and make the recipe as written.
French Onion Chicken is best served right away, but I have reheated it with success.
The best way I found to keep the chicken from drying out is to steam it. I place the chicken with the onions and sauce in a covered container, add 2 cups of water to the inner pot and steam for about 15 minutes or until it is hot.
Then, I add more cheese (I love cheese) and broil to get the cheese melted and browned and serve it over a freshly toasted piece of French bread.
I haven't frozen it before, but I don't see why you couldn't. The sauce may not be as thick after being frozen, but you can either thicken it with a little more cornstarch or just let it simmer to reduce.
The important thing to remember when freezing anything is to make sure they are completely cool before freezing to avoid ice crystals from forming.
I use the steam function on the Ninja Foodi to reheat food from frozen all the time.
I place 2 cups of water in the inner pot and the frozen meal in a covered container/pan and steam for 20-30 minutes.
The time really depends on how much food is in the pan, but you can check on it during the steaming process.
After it is hot, add cheese to the top if needed and broil to brown and melt the cheese.
Serve over a freshly toasted piece of French bread.
If you have a question that I haven't addressed, please leave a comment at the bottom of this recipe or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'm happy to help if I can.
What Type of Chicken is Best for French Onion Chicken?
I used chicken breast, but boneless skinless chicken thighs would work perfectly fine.
I probably wouldn't use chicken with the bone in just because it would be harder to eat, but that is a personal choice.
Boneless, skin on thighs would be fine as well. I would make sure to get a really good sear on that skin though so it's crisp and not rubbery.
The most important consideration when choosing the type of chicken, is the size. The reason I say this is because you will have to adapt your cooking time if you use thick chicken breasts.
I don't know about you, but the chicken breasts that I get from our grocery store are HUGE! Some weighing in at a pound a piece. You can certainly use large, thick breasts, just increase the cook time accordingly.
Personally, I like to cut those large breasts through the middle to make 4 chicken cutlets out of 2 large breasts. The tool I use to do this is the Close 'N Cut from Pampered Chef, but it can be done with a sharp knife as well.
Just try to get an even cut right through the middle. I find it easier when start the cut on the long end of the chicken breast.
You can also buy chicken cutlets that are thinner and not have to worry about slicing the chicken. Chicken Tenderloins would also work for this recipe, but keep in mind they cook very quickly so I would leave them out while you simmer the sauce to thicken it. The searing and broiling will be enough to cook them.
If you want to use thicker chicken breasts and not cut them in half, that is fine. Just simmer them longer in the sauce to make sure they are fully cooked.
You can also adapt this recipe to use other types of meats.
Can I Make this Recipe with other Cuts of Meat?
Pork chops would be lovely and I would follow the same directions as the thin chicken breasts. Pork chops cook very quickly, so a few minutes of searing a 1-1½" thick pork chop, followed by the broiling should get the job done.
Another cut of meat that I would love to try is beef. A nice tender filet would be amazing in this recipe. Definitely on my list! The instructions would be the same, however if your steak is thick, you will need to cook it longer.
What are the Best Onions to use for French Onion Chicken?
I almost always use a sweet onion or Vidalia onion and this recipe is no exception. However, you can use any kind of onion you like. Except for green onions, they just wouldn't work.
The important part of developing that wonderful flavor that we know and love about French Onion soup is caramelizing the onions. In this recipe we do that by using sear/sauté and the broil function. This combination works great and saves a little time.
You can also just use the sear/sauté function on high until the onions are browned nicely.
How Do I Know the Chicken is Done?
Whenever you are cooking meat, any kind of meat, taking an internal temperature is the best and most accurate way to ensure the meat is done to the proper temperature.
If you don't already own a thermometer, I really suggest getting one. I have always bought inexpensive thermometers, but they took so long to give me a reading that I was so excited when Jeff gave me a Thermapen MK4 for Christmas.
The Thermapen is so fast, I love it! I also have a dual purpose thermometer from Pampered Chef that works really well and is a little less expensive. It works as a instant read and a probe thermometer. Here is the link: Pampered Chef Thermometer
The times I suggest in this recipe are based on having tested this recipe with 1" thick chicken breasts on 3 different occasions. Between the searing and the broiling, the chicken was done to perfection all three times.
However, your chicken could be thinner or thicker and you will need to adjust your time accordingly.
How to Make French Onion Chicken on the Stove
The process is exactly the same, except I would suggest using a cast iron pan or another sauté pan that can be used on the stove and in the oven.
You want to make sure your pan is deep enough to hold everything. A good size to use is a 10" or 12" cast iron pan or stainless steel pan.
Heat the butter and oil in your pan over medium high heat, season and sear the chicken on both sides and remove.
Sauté the onions over medium heat until they are caramelized, make sure to stir occasionally. This can take up to 30 minutes depending on how caramelized you want them.
Preheat the oven on broil or a high bake temp.
Make up the cornstarch slurry. Deglaze the pan with the remaining beef stock and add in the cornstarch slurry and return the chicken breasts to the pan.
Sauté over medium-high heat until the sauce has thickened. Add the cheese on top of the chicken and place the pan into the oven to melt the cheese. Toast the French bread slices in the oven at the same time.
Serve & Enjoy!
How to Make French Onion Chicken in the Ninja Foodi
Make up the seasoning mix by combining the dried thyme leaves, salt, and pepper. I prefer to use dried thyme leaves (NOT powdered thyme) instead of fresh thyme leaves when searing meat. If you prefer to use fresh thyme, I would season the chicken breasts with just salt and pepper and use the fresh thyme in the onions only. Fresh herbs can burn when seared and that isn't always pleasant.
The rule of thumb when using fresh herbs versus dried herbs is 3:1. So for every teaspoon of dried herbs, use 3 teaspoons (1 Tablespoon) of fresh herbs.
Turn the Ninja Foodi on Sear/Sauté on high and add in the butter and olive oil. You can use all oil or all butter if you want, but I like the combination of the two.
While the oil/butter is heating, season the chicken on both sides with about half of the seasoning blend. You want to reserve the other half for seasoning the onions.
When the butter/oil is hot, add the chicken to the pot and let it sit and sear for 3-4 minutes. I used the Stainless Steel liner pot to cook the chicken because I think it gives a better sear, but I've tested the recipe with the ceramic pot and it works just fine.
Once the chicken is seared and browned on the one side, flip it and sear the other side for 3-4 minutes. If the chicken doesn't want to release from the pot, leave it alone for another minute or until it releases easily. This will ensure a good sear and you won't tear the meat.
You can slice the onions while the chicken is searing or have them ready to go. I add the onions on top of the chicken after I flip the chicken.
After the chicken has seared on the other side, remove it from the pot and place on a plate.
Stir to coat the onions in the butter/oil and seasonings. Then use the TenderCrisp lid and broil (grill on the UK models) on high for 10 minutes. This is a quick way to get some browning and caramelization on the onions. However, you can also use the sear/sauté function on high and achieve the same or better results, it just takes longer.
You can also broil longer and get more browning, but make sure to stir the onions around so the ones on top don't burn. I think my onions could have been a little more caramelized, but the dish was delicious with this timing and so easy!
Make the cornstarch slurry by combining the cornstarch with about 2 Tablespoons of beef stock and stir. Set aside.
Deglaze the pot with the remaining beef stock (you can also use chicken stock if you prefer, but I liked the richness of the beef stock better) and make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot.
The brown bits on the bottom are called fond and they are full of flavor, you want all of that deliciousness to incorporate into your sauce. This is another reason I like using the stainless steel pot instead of the ceramic one for this recipe, I don't have to be careful about what utensils I use.
Add in the cornstarch slurry and stir. Add the chicken back into the pot and bring to a boil to thicken the sauce. Then turn the Ninja Foodi off.
Add the slices of Swiss cheese to each of the chicken breasts and if you want to toast the French bread, place the rack in the high position. Add the 4 slices of French bread on top. Close the TenderCrisp lid and broil for 5-10 minutes or until the bread is toasted and the cheese has melted.
If you want more browning on the cheese, simply remove the bread and broil longer.
Place chicken on toasted French bread slices and top with onions and sauce. Serve & Enjoy!
French Onion Chicken in the Ninja Foodi
- Slice the onions into thin slices. If your chicken breasts are thick, cut them in half through the middle. You want 4 pieces of chicken that are about 1" thick. Combine the spices to make the seasoning blend.
- Turn the Ninja Foodi on high sear/sauté. Add in the oil and butter and allow to it to heat up. Sprinkle the seasoning blend on both sides of the chicken. Only use about ½ of the seasoning blend in this step, the other half is used for seasoning the onions.
- When the oil and butter is sizzling, place the chicken breasts into the inner pot and sear them for 3-4 minutes. Flip the chicken and add the onions. Sear the chicken for another 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the chicken breasts and place them on a plate. Stir the seasoning into the onions.
- Lower the Tendercrisp lid and select broil for 10 minutes. This will quickly brown up your onions. You can also use the sear/sauté function on high, but you will need to stir the onions occasionally to prevent burning.
- MIx 1 Tbsp of cornstarch and add 2 Tbsp of the beef broth and stir to combine.
- When the onions are finished caramelizing, turn the sear/sauté on high and deglaze the pan with the remaining beef stock. Make sure to scrape the bottom to release any browned bits (fond) because there is tons of flavor there.
- Add the cornstarch slurry and stir. Add the chicken breasts back into the pot and bring the liquid to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
- Cover each piece of chicken with Swiss cheese. Place the rack in the high position and place French bread on the rack. Broil for 5-10 minutes or until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.
- Place a chicken breast on a piece of French Bread (toasted), cover with onions and the sauce. Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.
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