I love french onion soup. It’s one of my go to classics that I crave when the weather turns cooler. I’m probably in the minority that I actually love the soup part of the dish better than the topping components of toasted bread and melted cheese on top. Although, I will rarely complain about that.
I have seen recipes for French Onion Chicken floating around social media and I have drooled on my keyboard looking at some of the recipes. I worked out a way to make the dish a little more healthier and have all the flavors of french onion soup without all the fat and this chicken dish fit very well into my Weight Watchers Smart Point plan that I follow. I used this dish from Creme de la Crumb as my base, and knocked down some of the fat and calories from there.
Start with 2 large Vidalia onions. These onions are generally bigger than your standard yellow cooking onions and have a much milder taste. They are the perfect onion to use when your dish is onion-centric. I use a mandolin to cut them to keep them equal in size and reduce my crying in the kitchen.
It may seem like a lot of onions. And it is. But with a long slow cooking time, the onions shrink and become concentrated in flavor. Which is exactly what you want. Melt a tablespoon of light butter in a large skillet. Add the onions and toss them around. As the onions begin to brown and sweat, I sprinkled a teaspoon of sugar on them and then poured in a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Low and slow, let the onions cook down. Add the beef broth a little bit of the time throughout the cooking process. Once the onions are done, sprinkle a tablespoon of flour over the onions, give them a stir and move to bowl.
While your onions cook, prepare the chicken. Pound 4 chicken breasts to even thickness and season generously with salt and pepper and sprinkle with thyme. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the same skillet you cooked the onions in and cook until the chicken is browned and cooked throughout.
Once the chicken is cooked, top the chicken evenly with the onion mixture and add a little more beef broth to the pan.
Now for the cheese. This is where you can slash lots of calories and fat. Alpine Lacey Swiss Cheese. This is a reduced fat cheese that I had my deli cut thinly for me. 4 ounces is enough for the 4 chicken breasts. Top the chicken evenly with the cheese, cover your pan and let cook on a low heat for a few minutes until the cheese is all melty.
I served it along with some roasted broccoli and mashed potatoes to soak up all that sauce. Eat up! For those who follow the Weight Watcher program, each serving is 5 SPs.
FRENCH ONION CHICKEN
- 2 large Vidalia onions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon light butter (I use Land O Lakes)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 24 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
- 1 cup beef broth (plus extra if needed)
- 4 ounces of Alpine Lacey Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
- two teaspoons of olive oil.
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, oven-proof pan or skillet over medium heat. Add onions, season with salt and cook. As the onions begin to sweat add the sugar and vinegar and stir well. Add the beef broth over the cooking time a little at a time stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes, or until the onions are softened and caramelized. Stir in the flour.
- Remove onions from heat and transfer to a medium bowl.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in skillet and raise heat to medium-high.
- Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper and thyme then place in skillet and cook on both sides until golden brown. Pour a little of the extra beef broth around the chicken, scraping up the stuck bits in the pan.
- Add the onions evenly over the chicken.
- Top each piece of chicken evenly with the cheese.
- Cover the skillet and reduce to low to cook until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and serve hot. Enjoy!