Crispy French Onion Chicken Breasts
Chicken breasts can be so mundane. It seems that people often cook them skinless and boneless because that is the most healthy way and I commend them for that. However, to cook a chicken breast with the bone in and skin on leaves you with a moist and flavorful dish, much more interesting than if cooked without. I’ve used this same combination of ingredients to cook a turkey breast as well and it was also delightful.
2 Chicken breasts – bone in/skin on
1 Large turnip
1 Large white onion
5 Carrots – peeled and sliced
2 T Olive Oil
2 T butter
Black pepper to taste
1 Packet French Onion soup mix
5 Cloves of garlic
1/2 lb Fingerling potatoes (cut in half for small)
1/2 c. White wine (dry)
1 sprig Rosemary
Brush for basting
9×12 baking dish or roasting pan if you have one
mortar and pestle
This is such an easy dish. It feeds 3-4 people, depending on how hungry they are, is packed with the goodness of the vegetables, and has a lot of flavor.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
First things first, take the leaves off the sprig of rosemary and put them in a mortar and pestle, if you have one. Put in about a tsp of course salt and bruise the rosemary by lightly crushing it. Take your chicken breasts out of the package, of course. Using your hand, loosen the skin by lifting up on one end and pushing your fingers up under the skin almost to the back of the chicken.
Put the crushed rosemary and salt in a bowl with about 1/2 the packet of french onion soup mix, 1/2 c. wine and 2 T of olive oil. Cut up 3 cloves of garlic into slices. Using your hands, pack the oil mixture under the skin of the breast and scatter the garlic slices under there too. You will not use the whole mixture.
Rub the top of the breasts with 1 T of butter per breast then sprinkle the top with the remainder of the french onion soup mix.
If you do not have a roasting pan, use a pyrex baking dish. This next step is particularly important if you DO NOT have a roasting pan. Cut your onion in half and remove the middle few pieces from both halves – keeping them intact as half circles. Cut up the remainder of your vegetables. Place the middle pieces of onion in the pan in approximately the middle. Prop your chicken on top of the onion pieces – this will keep the chicken from poaching in the drippings. Surround the chicken with other vegetables. Pour the remainder of your wine and herb mix over top of the entire dish.
Place your baking dish or roasting pan in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with additional wine for flavor. If your chicken becomes too brown on top and is the correct temperature (at least 165 degrees F), you can take it out and roast your veggies a bit longer.
One change I may make next time: to encourage the flavor of the seasoning to travel into the meat, often I will cut slits into the meat and push the garlic down into it. Typically this is a technique I use with a roast. Next time, I may try that with this chicken. It was very good, moist and flavorful, but my dinner partner made the statement that the seasoning and skin were SO GOOD they wanted it to go all the way through the meat. Anyone else have suggestions for how this can be done? Marinate the meat? Please feel free to post a comment and let me know.