Chicken Smothered in Onions

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For about a dozen years I subscribed to Bon Appetit magazine. It was within the pages of that publication that I learned the bulk of my newlywed food knowledge. My recipe collection is peppered with little gems that I found, tried, and have saved over the years. They are some of my husband’s and my favorite, good old standbys. This recipe is counted among them.

I’ve tweaked it (of course) to suit boneless, skinless chicken breast and adjusted some of the more expensive ingredients. The original recipe contained white wine which isn’t in all food budgets. If you have it, you can easily add it in. Substitute up to 3/4 cup of the broth with white wine. If you make this with chicken stock you made yourself, you’ll have a richly flavored dish without extra expense. You could make this without the cream, as well. It’s a staple at our house, so I’ve kept it in the recipe.

I also have made it a habit to live without certain spices if I don’t have the wiggle room to purchase those ingredients each week. While it’s certainly best made with paprika, it is still delicious without, as pictured.

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Chicken Smothered in Onions
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
This recipe, adapted from one in Bon Appetit, October 1993, is easy enough for every night, but special enough for company. Serve with mashed potatoes and a sprinkling of parsley for garnish.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 267 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • 2 teaspoons Jamie's Spice Mix or other favorite spice mix
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large onions sliced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • For serving: chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  1. Sprinkle the chicken breasts generously with Jamie's Spice Mix.

  2. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet. Add the chicken to the skillet and brown on each side, about 5 minutes each. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover.
  3. Add the onions to the drippings in the pan and stir, scraping up any browned bits. Cook the onions until tender, stirring often.
  4. Place the chicken pieces back into the pan. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, turning once.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a platter and cover while you finish the sauce. In a small bowl combine the flour and water, whisking until smooth. Stir this slurry into the broth in the skillet and whisk until smooth. Add the cream and nutmeg. Simmer until the gravy is thickened, stirring often.
  7. Return the chicken to the pan to reheat. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Recipe Notes

Refrigerate leftovers promptly and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Smothered in Onions
Amount Per Serving
Calories 267 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 104mg35%
Sodium 607mg26%
Potassium 604mg17%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 384IU8%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 35mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

$5.31 = chicken breast $1.77/#, use 3# for my family of 8
free = chicken broth
$0.25 = seasonings
$0.60 = potatoes, bought 5# bag for $.99
$.50 = butter, $1.75/#
$.25 = onions, $.50/#
$.10 = cream
$.77 = broccoli

Total to feed 3 adults, 6 small children = $7.71

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Katy says

    Tried this tonight with pork chops instead of chicken (husband is chicken averse for the time being). Yum! So good! I’ll definitely be making it again.


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