FRENCH ONION AND MUSHROOM SMOTHERED CHICKEN CUTLETS
French Onions and Mushrooms:
6 tablespoons butter
4 large onions, sliced into thin rings
2 teaspoons sugar
¾ teaspoons salt
1-pound cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
½ cup water
2 ½-3-pounds boneless chicken breasts
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup flour
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons corn starch
½ cup red wine
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, stemmed (plus more sprigs for garnish)
3 cups Jarlsberg or Gruyere cheese, hand shredded on a box grater
To caramelize the onions, melt the butter in a large cast iron or oven proof skillet. Add the onions, sugar, and salt to the skillet and cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to get soft. Add the mushrooms to the pan and continue cooking soft and golden, about 30-35 minutes. Add the water to the pan and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until all of the moisture is absorbed into the onions. You do not want to sear or brown the onions. This a slow cook that will create soft, sweet caramel colored onions and mushrooms. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Butterfly your chicken breasts – cut in half lengthwise through the center of the breast and open like a book to create 2 thin cutlets. Place the cutlets in a large ziplock bag and lightly pound with a mallet so they are an even ½ – ¾” thickness all over.
Liberally season the cutlets on both sides with the salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Lightly rub the seasonings into the chicken to adhere. Place the flour in a large ziplock bag. Add the cutlets and shake to coat. Remove, shaking off the excess flour.
Heat the olive oil and butter in the onion skillet drippings over medium high heat. Sear the cutlets on each side, about 1-1 ½ minutes per side. They will not be cooked through. Remove and set aside.
Place the onions and mushrooms back in the skillet and stir in the Worcestershire sauce, over medium high heat. Stir in the corn starch until absorbed and cook for 1 minute. Add the red wine and cook until absorbed about 2-3 minutes. Add the beef stock and thyme leaves. Cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens about 2-3 minutes more.
Place the chops back in the pan and smother with the onion and mushroom gravy. Top with the grated cheese and place in the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cutlets are just cooked through. Do not overcook. Set the oven on broil and cook for 1 more minute until the cheese is browned and bubbly!
I love this dish served over mashed potatoes, but it is also delicious over rice or even pasta.
*Note – if you don’t have an oven-proof skillet, you can cook everything on the stove top and then transfer to a 9” x 13” baking dish and top with cheese.
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