This is a by feel/eye recipe. Just try it and do it until you get it right!
- As many boneless, skinless chicken breasts as you need
- at least one cooking onion per chicken breast
- sea or kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- butter for pan
- white wine, or substitute with something flavourful like stock
- heavy (whipping) cream, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup per chicken breast if you want lots of sauce
- tarragon, fresh or dried
- a lemon, or part of a lemon
Cut off the growing end of the onion. Place the now-flat end on the cutting board and slice the onion in half lengthwise. Lay each half face-down on the cutting board and cut off the root end. Remove the peel. Now, make thin slices going lengthwise, so that you end up with long pieces of onion (they just look prettier with this dish!).
Between some parchement paper or waxed paper, pound the chicken — with a meat pounder, or a heavy saucepan — until it is about 1/4″ to 3/8″ thick all over**. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Melt a big knob of butter in a frying pan; when it stops bubbling, add the onions, and caramelize them over a medium to medium-high heat. This will take quite a while, but it is worth it. Don’t let them burn. Add a large pinch of salt to the onions after a couple of minutes. When the onions have carmalized nicely, remove them from the pan, and keep warm. Sometimes I just shove them to the side of the pan, or even throw them in after I’ve cooked the chicken. Whatever works at the time.
If there isn’t any butter left in the pan, add some more and let it melt and finish bubbling. Place the chicken into the pan and let it sit until it doesn’t stick anymore. Cook on each side for about 5 minutes, until it is no longer pink. Take the chicken out of the pan, put it on a plate, and tent with aluminum foil. Keep the pan hot, don’t turn off the heat.**Note: if you don’t feel like pounding the chicken breasts, leave them as is, and season with salt and pepper. To cook, sear until they are well browned, about 10 minutes and then turn them and finish cooking them for about 8 minutes.
Into the pan, pour some white wine to cover the bottom by about 1/8″ to 1/4″ — it should sizzle and boil. Scrape up the chicken drippings from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the wine a bit, so there is about 1/2 left in the pan. Into the reduced wine, pour your heavy cream; simmer and stir it until it is cooked down to a thick consistency that you like. Throw in a pinch of tarragon, stir and cook for a bit. Squeeze in a bit of lemon juice, and taste for seasoning (you can pour in any meat juices that have accumulated on the plate with the chicken resting on it). Check for consistency, and cook down a little more if it is too thin.
Slice chicken breast(s) into 1/4″ slices across the grain. Serve with the onions, and with the sauce on the side, or just pour over top. Great with basmati, or mixed rice.