This creamy balsamic chicken skillet is an easy chicken dinner packed with the fresh flavors of caramelized onions, herbs, and chicken in a creamy balsamic sauce. It’s a made from scratch meal all cooked in a single skillet. Serve with your favorite greens and grains for a balanced meal that will have them asking for seconds.
How to make a Chicken Skillet
A skillet meal by definition is going to be easy to make and easy to clean up after. Why? Because all of the work is done in a single skillet. Like sheet pan suppers, skillet dinners are a win for a busy weeknight without heating up the whole house.
For most skillet meals, you build the flavors of the dish by adding the ingredients to the pan based on how long they need to cook and how the flavors develop together.
Often you’ll find that ingredients are cooked then removed from the pan so that the next set of ingredients can be cooked in the same pan. This process is repeated until you build a pan sauce. Then everything is added back into the original skillet to toss with the sauce.
What kind of skillet works best for a skillet dinner?
When making a skillet dinner you can use any type of skillet you have on hand, as long as it’s big enough to hold all the ingredients. A 12″ skillet works well. Even if they are cooked on their own, everything has to have room to come together in the end.
For this creamy balsamic chicken skillet (and any other skillet meal that involves making a pan sauce), I highly recommend using something that isn’t non-stick.
Stainless steel, carbon steel, or cast iron will give you the best results. If non-stick is all you have, by all means use it! But, if you can avoid it, you’ll get better results.
Kitchen Skills: Deglazing the Pan
I recommend avoiding a non-stick pan because we actually want some of the food to stick to the pan. Those stuck on bits get caramelized, which concentrates the flavors and creates the backbone of our pan sauce. The sauce all starts with a process called deglazing.
To deglaze simply add a liquid to a hot pan, as it bubbles up use a spoon or whisk to scrape up all the baked on, caramelized bits off of the bottom of the pan and into the sauce. Yep, it’s that simple.
In this recipe the deglazing liquid of choice is the vinegar. Other popular deglazing liquids are beer, wine, or stock.
Once you master this kitchen skill, you’ll be seeing pan sauce possibilities in everything you make.
Make it a Meal
This creamy balsamic chicken skillet makes a meal of its own, but if you want a little more on your plate I have ideas!
To keep it simple, serve it with a basic green salad or on a bed of cooked grains. If you have a second skillet, I highly recommend trying it with my screaming skillet green beans.
You can also turn it into a chicken broccoli bowl, by adding chopped broccoli when you add the cream. Stir then cover and cook over a medium flame until the broccoli is tender but crisp, about 4 – 5 minutes. Stir occasionally and pull it from the heat as soon as the broccoli is cooked to your liking. If your sauce thickens up too much, add a little water to get it back to that perfect creamy consistency.
Recommended Kitchen Tools
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- 12″ lidded skillet
- cutting board
- chef’s knife
Creamy Balsamic Chicken Skillet
With the ease of a one pan supper and restaurant quality flavor, this creamy balsamic chicken skillet will have them asking for seconds. Easy cooking, easy clean-up, and perfect for a homemade meal any day of the week.
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Creamy Balsamic Chicken Skillet
- 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cubed)
- 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium yellow onion (sliced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (stems removed)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley (for garnish)
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, warm a tablespoon of oil. Add the cubed chicken and season with onion powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees F. Set cooked chicken aside on a plate to rest.
- In the same pan, melt the butter. Add the sliced onions with a pinch of salt and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and begin to brown and caramelize. About 8 – 12 minutes.
- Add in the garlic, fresh thyme leaves, and cook for another minute or two, or until the garlic is softened.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, scraping the pan to loosen all the caramelized bits, continue to cook an additional 2 minutes until the vinegar slightly thickens. Add the broth and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Lower the heat and pour in the heavy cream, simmer on low until the mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat and return the chicken to the pan, tossing to evenly coat in the sauce.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.
For the step by step version of this recipe, check out the Creamy Balsamic Chicken Skillet Story.